We have so many things going for us, don’t we? Despite the limited number of hours in a day, we are somehow able to include time for work, family, friends, and even other extracurricular activities into our already busy schedules.
But how much time do we set aside time for ourselves?
We often get so caught up in the business of life that in the list of our priorities, we forget to include the people and things that matter the most—and yes, that includes ourselves.
With self-love, comes confidence and contentment.
So today, I challenge you to open your heart to these 22 unique perspectives on the value of self-love:
To me, self-love is about being really honest with yourself around what you need to be the best version of you. Sometimes, this act of love can look like taking a step back when you need a break to or asking for help when you need support.
No matter what, it means always getting quiet and tuning into what your emotions are trying to tell you.
When we get caught up in the act of trying to drown out our feelings or push them down, we fall into a really exhausting pattern that's not founded on self-love. To fully practice self-love, we have to be unafraid of acknowledging and communicating our needs.
To me, self-love means nourishing and nurturing the relationship we have with our mind and our body. At the heart of self-love is self-compassion—an understanding, acceptance and kindness towards the self.
Cultivating an attitude of self-love goes a long way in helping us to better cope with everyday stresses, and far from being narcissistic or selfish, it is in fact the key to a fuller life—because the more we care for and love ourselves, the more we have to give to our family and friends, and to the life that we lead.
Self-love to me is simply giving a shit about myself, 100%, every step of the way. Far too often I think people who claim to love themselves are really just trying to appear nice so society won't judge them. They claim to love themselves but end up working a job they hate, going for a wedding they don't even want to go for or staying in a loveless relationship.
So go 100% of the way. 99% doesn't even cut it anymore. Worry not about what others may think, because in going all in with 100%, you'll find your way.
Oh, sure, you probably have your responsibilities and all that make you sacrifice some of that 100%. Well, only you would truly know what's a good balance or what ultimately makes you happy from self-sacrifice. If you don't know it, then you're just playing along with the rules set by others.
I see all too often people who are craving a partner to give them the love and self-worth that is missing within themselves. We cannot rely on others to give us happiness, meaning, self-worth or value in this world. We have to give all of these things to ourselves, first.
Otherwise, we attract all the wrong kinds of partners and end up in unhealthy, addictive, co-dependent and dysfunctional relationships.
To attract true love and healthy love, one must first love oneself.
If we don’t love ourselves, we end up with people who treat us poorly or less than what we deserve—people who treat us with disrespect, lack of true love or lack of acceptance. We attract the kinds of partners that are at a similar emotional level as us.
If we are mentally and emotionally unhealthy, we will attract an equally unhealthy partner. Then the relationship naturally becomes a dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship. This type of relationship will most likely be an unhappy and unfulfilling one that ends in pain.
On the opposite end, if we love, respect and value ourselves fully, we attract similar types of partners. This then becomes a very healthy, loving relationship that is well balanced and respectful.
To learn how to love yourself first, read this article from Happiness Blog entitled Self-Love Attracts True Love and Leads to Greater Happiness.
Often times, we use a spa day or a Netflix binge to tune out from what's going on in our lives. I want to challenge you to instead find activities and spaces that allow you to be present: to feel your feelings, see your thoughts and connect to you.
Self-care can be:
Traditionally self-care has been seen as a luxury, as something we can do when we "have the time."
Time is such a funny thing. Time is what you make it, and there is more than enough when we simply focus on what's important.
This year, I want us all to make self-care a non-negotiable: something that we plan our schedules around, not something that we just squeeze in on the weekends or when it's convenient.
On my journey to self-love, the most important thing I learned is that self-love is a set of actions. It’s not just proclaiming love for yourself, but about doing things that exhibit that love.
This means making healthy decisions, setting clear boundaries, and caring for yourself in ways that nourish you physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s not just about feeling good about oneself, it’s an active display of that esteem in your everyday life.
Self-love is work—sometimes challenging, but most times fulfilling work.
Of learning, honoring, celebrating, and enjoying yourself. Of being patient, nurturing, and forgiving of yourself. And giving every bit of love you do to others, to yourself—tenfold.
Everything you do, all the decisions you make, the things you settle for, and the way you move through life stems from your love for self. It’s important to care for yourself in such powerful, bold ways, to ensure that the energy you’re sharing with the world—and yourself—is rooted in kindness, grace, and love.
People have a very glittery perception of self-love. I’ve said this maybe 785 times and I’ll say it two million times more – self-love is not candles, bubble baths, and manicures. Well, they can be, but the self-love that matters, and that most people are afraid of, is dark and transformative.
Self-love is forgiveness, unconditioning yourself of skewed beliefs, and accepting that you might have a fractured sense of self. It doesn’t just mean hair appointments and isolation, sometimes it means therapist appointments and opening up to those you love.
Self-love isn’t usually beautiful at first, it’s terrifying. But enduring the pain of diving into the depths of yourself versus enduring a life of false positivity is what makes it all worth it.
It is disconnecting from your past self to connect with your highest self that cultivates true light and love in your life.
The defining factor of self-love is embracing what makes me, me. I accept that I am not perfect, and give myself the compassion every person hopes to get from others—the compassion that should always start from within.
Self-love for me is doing my hair when I don’t want to and going for a run when it is cold outside. It is maintaining healthy relationships, feeding my brain, taking time for myself, understanding my boundaries, and working on maintaining them.
Self-love is forgiving myself and releasing myself of shame and guilt.
Accepting that I need to work on parts of me, but still loving myself in my current state.
Self-love is challenging.
And self-love is never finished.
Self-love provides you with a solid foundation from which you can manage the world around you. When you love and accept yourself, you are in less need of external validation.
You will also be more likely to try new things because when you love yourself, your self-worth isn't tied up with achievement. It is vital to nurture self-love and you can do this by minimizing negative self-talk and treating yourself with compassion.
Think of how you would treat someone you loved dearly and treat yourself in the same way. It's a no-brainer.
Self-love will help you to achieve your full potential.
Far more than any other type of positive attribute you may have.
True self-love begins by accepting the things you cannot change: skin color, your past, how you were raised, etc.
Acknowledge these and accept them as a part of your story, then redirect your focus on the things you'd like to change about yourself.
I'm not talking about plastic surgery—I'm talking about something much deeper. To fall in love with yourself, you first have to know that you were made in the image of God, and that He makes no mistakes. Only then can you step into your full potential and add value to the human race.
If you fail, it's okay.
Recognize you're humanity and forgive yourself. Let go of comparison because no one's story is the same. It's like comparing a pear to an orange. It just doesn't make sense and it's a waste of time.
Find the things and the people that make you truly healthy—emotionally, physically, socially, spiritually, and mentally. Develop your character, stay humble, keep a generous spirit, love others and you'll notice how easy it is to love yourself.
The journey to self-love is to get rid of the bullshit that the rest of the world puts into our heads. The voices that say we aren’t enough; that somehow we are supposed to be different than we in fact are.
It’s the ability to silence everything that isn’t our true authentic selves and tune into that inner knowing, the one that whispers within the darkest of times and tells us that we’re getting closer to the call of our soul.
To practice self-love is to accept ourselves, every facet, every shadow, every fear and also every bit of amazingness.
We have to become comfortable with our own nitty gritty; our moods, our dreams, our bodies and our desires so that we know who we are apart from anyone else that we might be around.
Self-love is the ability to be strong; to tell others that they are wrong, and stand so solidly in our beliefs that we cannot be shaken even within the strongest of influences.
To love ourselves is to understand that we are ever changing, that there will never be a point at which we are done, yet to love ourselves through that process is also to open the door to an everlasting relationship with not just ourselves—but our soul and the divine path that we were created for.
Instead of the comparative society of old, where we might compare ourselves to others when they get a new car or a new house, we are now bombarded on a daily basis through social media. While the comparisons may be subconscious, the effects are real.
And this is why self-love is more important than ever.
Being able to love yourself and be happy with who you are and where you are in life helps to prevent these negative comparisons. It’s important to remember that nobody is perfect, and that life isn’t a race; love yourself for who you are, and forgive yourself for things you’ve done wrong.
Every interaction and endeavor should start with self-love. Approach every opportunity to improve yourself from a place of self-love, and don’t be critical if you haven’t reached a goal or achievement in a finite amount of time.
Reflect on the positive, take pride in the progress you have made, and love yourself for every incremental step towards that goal.
Realize that all goals can be accomplished through consistent effort and self-love.
Self-love means honoring who I am in every moment and giving myself permission to slow down, pause, and reassess when needed. It means bringing self-discipline forward when it's needed to truly take care of myself and it means allowing all emotions to be free and flow from me so that I can release them.
Self-love isn't always easy, but it's always necessary. It means respecting myself and empowering my voice even when it shakes.
It means letting go of comparisons when it comes to others and even my past self.
Truly embracing where you are now, wherever that may be, however difficult it may feel, means you are giving yourself permission to use everything available to you right now to keep going forward. And that is a powerful gift. That, is self-love.
Self-love is important because when you love yourself, you choose strong friends that support and believe in you, you have more confidence in your abilities and skills, and you feel more empowered to achieve anything you desire.
How awesome is that?
When you choose to love yourself, you are choosing to be who you are all the time, which is really important because we need uniqueness in the world.
Self-love means choosing to love yourself through loving your body, skills, personality and more.
Through self-love, you make better choices in life because you know what you deserve and you continue to treat other people with more kindness and love.
The funny thing about self-love is that it is continual, ever-evolving, and continually changing. It’s easy to beat yourself up or feel like you are not enough. Or that haven’t accomplished as much like or want to in your life.
Everyone feels this at some point, no matter how successful they may be.
But these are all thoughts which are counterintuitive of self-love.
The good thing is you can always change your narrative. Self-love is the one thing you should never stop doing or lapse in no matter what is happening in your life.
Self-love is a coping tool of sorts. It helps you to increase your strength, focus and resolve no matter what challenges come your way. If you don’t have an appreciation of who you are, it’s nearly impossible to find this outside of yourself.
I know it’s tempting at times to be hard on yourself, especially when the chips are down and you experience difficult moments in your life.
But, it’s important to remember that you’re human too.
When you love yourself, you grow, expand, and become better. However, when you don’t love yourself, the opposite happens. When you are feeling down or not valuing yourself the way you should, remember to practice self-love.
The best way to learn to love yourself is to begin to witness all the ways you currently may not be behaving in a loving and respectful manner toward yourself.
Taking on that challenge, can you notice the ways you haven’t been kind to yourself, with compassion?
As a hypnotherapist and coach, my life’s work has been helping people lose weight permanently, but without the whip. Being gentle with yourself takes practice and patience. If you are like most of my clients, that’s probably not something you were taught. In fact, you may have been encouraged to be hard on yourself—to force yourself into shape.
I have found that the most effective way to love yourself is to first honor and respect yourself. That means noticing your thoughts and feelings without judging or needing to control them.
Loving yourself is asking yourself new questions, such as, “What am I needing in this situation?” “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?” “How can I honor and respect others, while still embracing my own sacred self?” “How can I grow and express the best parts of myself, while having deep compassion and care for the parts of me that are still afraid?”
Where can we begin? By dropping into the heart.
Your heart is the doorway to your vast, brilliant, creative, subconscious mind. Place your hand on your upper chest and focus on just breathing.
Connect to your Essence. This is who you really are. This is the part of you that already loves your magnificence. A great place to start is by focusing here. Every day.
For me, self-love has to start with self-worth, because how could we ever love ourselves if we perceive our own existence as flawed, unacceptable, inferior compared to everybody else?
How could we respect the person we are, if we believe we aren’t good enough?
If we are ashamed of our mediocre life, our mortifying mistakes and overwhelming shortcomings? And how would we ever create a caring relationship with ourselves if we feel altogether unworthy of love?
Self-love blossoms from self-worth. From the deep understanding that limitless, unconditional worth is an inherent part of our Being. We are worth. Personified. Every one of us.
You, just as you are right now in this moment, are worth. Your worth doesn’t depend on your success levels, your finances or looks. It is an intrinsic component of who you are. Unchangeable, endless, absolute.
You deserve happiness, fulfilment, support. As much as everybody else in this world. You are infinitely worthy of love.
And that, above all, includes your own.
When you start experiencing first hand, how self-love helps integrate and heal all the disowned, scared, hurt, shamed and unwanted parts inside, everything changes. Self-love dissolves the barriers that keep you from feeling happy, loved and fulfilled.
Give this a try:
Now just feel into that part in your body, where the judgment, shame and dislike is felt. Breathe into it with a kind “Hello” instead of the usual “Go away”. Do that a few more times with curiosity and kindness. Curiosity is a great way to learn from this pained part what it needs from you to help you feel better.
Notice what happens when you sincerely offer compassion and understanding to this part about how hard it is to be the receiver of such harshness.
Why not make this your daily practice? Please be gentle and loving to yourself—you deserve it!
The most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself.
Self-love occurs by deciding that it is okay to be who you are and recognizing that what you want is important.
Self-respect, responsibility for self, and feeling good are important values of self-love. Appreciation and acceptance of oneself, of flaws and strengths alike, allows for a balanced, loving approach toward ourselves. It cultivates creativity, resilience from adversity, and allows us to give freely to others.
What are characteristics of those who practice self-love? People who practice self-love:
Achieving self-love, personal appreciation, and acceptance is a continuous journey reinforced by actions that encourage and support our well-being.
These actions are different for everyone but doing what you think is best for you is what's most important.
These actions could include eating well and moving our body, making time for reflection or meditation, doing our best in all situations, being gentle on ourselves when we make mistakes, and choosing to have a positive outlook.
When we truly love and appreciate ourselves, then our hearts are open to love others.
Self-love means prioritizing myself over anything or anyone else without feeling selfish about it. It means having routines and habits that allow me to be a happy & healthy human. As someone who tends to be a perfectionist, it means giving myself some grace when I’ve pushed myself too far and accepting progress over perfection. It means replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations that lift me up.
It means crushing comparison and loving myself for who I am, flaws and all.
Because when I love myself first, I can love others. And lastly, self-love means being an advocate for self-love, inspiring and helping people to discover what it means to them.
Self-love to me means giving myself grace, acknowledging that I will mess up and make mistakes and ultimately accepting and learning that I am human. It means loving myself not just on the good days, but the hard days too, giving myself compassion and standing up for myself even when my voice shakes.
Self-love is about realizing that your worth does not depend on the things you do or the things you produce–it's about realizing you matter regardless and you are worthy.
Self-love means treating yourself with kindness and committing to trying to do that everyday and remembering that some days you will forget.
The most radical thing you can do in this world is to believe in yourself, look after yourself and love yourself. It's a daily practice but some of the most important work you can ever do.
The ripple effects are what change the world.
Self-love is so important. When you’re completely in love and confident within yourself, your life will flow. Being in love with yourself isn’t vain, it’s humble. It’s saying thank you for making me, me!
So many of us are too hard on ourselves. We beat ourselves up about spending that money, eating that cake, snapping at that person. You did or said those things at that time because there was a need for it. Be more forgiving and treat yourself kindly. You come first, and when you learn to love and appreciate you for who you really are, everyone around you benefits.
You can’t love or help anyone else, until you learn to love and help yourself first.
A little exercise I love to do at my events: Look at yourself from an outsider’s point of view. Close your eyes and really look at yourself as a stranger. Now you don’t have to feel funny complimenting yourself. What do you admire about this person you’re looking at? It’s amazing what this can help you realize.
And with these 22 pieces of amazing self-love advice, I guess it's safe to say:
We can do anything, not everything, but practicing self-love should definitely be our top priority.
What does self-love mean to you?