When it comes to self-love, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about “positive thinking” and “meditation” for one lifetime.
But if you’re looking for some practical strategies that will help you believe in yourself again, then you’ll love this post.
It’s a simple list of 10 no bullsh*t tips on how to love yourself and be confident in who you are.
1) Your thoughts are just thoughts – nothing more
The first thing you need to realize is that most of us are inherently negative.
We have about 65,000 thoughts every day, and shockingly, 70 percent of them are negative.
Because fears and worries are necessary for us to protect ourselves.
But this survival mechanism can work against us, which is why you’re experiencing self-doubt and self-criticism right now.
So, what can you do?
Well, what you need to realize is that while your thoughts can’t necessarily be changed, you can you stop believing them.
Thoughts are just thoughts – nothing more. Here’s an inspiring quote from Allan Lokos:
“Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.”
2) What do you really want to do with your life?
Do you have a purpose?
Understanding what you want and where you want to go is crucial to being happy and finding meaning in life.
However, you probably already know that.
So if you don’t know what to with your life, how in the hell can you figure it out?
There is a way.
According to Ideapod, these thought-provoking, weird questions have the power to unlock your purpose that has been hidden from you until now.
Check them out:
- What were you passionate about as a child?
- If you didn’t have a job, how would you choose to fill your hours?
- What makes you forget about the world around you?
- What issues do you hold close to your heart?
- Who do you spend time with and what do you talk about?
- What is on your bucket list?
- If you had a dream, could you make it happen?
Remember, if you want to learn how to love yourself, then you need to have a purpose that unlocks that love.
3) What are you appreciative for?
Being grateful is a powerful attitude that can shape your mindset for the better.
According to Psychology Today, mentally strong people choose to exchange self-pity for gratitude.
What’s more, studies have shown gratitude to improve physical health, psychological health and open the door to more relationships.
At its core, gratitude will help you develop a more positive mindset.
But I’m sure wondering:
How do you develop gratitude in the first place?
According to Unstuck, one of the easiest ways to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal.
Every morning you could write down a few things that you’re grateful for in your life. Get in the routine and you’ll be more appreciative by the day.
Here’s a great quote from Roy T. Bennett:
“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.”
4) It’s time to get out of your comfort zone, step-by-step…
I’m sure you’ve heard that progress can’t be made in your comfort zone.
And as annoying as it is, it’s true.
If you’re struggling to love yourself, then I’m also going to guess that you’re staying in your comfort zone as well.
But you don’t have to do something immensely scary to get out of your comfort zone. You can take little steps to expand it and make progress.
So, how can you break through that comfort zone? First, write down activities that make you feel slightly nervous.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be something big. It can be small, just as long as it’s something relatively new and it makes you nervous.
Then go about knocking those tasks off. Once you get through them, you’ll start to believe in yourself and everything that you can achieve.
5) As you make progress, people will try to pull you down
If you do all of the previous 4 points, you’ll start to see changes in yourself, no question….
But you know what happens when you start to improve?
Your friends, colleagues and maybe even family members will start to put you down.
Because it’s the natural order of things. They’ve put you in a box and it messes with their mind when you start to change.
So you’re going to have summon up some courage and ignore criticism from others.
If you’re becoming more confident and happy, then that’s all that should really matter…
6) Get out there and exercise
You might not like to hear this one, but it’s probably one of the most powerful things you can do.
Not only will you start to be healthier, but you’ll feel better about yourself as well.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), there’s usually an instant mood-enhancing effect about five minutes after you start a workout.
And when done consistently, exercise helps reduce long-term feelings of depression and anxiety, and in turn, can help you maintain a healthy sense of self-confidence.
So whether it’s aerobic exercise or weight lifting, get out there and get it done! You’ll start to feel better about yourself in no time.
7) Who are you surrounding yourself with?
This is an important cog that often goes unnoticed.
We’re all influenced by who we spend most of our time with. Consider this quote from Tim Ferriss:
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
True, isn’t it?
So if you think that some of your friends are toxic and have a habit of putting you down, you might want to find some new ones. You know, people you actually like and admire.
If your friends are positive and uplifting, you’ll begin to feel better about yourself as well.
8) Accept your emotions without judging them
Whenever we experience an uncomfortable feeling, such as sadness, fear or anger, our first instinct is to ignore it, reject it or push it away. And this fair enough, we don’t really want to walk around feeling emotional pain all the time.
However, when we reject our emotions, we may actually make things worse off. Emotions give us useful information about our lives.
A much better tactic for your own emotional health is to practice acceptance. This means allowing your emotions to just be without negatively judging them or trying to change them.
It’s understanding that you don’t need to “control” your emotions. They cannot do any damage to you.
In fact, the things you do to get rid of negative emotions, like alcohol or eating cake, can do more damage to you.
Studies show that learning to accept your emotions leads to stable emotional resilience, and those that regularly practice acceptance show fewer signs of anxiety and depression.
However, it is important to not confuse acceptance with self-imposed suffering. When you are treated unfairly by a superior, that doesn’t mean you should accept it.
Acceptance is about balance. Western society encourages us to be positive all the time, but that’s not realistic. Instead, we must lives our lives with both the negative and the positive, which helps us live a life of contentment.
In the end if you’re able to accept yourself and all of your emotions, you’ll be more easily able to love yourself.
9) Get rid of these 5 toxic beliefs
Your beliefs shape your perspective on life. But if your beliefs aren’t accurate, they could be negatively affecting you.
Here are some common toxic beliefs that can sabotage our life:
1. The present is indicative of the future
When life isn’t going well, it’s common to believe that your life will be always be like this. And when things are going great, we think it won’t last long.
This is a self-fulfilling prophecy and it’s bad judgment. The truth is, change is the only constant in the universe. Nothing remains fixed. So when things are going bad, realize that eventually it has to change.
2. Being vulnerable is dangerous
No one enjoys feeling uncomfortable. But the truth is progress can only occur when you step out of your comfort zone.
And the only way you’ll be able to do that is by embracing imperfection and accepting that you’re going to feel uncomfortable.
Embrace who you are and what you’re feeling. You might find that it leads to insights that you never thought were possible.
3. Being alone is a problem
If you can’t be comfortable spending time with yourself, how can you love yourself?
This is a dangerous belief because in life, the only person we can rely on is ourselves. As Buddhism says, happiness can only come from within yourself, so stop seeking external factors to make you happy.
4. Fitting in is a good thing
We’re taught to believe that we need to fit in if we want to be happy. But the problem with this is that you don’t embrace the idea that you’re unique.
Instead you try to fit inside a limiting box society has created for you to be ‘normal’.
Embrace who you are. The most happy people are authentic people.
5. What everyone does to you is personal
Some of us tend to think that anything happening to us is a direct assault on us. But when we start seeing the world this way, it can quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The truth is, the world isn’t out to get you and neither are other people. What people think about you says more about them than it does about you.
We all have a lens with which we see the world, so choose yours to be optimistic and hopeful. Your mind will thank you for it.
10) Do what you’ll say you’ll do
If you want to be proud of yourself and who you are, take action when you say you’ll take action.
How do you feel when someone says they’ll do something and then they don’t? They lose credibility.
So build your own credibility with yourself. Live with integrity.
Every time you take action and achieve something, you build confidence in yourself.
After all, life is about taking action, engaging in new experiences and achieving goals. And these goals don’t have to be big. The smaller ones are perhaps more important. If you say you’re going to clean the house, do it! It’ll make you happy.
In fact, according to Psychology Today, by setting small goals and achieving them, your bran may receive a spike in dopamine – a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good. This is why people benefit from to-do lists.
Loving yourself is crucial for your own emotional health and ability to reach your potential.
The good news is, we’re all capable of believing in ourself and living the best life we possibly can.
The trick is to find what you’re really passionate about, what you purpose is and to appreciate what you have right now, rather than wanting things to be different.
Once you’re grateful for what’s in your life, you’ll be able to accept who you are and what you’re feeling – a crucial tenet of being able to truly love yourself.
Check out Hack Spirit's eBook on How to be your own life coach: 10 essential steps to creating a life you love.
Here's what you'll get:
- Learn the 10 crucial steps to creating a life you love
- Practical techniques and exercises throughout to work out who you are, where you are and what you want to achieve in life
- Affirmations, quotes and motivational techniques to keep you going...even through tough times
- Practical case studies showing what works and what doesn’t
Check it out here.