Besides the obvious fact that you have to be with you for life, loving yourself is one of the most important and most overlooked aspects of living an extraordinary life. Below, you’ll learn how to love yourself unconditionally using four easy strategies.
Loving yourself is also a critical aspect of being likable. It’s crucial if you want to attract great people into your life. People instinctively and unconsciously like to be around people that love themselves. They exude confidence and occur as natural leaders.
When you are settled in who you are — in other words, you love yourself unconditionally — you present to others as a confident force who is passionate about life. (see also: How to improve self-esteem)
You also show up as someone who stands for what you believe in. What I mean by this, is that you express your opinions, and you do it in a way that aren’t a put off to others.
You don’t waiver when other people think differently than you on certain topics. You believe in yourself and you follow your truth. And, when you really want something you are unstoppable in pursuing it.
Being good with you is a crucial component of your likeability factor too. It’s something you should nurture and tend to. Like any relationship it takes work. It requires that you actively commit to learning how to: Manage and set aside negative thoughts about yourself when you have them; honor your strengths and greatest traits, and; treat yourself with kindness and respect. How to love yourself unconditionally is not difficult. But it takes conscious effort.
People will sense when you don’t love yourself. It will affect their desire to want to be around you. Here are some simple steps you can take to have a great relationship with you.
How to love yourself unconditionally
Spend Time with Yourself
When you spend time alone, you can hear your thoughts. You can be silent and listen to what you are telling you and what you know you need. Listen and honor what that inner voice says. I recommend having a dedicated “me time” date every week.
In addition, you may want to start a practice of mirror work. This is a daily ritual where you stand in front of the mirror, hang out with yourself, and tell yourself you’re awesome.
Many people have difficulty being with themselves in the mirror. With continued practice of doing this for as little as two minutes a day within as little as a week you will experience a tremendous boost of confidence. This will translate to increased results in all areas of your life.
Honor Your Inner Voice
All people have an instinct, a sixth sense, for knowing what they need. Part of loving yourself means honoring your little voice. When it tells you to do something, reflect on what it’s saying.
When you listen regularly you will hear recurring themes. Honor your voice by doing what it tells you. This is especially true when something nags at you and continues to speak to you.
Feed Your Ego
It’s very important you feed the ego part of yourself. This is the selfish part of you. It’s the part that wants that new outfit when you’re out shopping, or to eat that piece of cake.
It’s crucial you feed your ego regularly. If you don’t — if you starve your desires — this self-denial will bite you in the butt. One day you’ll mentally collapse or have might have a mini-breakdown. You have to indulge in your healthy desires. (Even if the occasional piece of cake is unhealthy, it’s health to indulge.)
Use the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time do what is sensible and what is good for versus what you feel like doing. 20% of the time indulge in the things you want and desire for no reason.
Don’t feel bad about doing this. It’s important. If you don’t indulge on regular basis you will force yourself into an unhealthy state of desire. Not honoring the ego will have it turn against you.
Ever seen a dieter starve themselves for weeks on kale and then one day lose their mind and blow through all the food in their kitchen cupboards sniffing out every sugary crumb? This is the kind of situation you want to avoid.
Positive Self Talk
Every human has a constant negative voice that runs in their head. When your internal voice says negative things do you tell it to “shut up”? Sometimes you just have to do this.
If you have trouble telling yourself you’re awesome and avoiding your negative self talk, having a weekly date with yourself and doing mirror work with positive affirmations, is even more important of practice.
If there are times where your negative self talk becomes unbearable, you may want to have someone in your life tell you you’re full of BS. Really. Take control of the negative voice. Thank it for sharing and tell it to go stuff it. It will never go away, but you can learn to dominate it.
Some people think that loving yourself is not easy. Some don’t think twice about it. It depends how you were raised. Who you role models were. And what kind of parenting you had.
No one teaches you to actively love yourself. It’s not something we’re taught to do. But it’s the most important thing. And it can be learned. You can overcome a life of not loving yourself. Regardless of how old you are today. And the sooner you start to do it, the sooner you’ll get good at it. And that’s when you will transform and life will suddenly start to become easier. It is actually a bit of a miracle.
This skill is critical when it comes to your ability to be a business partner, friend, a parent and especially a spouse. If you don’t love you, how can you love and appreciate others?
If you don’t love you, how can you live a life you love that does you justice? Loving yourself translates to massive power. When you can get to that place life becomes really easy. And success will come naturally in every part of your life.
It’s not like you just wake up and suddenly love yourself. It’s like any relationship – it takes work. Somedays it’s harder to love yourself than others. With practice and a commitment to it you will become a master. Do the work. You will reap the benefits.
Let’s talk about specifics. Here is a simple exercise.
- Close your eyes and clear your mind for a few seconds.
- Breathe deeply.
- Now and think about how awesome you are. You can even say in your head to yourself: “I am awesome.” You can list the reasons why, if you like.
- Then listen.
- Soon, your inner critic will voice its opinion. It might occur like doubt. Or it may ridicule you: “This is a dumb exercise.” or…”You actually believe this crap?” Or it may immediately say. No you are not. Remember the time that you…[it will then tell you what you did that was not awesome].
- Notice what it says. If it is complimentary, thank it. (It might, but probably won’t.) If it is not complimentary, thank it for its opinion. Or if it’s nasty. Tell it to shut up. Discard all the reasons it gives you why it disagrees with you. Reaffirm why you are awesome.
- This may not be easy for some. That’s ok. It takes practice.
- If sometime comes up that you see is not awesome, forgive yourself. Acknowledge it. Something like…”Ok, yes I wasn’t awesome that time, but I am now and will be in future.”
If you’d like to incorporate a mirror work practice into your life or encourage yourself to think more positively about yourself, download and use this free audio pep talk tool and watch the video here.