Self-Love: regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).
For many women, self-love is hard to come by. We focus so much on our faults and failures than we do on our strengths and successes.
Fortunately, self-acceptance is something that we can change by nurturing ourselves. It is a skill that you must practice, and you must be willing to do the work, just like anyone who is working toward a skill.
Below are 7 Ways to Cultivate Self-Love.
1. Set an intention.
For anything we do, we need to set an intention, and self-love is no exception. We must shift from blame, shame, and doubt to acceptance, trust, tolerance, and allowance. If you set your intention that a life with self-love is better than a life of self-loathing, then you will be more likely to live that life of self-love.
2. Celebrate your strengths.
For some reason, we tend to concentrate more on our weaknesses than our strengths. We cling to old stories about our lack of self-worth. If you are having a hard time finding out what your strengths are, go to viacharacter.org.
Also, write down your strengths and make a list of all the things you have overcome and all that you’ve accomplished. Read it daily so that it’s fresh in your mind.
3. Watch who you surround yourself with.
Ask yourself these questions.
- How will this person improve me?
- Does this person share my vision?
- How will this person react with those already in my inner circle?
- Does this person share my values?
- Does this person show good character?
- Will this person help me and my inner circle to raise our game?
- Is this person negative or positive?
- What value do they bring to my inner circle?
- Does this person truly love, accept, and believe in me?
4. Silence your inner critic.
When you start thinking negative thoughts about yourself, you need to immediately replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
Research shows that it takes 10 positives to overcome 1 negative. Have some positive affirmations already written up and keep them near you so when that negative thoughts come you can grab those and read them to replace the negative ones.
5. Forgive yourself.
If we are continually living in our past and are reliving all the things we’ve done wrong and beating ourselves up for them, we will never overcome self-loathing. Forgive yourself and move on. It’s important that we learn from our mistakes, take steps to grow, and accept that you can’t change the past. Realize that acceptance is not resignation; when you do this, you have more energy to focus on what you can control. Our mistakes should be used as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. You can’t change the past, so why live there?
6. Be Kind to Yourself.
I had a dear friend, Lorelei Robbins, tell me one time, “If you saw a small child hurting and crying, what would you do? Would you talk ugly to them? Would you be mean and nasty? Would you tell them everything they did was wrong?” I answered, “No, I would pick them up, hold them, hug them, and tell them everything is going to be ok.” She said, “Well, when you are beating yourself up, feeling like a failure–that you will never get through this situation or overcome it, picture yourself as that small child and talk to yourself just like you would that child.” Wow, how that has helped many times. Try it for yourself.
Learn to love yourself because of your flaws, not despite them. We have been taught growing up that putting yourself first is selfish, but that is so far from the truth. If you don’t put yourself first and take care of you, you won’t be any good for anyone else.
7. Set Boundaries.
Boundaries are all about respect for yourself and they are essential to healthy relationships and a heathy life. Boundaries are a measure of your self-esteem and they set your limits for how those around you treat you. Not having boundaries leaves you vulnerable to be damaged by others.
Whatever you’re willing to put up with is what you will get. If you would like more info on setting boundaries, go HERE.
You must keep practicing self-love and trust that you will be able to hone this skill. It won’t happen overnight and it won’t be easy, but it will be so worth it. Keep the faith and keep at it.