How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”

Sitting at a party minding my own business, I wasn’t expecting it. I had no reason to. A comment filled with sarcasm and authority shot out at me from a across the room.

“Shut up Kathryn.”

It hit me like a bullet aimed straight at my heart.

I wasn’t even aware I was being particularly quiet. I was simply being me. Taking in my surroundings, quietly observing, listening to the conversations that encircled me.

But someone had noticed I was in a quiet mood. And for reasons that I will never fathom, they felt the need to bring it the attention of the entire room.

“Shut up Kathryn,” they smirked.

The comment instantly consumed my thoughts as all eyes turned toward me and sniggers of laughter filtered through the room. As my mind went fuzzy, I grappled for an appropriate response.

But what possible response is there?

As my insecurities were highlighted to anyone who would listen, I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. Right there and then.

They thought they were being funny. But I found little to laugh about. The pricks of tears welled up as I fought hard to push the pain away, deep inside me. But I had to play along. Had to pretend. Had to smile. Had to laugh. As if all was okay.

But it really, really wasn’t.

And when I got home I cried. Then I cried some more.

I was haunted by three little words that represented everything I felt insecure about: my quiet nature. My introversion. My shyness. The things that I wished I didn’t have to deal with. The things I wished I could change.

When I look back at that day as a teenager, I want to comfort my younger self. To hold her close and whisper in to her ear that it will all be okay. To tell her that she will look back at this day and gain strength from it.

That she will learn to grow, embrace herself for who she is, and feel so empowered; that even though she didn’t dare share her feelings with anyone at the time, as an adult she will find the courage to share this story with you today.

To really embrace your natural persona, to live life in a way that’s completely and utterly true to who you are, and to let go of the words of the critics that may shroud your thoughts, here are three pieces of advice that have worked beautifully for me and which I hold close, if ever I falter.

Surround yourself with support.

Here’s the thing—you aren’t on your own. We all have insecurities, we all face challenges in our lives, and we can all find support if we reach out for it.

Move yourself away from the critics and release their scathing comments from your world. They come from people with their own troubles and you don’t need them in your life.

Instead, surround yourself with the people who make you feel alive—who provide you with support, inspiration, and words of encouragement.

And then turn to these people in times of need. They are the ones you will help you grow, thrive, and learn to love every inch of who you are.

Work out where you shine.

We are all born with wonderful strengths that, if used on a daily basis, can help us find our true calling.

Give yourself the time and space to reflect and then begin to develop a self-awareness and understanding of situations where you feel completely content and comfortable.

These are the moments when you are in ‘flow’—when life feels easy as you start doing the stuff that you were born to do.

By bringing more of these moments into your life, your confidence in your abilities will flourish and your insecurities over time will fade.

Listen to your body and give it what it needs.

I truly believe we all need to listen to our bodies more. If you start your day feeling exhausted and drained, then think about what that means.

You are only human, so give yourself a break. If you feel like resting, then rest. If you crave time and space by yourself, then don’t feel guilty about turning down an invitation to go out with friends.

Nurture your mind, body, and spirit in whatever way it craves, and your strength will surely grow.

Learning to embrace yourself is a journey that can hold many challenges. And if you’ve had to face unhelpful criticism or scathing comments throughout your life, then it can be all the more tricky.

But do you know what? There are amazing ways that you can help yourself and find peace with who you are.

You’ve just got to give yourself the time to grow.

How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

About Kathryn Hall

Kathryn Hall is founder of The Business of Introverts, an avid writer and mentor to individuals who want more freedom, solitude, and creativity in their careers. She’s big on helping people to embrace their introversion in all its glory, while creating a life they love. Sign up to connect with Kathryn and receive her free audio series “How to create a soulful business the stress-free way.”

How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

“Live your life for you, not for anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from being yourself.

Sonya Parker

I have struggled with my different-ness since I was young. I grew up trying to change the things that made me different in order to fit in. At home, my parents were doing their best to raise three young children, which I can imagine would’ve been very hard.

I can still remember the first time I asked myself, “What is wrong with me?” I loved to take my time and have everything neat and tidy; my family, on the other hand, was the complete opposite.

Being neat and tidy reflected in the way I would dress myself. One morning, when I was getting ready for my first day of school, my parents gave me socks to wear that didn’t match. I got very upset, and although they tried to understand what the problem was, they couldn’t help but be frustrated with me, as I was making the morning more difficult.

We were also running late. I wanted to take my time and not be hurried. This caused us to run even later and made my parents even more stressed. I felt so guilty to have made them feel like this.

I wanted to belong and feel loved by them, so I tried my hardest to change the things about me that seemed to cause them stress.

Trying to change these things that were a big part of who I was created inner conflict, and I would have big tantrums as a result. This would cause my parents stress as well, so eventually I stopped expressing my feelings.

I became ashamed of the things that made me different. I was shy. I loved lots of time on my own. I had dark skin.

I wanted to be accepted to avoid judgment and rejection. During school, other kids teased me for not having many friends. I felt so hurt and alone that I started a constant battle within myself to change my different-ness.

I forced myself to be more social. I searched for ways to change the color of my skin. I stopped giving myself the alone time I wanted. I stopped expressing how I was feeling.

This went on for the next twenty years. Since I spent my whole life trying to fit in, I never really got to know my true self. It was incredibly exhausting and I was very unhappy.

It took having kids to wake me up. The love I had for my two boys gave me the drive to search for another way to live.

I wanted my boys to love and accept themselves for who they were, differences and all, but how was I to teach them if I didn’t even know how? I needed to be the example.

I finally discovered some things that empowered me to embrace my differences. I was amazed at the life changing effect it had on me.

When you embrace who you are:

1. You stop living in fear.

The choices I make in life are no longer dependent on what other people will think and whether I will be judged, disliked, or rejected. I just focus on being me.

In the past, I feared what people would think of me for choosing to have a few close friends instead of a huge social circle and spending a lot of time on my own. Now that I accept that this is me, I feel a sense of freedom.

Trying to be someone you’re not is exhausting. Being your true self is a courageous thing to do in a world that is constantly trying to change you. When you realize that living the life you want is more important than pleasing other people, suddenly you feel free.

2. You form deeper, more connected relationships.

In the past, I’ve had my fair share of not-so-good relationships. People would connect to the fake me, so they were never genuine relationships.

I was able to sift through my relationships by loving my differences and being myself. This allowed the right people to come into my life who loved the real me. My relationships are now all fulfilling and genuine.

If you want people to accept you for who you are, you first have to show them who that is.

3. You treat yourself more kindly.

I saw myself as weird so I would constantly put myself down and beat myself up. The negative self-talk was painful.

In accepting my “weirdness,” I went from telling myself, “Because of my differences, I’m worthless and no one will ever love me,” to “I have to be true to myself. The people who really matter will accept me for who I am.”

It was so liberating, I started to feel the happiest I’ve ever felt.

4. You’re better able to find your passion.

When hiding my true self, I could never know my strengths. I’m a compassionate person, which makes me good at helping people. I found that this is what I love to do and it’s my passion.

After learning this about myself, I was able to offer my friends and family advice when they needed help. I also branched out and started my own blog, which is my main creative outlet where I can combine my passion for writing and helping people.

Once you allow yourself to be who you are, you’re free to find what you’re good at and what you love to do.

5. You start appreciating yourself.

When you truly embrace your differences, you begin to find reasons to appreciate them. I’ve always been ashamed of my introverted nature, thinking it was a weakness. Only recently have I started to embrace it. I now appreciate that it allows me to enjoy time on my own, which is where I’m the most creative.

I’ve finally discovered my strengths and weaknesses. I own them and I am grateful for them both because they make me who I am.

When you start seeing your “weaknesses” as potential strengths, you develop a whole new sense of appreciation for yourself.

I hope these lessons can help you learn to embrace your differences without having to become a parent to do it—and if you are already a parent, then I hope this can inspire you so you too can pass on self-acceptance to your children.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

THE BASICS

  • What Is Self-Esteem?
  • Find a therapist near me

Loving yourself is an inside job.

Far too often, we trick ourselves into believing that “when I have this, I’ll feel better about myself. When they love me back, I’ll love myself too. When I get the car, the job, the salary, the partner, the ideal weight, I’ll love myself.” But it doesn’t work like that.

Most of us know the line, “You can’t love anyone until you love yourself.” Well, I completely disagree with this statement. First of all, who says? Always question your sources. Second of all, how many of you have struggled with self-love and yet felt such raw and unrequited love for another person?

For the parents reading this post, ask yourself this: Are you unable to love your children when you feel as though you don’t love yourself? Does your love for them dwindle as you get tied up in your own shame and low self-worth?

I’m assuming your answer is no. You continue to love them unconditionally.

Let’s look at an individual with low self-worth, for example. He or she may love others strongly, too strongly perhaps, to the point where they put the other person on a pedestal and require their love and validation to feel okay about themselves.

How about the person who’s sitting in shame and self-loathing right now, but has an infinite amount of love for their parents, their siblings, their friends, their significant other, or an ex?

We may be able to love others if we don’t love ourselves, but we don’t know how to love healthily.

When I was in my 20s (I still am, by the way, but I’m nearing 30 now), I put so much of myself into my relationships. A part of me had always felt inherently flawed; that I was too much, too little, not enough, or excessively “difficult.”

I told myself I was difficult to date because I think and feel things deeply. Because I seek to dive below the surface to better conceptualize a person, situation, or life itself. I shamed myself for not being able to live on the surface of life, skimming the shallows and not needing to explore the deep end like so many people I know.

I absolutely did not love myself. I didn’t have many reasons to; I was consistently lying, manipulating, and by no means cultivating self-esteem. I was seeking externally to fill internally.

(Pro tip: to have self-esteem, start by doing esteemable things.)

I did, however, love the people I dated.

I don’t believe in looking back at our past selves and shaming them for not knowing enough or not feeling as intensely as we thought we were.
Everything I felt back then was real. Everything I feel now is real.

I change, the lens through which I look at life changes, but the feelings stay as real as I believe them to be.

Here’s the kicker: I didn’t love myself, and therefore I was unable to accept love.

Brief recap

If we don’t love ourselves, we can actually still love others.

If we don’t love ourselves, we cannot accept love from others.

I’ve quoted this over and over in my posts, but this will always be my favorite line: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” –The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I can give love all I want, but I can’t accept it if, at my core, I don’t believe I’m worthy of it.

If I were to ask you if you love yourself right now in this very moment, how would you answer?

No prefaces, no caveats, no BS details about why. Yes or no. Do you? If you don’t, what’s blocking you?

Second question: Do you believe you’re worthy of love, affection, and belonging? Again, if the answer is no, then why?

For me, my self-worth was contingent on the fragile and ever-changing state of my relationships. I found worth in academic success, in athletic accolades, and most of all, the way people looked at me and felt about me.

It was all rainbows and sunshine until I got rejected. I felt like a queen until I was broken up with or denied.

Do you rely on validation in your relationships? I certainly used to. How can you give yourself validation, affection, love, attention, and belonging? What can you do for yourself, not contingent on anyone else?

This has absolutely been the key to my finding and accepting love. It begins and ends internally. The relationships I have today are a wonderful byproduct of the relationship I continue to cultivate with myself. And I do that by prioritizing myself.

  • I say “no” a lot more now.
  • I practice healthy boundaries in all of my relationships (to the best of my ability).
  • I fall short on a daily basis and forgive myself for being human.
  • I refuse to allow my shame narratives that tell me I’m not good enough or too much.
  • I journal on an (almost) daily basis, and always include gratitude and affirmations.
  • I laugh at myself!
  • I ask for help.
  • I try to remain teachable every moment of every day.
  • I find room for growth and fill it with self-love and compassion.
  • I try my darndest to practice what I preach, so as to not throw myself into a state of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance.
  • I acknowledge the flaws, embrace them, lean into them, and write them all out on here.

Because what I’ve learned above all else, is that human beings connect via their imperfections, not the social media highlight reel of their life which sends each of us into a state of an emotional and isolating abyss.

Give yourself the gift of self-love. You can’t accept anyone else’s love if you don’t believe you’re worthy of it, anyway. Stop seeking outside of yourself for anything to fill the gaping void inside of you that only you can fill.

You are worthy. If you’re still reading this very spontaneously written piece, that means that you’re still seeking some answers. Never forget, though, that everything you are looking for is inside of you already. Your job is to find out what’s blocking you from tapping into that internal light and love. And smash it with a hammer.

Because today, I love myself. Fully and completely. And I invite you to give yourself the chance to feel the same about yourself. It’s really quite nice.

How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”

Sitting at a party minding my own business, I wasn’t expecting it. I had no reason to. A comment filled with sarcasm and authority shot out at me from a across the room.

“Shut up Kathryn.”

It hit me like a bullet aimed straight at my heart.

I wasn’t even aware I was being particularly quiet. I was simply being me. Taking in my surroundings, quietly observing, listening to the conversations that encircled me.

But someone had noticed I was in a quiet mood. And for reasons that I will never fathom, they felt the need to bring it the attention of the entire room.

“Shut up Kathryn,” they smirked.

The comment instantly consumed my thoughts as all eyes turned toward me and sniggers of laughter filtered through the room. As my mind went fuzzy, I grappled for an appropriate response.

But what possible response is there?

As my insecurities were highlighted to anyone who would listen, I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. Right there and then.

They thought they were being funny. But I found little to laugh about. The pricks of tears welled up as I fought hard to push the pain away, deep inside me. But I had to play along. Had to pretend. Had to smile. Had to laugh. As if all was okay.

But it really, really wasn’t.

And when I got home I cried. Then I cried some more.

I was haunted by three little words that represented everything I felt insecure about: my quiet nature. My introversion. My shyness. The things that I wished I didn’t have to deal with. The things I wished I could change.

When I look back at that day as a teenager, I want to comfort my younger self. To hold her close and whisper in to her ear that it will all be okay. To tell her that she will look back at this day and gain strength from it.

That she will learn to grow, embrace herself for who she is, and feel so empowered; that even though she didn’t dare share her feelings with anyone at the time, as an adult she will find the courage to share this story with you today.

To really embrace your natural persona, to live life in a way that’s completely and utterly true to who you are, and to let go of the words of the critics that may shroud your thoughts, here are three pieces of advice that have worked beautifully for me and which I hold close, if ever I falter.

Surround yourself with support.

Here’s the thing—you aren’t on your own. We all have insecurities, we all face challenges in our lives, and we can all find support if we reach out for it.

Move yourself away from the critics and release their scathing comments from your world. They come from people with their own troubles and you don’t need them in your life.

Instead, surround yourself with the people who make you feel alive—who provide you with support, inspiration, and words of encouragement.

And then turn to these people in times of need. They are the ones you will help you grow, thrive, and learn to love every inch of who you are.

Work out where you shine.

We are all born with wonderful strengths that, if used on a daily basis, can help us find our true calling.

Give yourself the time and space to reflect and then begin to develop a self-awareness and understanding of situations where you feel completely content and comfortable.

These are the moments when you are in ‘flow’—when life feels easy as you start doing the stuff that you were born to do.

By bringing more of these moments into your life, your confidence in your abilities will flourish and your insecurities over time will fade.

Listen to your body and give it what it needs.

I truly believe we all need to listen to our bodies more. If you start your day feeling exhausted and drained, then think about what that means.

You are only human, so give yourself a break. If you feel like resting, then rest. If you crave time and space by yourself, then don’t feel guilty about turning down an invitation to go out with friends.

Nurture your mind, body, and spirit in whatever way it craves, and your strength will surely grow.

Learning to embrace yourself is a journey that can hold many challenges. And if you’ve had to face unhelpful criticism or scathing comments throughout your life, then it can be all the more tricky.

But do you know what? There are amazing ways that you can help yourself and find peace with who you are.

You’ve just got to give yourself the time to grow.

How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

About Kathryn Hall

Kathryn Hall is founder of The Business of Introverts, an avid writer and mentor to individuals who want more freedom, solitude, and creativity in their careers. She’s big on helping people to embrace their introversion in all its glory, while creating a life they love. Sign up to connect with Kathryn and receive her free audio series “How to create a soulful business the stress-free way.”

How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

Most of us know what it’s like to appreciate other people, and most of us hope that other appreciate us. But how many of us strive to appreciate ourselves?

This article will list five benefits to getting to appreciate yourself, as well as ways that you can try to appreciate yourself a little more to get to those results.

Holding Yourself To A Higher Standard

When you don’t appreciate yourself, you tend to set the bar pretty low. Meeting your expectations becomes less impressive, but more acceptable.

If you learn to appreciate yourself, you are likely to expect a bit more from yourself. This kind of attitude makes you reach for higher goals, and it makes it easier to quit bad habits.

To develop this kind of attitude, consider trying to set the bar for yourself a little higher the next time that a challenge comes up. Or think about getting out of your comfort zone by taking on new responsibilities at work or in social groups.

Contentment With Life

When you don’t appreciate yourself, you tend to have a “get what you deserve” attitude that makes you accept things about your life that you don’t like and take for granted things about your life that you do like.

When you learn to appreciate yourself, you are more likely to take pride and comfort in your achievements and your standard of living. You also become more likely to address things in your life that you aren’t fond of, like a job that doesn’t challenge you, or a living space that doesn’t meet your needs.

Work on this aspect of self-appreciation by taking a moment to consider all of the good things that you have done for yourself, like your job and your house or apartment. If you are a younger reader, consider the work that you put in at school. Next consider some things that you would like to change. You don’t have to have an action plan ready now on how you might address those things but think about how you could work to achieve them.

Self-appreciation Leads To Self-Compassion

When you don’t appreciate yourself, you are more likely to be hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned. It can be easier to beat yourself up when you make mistakes by blaming everything on yourself instead of thinking about what went wrong and why.

When you learn to appreciate yourself, you learn to treat yourself more like you would be likely to treat other people if they had a bad day: with compassion. Treating yourself with compassion is better than beating yourself up for a number of reasons.

  • First, it is more educational. If you immediately blame yourself when things go wrong, it can be difficult to figure out a creative solution.
  • Second, it creates a loop that makes it easier for you to feel better about yourself.

The next time that something goes well, consider all of the factors that were involved, and which ones failed. The idea isn’t to remove yourself from the equation, maybe you really did make a mistake. But maybe you received faulty instructions. Maybe someone else didn’t do their part adequately. Then, instead of wallowing in your self-blame, come up with a solution and address the problem again.

Appreciate Others More

Some experts believe that when we don’t appreciate ourselves we are likely to have a harder time appreciating others.

Think of the previous section: If you immediately blame yourself for everything that goes wrong in your life, why would you not assume that everybody’s problems are entirely their own fault?

Looking at your life and realizing that while your short comings are certainly your responsibility to deal with they are not all entirely your own doing can help you to understand where other people are coming from when they struggle with things. This can make it easier to appreciate other people just as it can help us to appreciate ourselves.

Better Self Care

Finally, appreciating yourself can lead you to taking better care of yourself.

Self Care is more than just not beating yourself up when things go wrong. Self Care is about giving yourself the tools that you need to protect your mental state on the long term. It’s easier to take care of yourself when you appreciate yourself and it is easier to appreciate yourself when you take care of your needs.

If you try to practice some of the above suggestions in this article, like thinking about your needs and being grateful for what you have, you are already on your way to developing a Self Care routine.

Hopefully, this article has shown you some ways that you can learn to appreciate yourself. Hopefully, it has also shown you that learning to appreciating yourself is more than just a feel-good objective, it’s a practical goal that can help you to live a more meaningful and enjoyable life.

What Next?

Program Your Brain for Limit Free Success

Before we have success at ANYTHING, we must first program OUR subconscious mind at the core for “winning habits.”

The trouble is that most of us have been exposed to harmful beliefs over time.

These harmful beliefs have unintentionally corrupted our subconscious mind.

These harmful beliefs have unintentionally corrupted our subconscious mind.

Our Subconscious mind is where we form opinions, judgments, and make quick decisions that rule our life.

There is a simple way to hack your mind to unblock it from those harmful beliefs, and you can do this in just a few minutes a day.

The key to a limit-free life of success, happiness, and perpetual wealth is here:

And for a limited time only you can get this 5-track limit-free life guided hypnosis package for only $47…. That’s a 60% discount!

Here’s the tracks you get with the program:

  • Every Day My Life Gets Better
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Life can change in a flash…

…and it is not unreasonable to think that anyone can completely transform their life. No matter where life is at right now. Even if it seems hopeless.

After all it happens millions of times a day.

People from all over the world are experiencing abundance in Wealth, Health, and Love.

The difference between enjoying limitless success or not comes down to something tiny that can be fixed in less than 15 minutes a day.

Are you ready to embrace your limit-free life?Hypnosis 5-track package: Limit free life

By Ditch the Label

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    Stage 1. Be honest with yourself

    ‘Just be yourself’ – such an overused phrase, right? And it doesn’t always feel like the easiest thing to do. If you feel unsure of your identity, maybe take some time by yourself to figure out what it is you truly like to do and how you like to dress, regardless of what fashion dictates or your friend’s tastes, or how you think others might perceive you because of these choices. Experiment; remember you don’t have to ‘commit’ to anything – over time your tastes may change! That’s fine too! Contemplate what makes you truly happy – what brings a smile to your face and excites you when you think about it? Identify what it is that you love and enjoy and embrace it.

    How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

    Stage 2. Work on building your confidence levels and self-esteem

    You need to work on yourself if you are lacking inner confidence. This takes time, but the rewards are worth it. Every time you think negatively about yourself, counter that thought with a positive one, or when you feel a negative thought coming on – list three things that you are appreciative of. Analyse your body language too – try and smile more often (even if it is forced at first) it will make you feel better (promise)! Look at your posture – hold that head high when you walk! Make sure when you talk to other people, you hold eye contact too. Believe in yourself. Make it part of your morning routine to compliment yourself when you see your reflection in the mirror. The more confident you are, the more likely you will feel comfortable showing other people the real you!

    Stage 3. Express yourself

    Now you have learned what it is that makes you happy, and you have built those confidence levels up, express yourself – every day! Whether it is how you dress, a hobby you enjoy, the music you like to listen to, the films you want to watch etc, do it! Own it! Enjoy it!

    How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

    Stage 4. Try not to care what other people think of you

    It might seem impossible to totally disregard other people’s opinions, but really if you think about it, what do other people’s opinions actually matter? If they want to comment, let them! You’ll be too happy enjoying life to notice, and the likelihood is, they are only making such remarks because deep down, they wish they had the confidence to express themselves as you do. Would people who are happy and secure in their own skin feel the need to act negatively towards others? No.

    How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

    Stage 5. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else

    Comparison really is the absolute thief of all happiness! Carry on doing what you are doing regardless of what paths those around you might be treading – each individual’s footprints are unique! Be strong, be kind and find your own way in life.

    How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

    Stage 6. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself

    It is time to ditch the people who don’t make you feel good about yourself. If you spend time with someone and you come away feeling down about yourself, I hate to break it to you, but they ain’t no friend. It’s time to evaluate who you give your precious time to – choose wisely! Be picky! You only have one life, and you want it filled with people who truly love and care for you!

    How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

    Are you looking to build your confidence and overcome low self-esteem? Read our guide to boosting your confidence here.

    Many of us believe we already do. Our actions say otherwise.

    How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

    So much popular self-help advice suggests that we must “learn to love ourselves.” It’s good advice, but how exactly do we do it?

    It’s not so simple: We often believe that we do love ourselves, and yet our actions and reactions suggest otherwise. Loving yourself is essential to your personal growth, to the fulfillment of your dreams, and to developing healthy, happy relationships with others. Instead of trying to just talk yourself into believing you have self-love, foster compassion for yourself with these three practical steps:

    1. Care as much about yourself as you do for others.

    It sounds simple, but many of us simply don’t do this because we think we are being selfish or that our own needs are not important. They are. It is not selfish to care about yourself. Compassion for yourself means showing concern for your own feelings as well as for others. Treat yourself the way you would treat your children or your best friend—with gentleness, concern and caring.
    Maintain your boundaries.

    Write a list of the things that you need emotionally, things that are important to you and that upset you or hurt your feelings when they are ignored or violated. They could include being listened to; getting sympathy when you’re hurt; being celebrated when you succeed; receiving love and tenderness without asking for it; being cared for; and knowing you can rely on someone. Whatever is important to you is important. And when someone ignores what’s important to you or crosses your boundary, you’ll know—because it hurts. Don’t ignore that. Your feelings are there to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong.

    Let people know what your boundaries are and what you will and will not tolerate. If they apologize, you can forgive them. If they do not, or continue to ignore your boundaries and needs, you need to create consequences. For example, if you tell your partner that you need him to listen to you and to acknowledge your feelings when you talk about something, but he continuously ignores you or tells you to get over it, you should respond with appropriate action, such as finding someone else to confide in. You may also need to reconsider the relationship. Relationships are meant to be a two-way street and you should be getting your needs for love, acceptance and respect met as much as the other person’s. Being assertive and taking action to get your own needs met will build your self-esteem because it will reinforce the belief, in yourself and others, that you deserve to be loved and cherished.
    Do what you need to do to be you.

    First, figure out what makes you feel good. It doesn’t matter what it is, but become aware of how you feel when you do things. Do you feel exhausted at work, but exhilarated when you’re in the garden? Do you feel joyful reading to your children? Fulfilled when you are writing poetry or volunteering? Find out what makes you feel good and do it, as often as you can. Feeling good is all the permission you need to do what you love to do. And the more you do those things, the happier you will be. If it means you have to give up something else, so be it. Perhaps you need to spend more time on your own or schedule an hour every weekend to visit an art gallery to recharge. Maybe you need to save up some money to buy paints and brushes, or ask your family to look after themselves for a few hours while you take a stress-relieving walk. Perhaps you need to join a club to meet like-minded people who inspire you. Do what you need to do to be you and don’t let anyone blame you, criticize you or talk you out of it because they think you are being selfish, silly, or delusional. Ignore them. You will feel better, you will be better able to really be there for others—and you will like yourself more. You may even love yourself.

    All of these things can help you to develop a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride in what you are doing and who you are, and a realization that you are a worthy, talented, capable, lovable person who deserves to be loved. And the most important person to believe that is you.

    How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

    How to Embrace Self-Love?

    After 2020, you need all the self-love and love you can get. It’s been a tough year. It’s important to remember that the most consistent support to you will come from you. You are your own most reliable and consistent source of support.

    How to Practice Self-Love?

    Here, we are going to discuss the easiest and quickest ways to increase self-love in 2021.

    Start with Music

    Maybe you should start with what’s easiest. Indulge in your favorite music. Music can be an amazing emotional conductor. It can help you process emotions and get in touch with emotions you’ve been ignoring. Listen to music that uplifts you. Or listen to comforting music if you are going through grief.

    Find Things You Love About Yourself

    It is easy to think about things that are not good for us. We could be more proactive, and we should procrastinate less. How about things that are positive about you? Maybe you are a problem-solver or someone who has a great sense of humor. You are great support for your friends. Write it down in your diary. One positive thing about you per day. Also, writing three things you are grateful for can help you feel better and see the world from a positive perspective.

    Recognize something you are grateful and proud of in 2020. What goals did you achieve? What roadblock did you overcome?

    How to love yourself and embrace who you really are

    How to Embrace Self-Love?

    Be Supportive of Others

    Although we are talking about self-love being supportive of others and showing understanding is a great practice. Notice how you act when you are talking to others and how supportive you are to others. Are you the same with yourself? Are you as supportive of yourself as you are of others?

    When helping others, go beyond the things you would usually do. It could be just a small thing for you but for others, you can make their day. Taking focus from yourself can be a great and loving break.

    Dress for the Occasion? Dress for Yourself

    Ok, we are not suggesting you show up in a gown at work, but you might be staying home in your pajamas without reason. Why? Put on your favorite earnings, do your hair, and put on your favorite T-shirt.

    Take Care of Yourself

    Take care of your physical body. Pay close attention to what are you eating. How much water are you drinking daily? Taking care of your physical body can be the most loving thing that you can do for yourself. Also, you will develop a mindful mindset of treating yourself with loving care. Although we spend too much time staying inside, try to connect with nature as much as possible. You can even watch the snow falling outside from your own house or take a walk after a long day at work.

    Stretch and hold the pose of your choice. Ask what your body needs today? Gently stretch and move your body into poses that are different from your own modus operandi.

    Stay Positive by Turning to Positive Things

    Check positive and uplifting social media accounts. Too often we are bombarded with negative and tragic news. It’s more likely that we will click on a negative and shocking headline and marketing people know that. You have to search for the content that you want to be exposed to. Search for the positive things that you can easily relate to instead of looking and seeing negative news.

    If you are having negative thoughts as the worst-case scenario in your head, think about the positive and best-case scenarios. The worst-case scenario rarely happens. Once you turn your attention to positive news you are more likely to think more about positive and best-case scenarios.

    Don’t Be Afraid of the Hard Truth but Remain Compassionate

    Love yourself enough, to be honest about hard truths but remain compassionate. We all tend to be too hard on ourselves. Say a hard truth to yourself as you would to someone who you really love. Also, take a step back and give yourself the option to forgive yourself. Remember that forgivingness is a process but not something that happens at once.

    How to embrace self-love? Maybe you are wondering where to start? It’s important to start somewhere. Choose the easiest thing for you and go from there.

    You’ve heard this many times before. But what does it mean to love yourself? And how do you actually love yourself?

    For various reasons, many of us find it easier to love others than to love ourselves. Sometimes we’re truly quite awful to ourselves. We subjectourselves toa harsh inner critic, unhealthy relationships, toxic substances, and self-mutilation. I know how easy it is to dwell on your own perceived inadequacies.

    But regardless of the reasons for your lack of self-love, it’s time to start caring for yourself and treating yourself with the love you deserve. Instead of being selfish, as many fear, this self-love is a blueprint that shows others how to love you.

    I put together 22 ways to love yourself. Many are simple and straight-forward. Some are harder. You don’t have to use all of these ideas, but you’ll find many overlap and work nicely together.

    1. Know yourself. It’s impossible to love yourself if you don’t even know who you are. Invest in discovering what you believe, value, and like.

    2. Say “no” when you need to. Boundaries are an essential form of self-care because they let others know that you deserve and expect respect.

    3. Don’t compare yourself to others. Others aren’t better or worse, more or less than you; They’re just different. You have value just as you are and accepting yourself means there’s no need for comparisons.

    4. Be truly present. Our lives are full of distractions. Many of these things are fun and worthwhile, but they can be draining and keep us from truly knowing and being ourselves.

    5. Know and use your strengths.We all have tremendous gifts, but many of them go unnoticed. When you’re busy and distracted it’s hard to access these great qualities. Focusing on your strengths will increase your positive feelings for yourself.

    6. Give yourself plenty of healthy treats. A treat is something special that you just give yourself. Unlike a reward, it doesn’t have to be earned. Be good to yourself by giving yourself treats “just because”.

    7. Be honest with yourself.This one can be harder than it seems. Some of us as so good at self-deception that we don’t even know we’re doing it. Honesty is key in all relationships and your relationship with yourself is no different. Clearly, you can’t love your entire messy self if you’re lying, minimizing, or making excuses.True self-love means taking responsibility and accountability.

    8. Let yourself off the hook for your mistakes and imperfections. You’re hard on yourself. You’re probably harder on yourself than anybody else. Cut yourself some slack and embrace your humanness. Mistakes are normal. Imperfections are part of what makes you you.

    9. Work on forgiving yourself for the bigger stuff. Sometimes we’re holding onto bigger regrets or transgressions. Self-forgiveness is a process of bit by bit believing you truly did the best you could. Today you could do better, of course. Hindsight really is 20/20, which is why it’s completely unfair to judge your past self with the knowledge you have now. Remember: “When we know better we do better.”

    10. Accept that some people won’t like you.That’s right, some people don’t like you and that’s O.K. Don’t waste your time trying to please people who are impossible to please or people who just aren’t that important to you. Being yourself means you have to give up your people-pleasing ways and embrace your authentic self.

    11. Make fun a priority.Put something fun on your agenda every week. Don’t neglect it or cancel because you have too much work to do or your kiddo needs help with his history report. Just like rest, we all need fun in order to feel good. Don’t skimp on this importantneed.

    12. Practice gratitude. Gratitude is one of the simplest ways to focus on the good in yourself and in your life. Try identifying 3 things you’re grateful for when you wake up every morning.

    13. Write down your successes.I love this self-love activity because it creates a record of your accomplishments (big and small) that you can re-read whenever you’re feeling low. Add to it and read your list on a daily basis for maximum benefit.

    14. Feel your feelings.Our feelings are an integral part of who we are. You can’t be an authentic person without acknowledging and feeling all of your feelings. Don’t shy away from uncomfortable feelings like anger and sadness. If you deny them, you deny a part of yourself. Allow yourself to express them in a healthy, respectful way.

    15. Take good care of your body.Good health is truly priceless. Give yourself the gift of feeling physically well – exercise regularly, eat healthfully, drink water, get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights, and limit alcohol or other drugs.

    16. Pursue a hobby.Hobbies can be fun, relaxing, challenging, creative, athletic, social, or educational. As you can see, different hobbies meet different needs for us. Find something that meets your needs.

    17.Stand up for yourself.Like boundaries, being assertive is a way of showing others that your opinions and needs matter. Loving yourself means you know your value and can communicate it to others.

    18. Write yourself a love letter. I know this is a hard assignment, but it really challenges you to identify the things you like about yourself.

    19. Ask for help when you need it.Another part of taking care of yourself is recognizing when you need help. Help isn’t weak. It’s human. We all need help at times.

    20. Speak kindly to yourself.Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a loved one. Don’t cut yourself down, call yourself names, or criticize yourself.

    21. Surround yourself with people who treat you with kindness and respect.Who you spend time with reflects how you feel about yourself. People who feel worthy surround themselves with positive people. Sometimes loving yourself means you have to end relationships with abusive or unkind people.

    22.Allow yourself some downtime. Are you busy, busy, busy? It’s time to slow down and allow your body and mind to rest. You don’t have to do it all.Prioritize what matters most and let go of any guilt in saying no. Rest is rejuvenating and a basic form of self-care.

    You are the one person that you’ll always be with; the person who will be there through thick and thin; the person who knows you best. Your relationship with yourself is the most important and longest relationship you’ll ever have. I hope you’ll spend some time learning to love yourself more.

    Wishing you much self-love this Valentine’s Day and every day.