Why Your Lack of Self-Love Is Destroying Your Life and What You Can Do About It

I chat with women all the time who put the welfare of everyone including the family pet before theirs. They hold down a job, run around after their husband, ferry the kids around and collapse in a heap at the end of the day. On the surface everyone else is doing well but they are as resentful as hell and feel taken for granted. What is the problem here? They forgot to love themselves. They forgot to factor themselves into the equation and became an afterthought.

Self-love is the pathway to all love, and yet, we neglect to practise it with full intent and purpose. When we fail to love and accept ourselves, we operate from an emotionally deficient place. This can have disastrous consequences and result in failed marriages with the kids paying the price of the disruption, not to mention the effect on your career. You deserve love not only from those you surround yourself with, but especially by the most important person in your life — YOU.

Learning to love oneself can be challenging for many but it is not optional. You need it to get in touch with yourself and understand your needs emotionally, physically and mentally.  Your well-being depends on recognising your worth, being kind to yourself and having firm boundaries in place to ensure you are not taken for granted.

Self-acceptance leads to greater sense of satisfaction and stability in your life because your self-validation is internally generated rather than being dependent on external sources and circumstances as this research shows.

If you are at a loss as to where to start to love yourself, here are some powerful steps you can take to begin your self-love journey.

 

  • Be mindful in altering your thoughts.

Researchers say speaking to yourself positively helps to build self-esteem and confidence. Many of us have a tendency to be highly critical of ourselves. That critical inner voice is the biggest barrier, and it makes it impossible to love yourself. We tend to remember the negative things said to us as kids and we can carry this into adulthood. It is like there’s a path in your brain that goes to self-criticism by default when things go wrong. This only exacerbates the situation by creating anxiety that can sometimes lead to full-blown depression.

Be mindful, and practise saying nurturing things to yourself instead. Wake up in the morning with the intent to drown out those negative voices and replace them with thoughts like, “I’m enough, I deserve love, and I will be kind to myself today.

You want the positive thoughts to drown out the inner critic.

 

  • Be kind to yourself.

Planting those inner dialogues of love and encouragement in your head is just the start. You have to act on these thoughts too. As you have promised kindness to yourself, do so with commitment. Do not say mean things to yourself that you will not find acceptable to say to a close friend!

Self-care is pivotal, and you are responsible for your own well-being. You can start small in your conscious efforts in self-care. Enjoy leisure walks, incorporate healthier habits to your lifestyle, or just spoil yourself in little ways.

The important thing is you do something for yourself,  do it daily, until it becomes a habit.

 

  • Tell yourself you did good at the end of the day – whatever happens.

End the day by giving yourself recognition. Acknowledge struggles, but remember that you have powered through them. If things are not going well, be more aware of the effort you put in to build your life, rather than the failures. Be proud of yourself for not giving up.

If you feel that you messed up, be quick to forgive yourself. Being angry at yourself will not do any good. It will just amplify the voice of the inner critic making you anxious and diminishing your confidence.

Instead of blaming yourself, resolve to do better from now on, and put your energy into thinking of concrete plans to fix things.

When things are great, be generous in praising yourself. Cultivate your inner advocate and be your own biggest fan.

Do the above 3 things and before you know, you will start feeling different in yourself. You will find yourself smiling for no other reason apart from the fact that you love the person that you are becoming. Your relationship with yourself is permanent, therefore, you need to make sure it’s a loving one, then you can go ferrying around after everyone else.

 

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