Learning to love yourself

Jun 21, 2019

As the saying goes, you have to love yourself to love others. Loving yourself means respecting yourself, accepting your flaws and the mistakes you’ve made, and seeing yourself as worthy of being loved by others. It also means looking after your wellbeing and not neglecting the things that make you feel happy and fulfilled.

How to get started

This is easier said than done though as many of us struggle to love and accept ourselves even for a few moments, let alone all the time. 

So here are some tips to help get you started:

Think about your strengths

It may not always be easy, but try to concentrate on the things you do well rather than the things you don’t excel in or the mistakes you’ve made. In fact, try to consciously forgive yourself for your mistakes, especially if you find yourself thinking frequently about the poor choices you may have made.

When you’re feeling positive, make a list of your strengths and keep it somewhere you’ll see it often and then go back to the list whenever you feel insecure about yourself. 

Look after yourself

Sometimes we work so hard at looking after others, we neglect our own wellbeing needs. But it’s important to eat healthily, to exercise and get plenty of sleep, and to take steps to look after our mental health.

Start by doing one small thing a day that will help boost your mental or physical wellbeing – you don’t have to make radical changes all at once to reap big benefits.

Stop comparing

Try removing yourself from toxic friendships or from someone who demeans you and your achievements. Instead, surround yourself with positive and supportive people. These are the people who will help you feel good about yourself, as opposed to those who are over-critical and negative.

Treat yourself like someone you love

If you tend to be hard on yourself a lot of the time, try giving yourself a break and being kind rather than your harshest critic. Remind yourself that nobody is perfect, so you shouldn’t expect to be either. Think what you would do or say if a close friend needed some support, then try doing the same for yourself.

Have a social media detox

According to Entrepreneur.com the average person spends more than five years of their life on social media. Yet studies suggest using social media to such an extent can often cause stress, anxiety and low mood. This can be further highlighted when we use social media to compare ourselves to others. This can then lead to a feeling that we’re missing out.

If you spend a lot of time on social media, it may be a good idea to do something about it. Try taking a complete break, or at least switch off your notifications to see if it helps you cut down on your social media use.

Be selfish once in a while

When you’re busy doing things for other people, you may forget to do things for yourself. But it’s okay to be selfish every now and then. Try doing just one little thing for yourself today that doesn’t involve making anyone else happy or tending to their needs.

Article reproduced with the kind permission of CABA, the organisation providing lifelong support to ICAEW members, ACA students and their close family around the world.