What exactly is self-love?
Is it walking into Sephora and splurging on a new lipstick that you have been eyeing on? Is it treating yourself with a double scoop of mint chocolate ice-cream on your cheat day?
Yes, doing all of that may feel satisfying, but no, self-love does not simply stem from external happiness.
Self-love is NOT just a matter of feeling good.
Self-love is an act of appreciation for ourselves that supports our own happiness, well-being as well as our physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. It helps us expand our love for ourselves by accepting our strengths and weaknesses.
Now, why is it important?
It’s important because self-love is a component that leads to our self-esteem.
Let’s be real, how often do you find yourself genuinely mutter these words, “Wow! I really love myself!”?
I don’t know about you, but those words don’t come out as often for me.
I remember growing up during my primary school years. Back then, I was known as the happy-go-lucky kind of girl. I was always feeling content with myself, thus, I could never understand how a person could struggle with self-love.
“Do they not love themselves?” I wondered.
Little did I know, I begin to fall into the bandwagon. No one would have guessed that I had and still have trouble with self-love.
I begin to become extremely self-conscious. On a daily basis, I get anxious about the way I speak, the way I look in the mirror, and the way I dress.
Believe it or not, every time I walk through a busy walkway, I never seem to be able to walk passed a person without wishing I had an invisible coat on me.
I still find it difficult to do so up till today.
“Do I not love myself?”, I wondered.
Of course, I do love myself, but it isn’t that simple. Things are always easier said than done.
However, acknowledging the fact that I’m lacking in self-love and it is something that I need to work help.
I am still working on myself.
Many ‘soul searching’ has been done and I have found that by following these key steps, every day I am a step closer to genuinely loving myself.
#1 Accept your weaknesses.
Recognizing your weaknesses is the first step to self-acceptance. Acknowledge that even your weakest traits are as good as your strengths.
Remind yourself that it is okay to have flaws. The moment you accept your flaws, the things you hate about yourself will eventually turn into your favorite thing you love about yourself!
#2 Stop comparing yourself to others.
We have all come across selfies or OOTDs of your favorite social media personalities, secretly wishing that we look like them.
Sometimes, it’s okay to wish for something, but never compare yourself to someone else.
After all, what makes you, you is YOU.
By comparing yourself to others, it only makes you focus on the negative side of yourself. Remember that you are perfectly fine the way you are and there just so much more to be grateful for in life.
#3 Do not rely your happiness on someone else.
When you give someone the right to decide how happy you should be, you are also giving them the right to hurt you in the long run.
Be independent and have control of your own feelings.
Get a journal dedicated just for your happiness and jot down all the happy things that you have encountered. With that, you will not only find happiness within yourself but peace and balance in life.
#4 Talk to the mirror.
This can be a weird thing to do, but trust me, it works.
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and compliment yourself every once in a while.
By doing so, you’re giving yourself a boost of confidence. To be confident and beautiful, you don’t need to be accepted by others, you need to accept yourself.
#5 Keep it real
Be real and understand that we are all human and sometimes, we feel too much.
Tell yourself that it is OK to be sad at some point of the day, but keep in mind that life ain’t always sunshine and rainbows. Get up, move on and not dwell on it.
After all, tomorrow is always a new day to be happy about!
There are no right or wrong steps when it comes to discovering self-love.
Find out what works best for you.
Fully accepting yourself and genuine self-love does not happen overnight, just do what makes you happy.