Only when you begin to love and respect yourself, will others value their relationships with you.
What is self love? it is reflected in the type of choices we make as individuals. We can choose to be happy and creative; the two elements are tied to our self-esteem.
Have you ever wondered why ‘self-esteem’ is called self-esteem and not some other kind of esteem?
This is because self-esteem is the result of our opinion of our own actions. For instance, let us say, my boss got mad at me for supplying him with incorrect data.
He went into an anger-ridden tirade for a full 2 minutes in front of other colleagues, while enumerating my mistakes.
Should my boss’ outburst put down my self-esteem and ruin the rest of my working day and then make me sulk at my family members once I am home?
If one thinks rationally, yes, I may have made a mistake due to which my boss got livid at me.
But at the end of the day, he was just conveying a piece of information – that I bungled up. It doesn’t have the power to raise or lower my self-esteem, because it has no meaning. In fact, nothing means anything until we assign it a certain meaning. Till that time, it is just information. What we do with that information affects our self-esteem. So, our self-esteem comes from something we do in response to an external effect. It does not come from the event itself. When we know that we are in the wrong, we have to take corrective steps.
So, in the above example, we can distance the boss’ anger from the information that he was providing. His anger may have sprung due to different reasons – his problems at home, his own bad day at office, his inability to control his temper; etc. I cannot take his outburst personally. I cannot control his temper, but I can control my mind. I can apologize politely and assure him calmly that I will not goof up again. All that is remaining is rectify my errors and deliver superior quality work, because I have absolute control on my thoughts and actions.
Self-esteem increases with every action we take. Even if we initially fail to get an immediate result, self-esteem can increase. We face unfairness every day. It is what you do about it that matters. Actions are the only things that can fortify our inner strength, build our character and raise our self-esteem. And for that, we have to love ourselves and believe in our ability to take proactive action. Our self-esteem does not depend on thoughts or actions of other human beings.
The people who are truly happy are the ones who love themselves and take care of themselves.
These people are independent in their thoughts and careful yet proactive in their actions.
Individuals who love themselves, incidentally, appear attractive to others.
Loving yourself doesn’t mean having a superiority complex and believing that you are invincible. At the same time, it doesn’t mean being doubtful about yourself and letting people to walk all over you and poke fun at your expense. You must believe that you are the best version of yourself. To stick to this belief, you must work on your attitude and your physiology.
Here are some ways to help you love yourself more.
- List your strengths – No human being is perfect but everyone of them has a great set of points worth appreciating, you included. So, take a note-taking application or a piece of paper and list out your strengths or good points about yourselves. May be, you have a perfect looking nose, maybe you write expressively, or you are someone who keeps a tab on people’s birthdays and makes it a point to wish them in a committed manner. Think of the compliments you’ve earned. You may have earned a lot of praise for your ability to plan well; not many do that!
- Work on enhancing your personality – Everyone is good in certain areas, but have to work in other aspects, you included. Carefully assess what you need to know and get better at. Maybe you want to get better at communicating yourselves effectively or develop assertiveness in your approach. Maybe, you want to correct your walking style. Maybe, you feel that you wish you could cook as well as your friend. We are living in the best time of our lives, when information is literally at our fingertips. All you need to do is perform an action – research, learn, practice and get better at what you want to do or who want to be. When you are getting into the action mode, your self-esteem magnifies and you will love yourself.
- Work on your Body – Your body is the only home you will live in for the entire span of your life. It is very important to treat it with care, love and respect. Watch how your transform as a person, when you work on your body. Feed it the right food, exercise regularly, and declutter your mind away from negative thoughts. An empowering mind compliments a healthy body and vice-versa. A regular practice of good diet and daily exercising with a habit of cultivating rich, empowering thoughts results, will not only keep illnesses at bay; it will also make you beautiful and attractive as a person.
- Feed your mind with knowledge – Read good books which arm you with a strong, healthy mindset. There are tons of inspiring videos and movies that leave a lasting impact in your mind. Also, read up on books and material that teach you skillsets and techniques that make you more refined and knowledgeable as an individual.
- Treat yourself – Remember, no one knows you better than yourself. After all, if there is anyone who has spent most time with you, it is you. Give yourself a gift, treat yourself to a good dinner or a movie. And, no you are not alone. You are enjoying your company. There are people who appear to be hi-fiving in a party, but inside they are lonely. There is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely. You can be alone and still be supremely happy.
- Laugh and have fun – Life is too valuable to be taken seriously. Look at the funnier side of every event. Invest in humor, watch a lot of funny TV shows, read humorous material. Soon, you will develop a natural sense of humor, which will be irresistible to many.
- Listen to your favorite music and listen to interesting podcasts – Create a playlist of your favorite songs, especially upbeat and romantic numbers. Listen to podcasts and motivational audios of successful and happy people who have created a humor-rich, enjoyable, purposeful quality of life.
- Travel – It is not just about the places you visit, but also about the kind of journeys you take that makes travel fascinating. You could be going to the same place with your romantic partner, with your best buddy, your parents, with a group and just by yourself and each experience will have its own shades of thrill, adventure and bonding. Solo trips can be very educative, empowering and energizing. Take at least one or two solo trips once a year.
- Resist negativity – There are people who will always pull you down, discourage you, taunt, criticize you and state that you are not ‘cut out for it’. Also, there are many people like family members who do not mean to pull you down, they are just concerned and do not want you to face problems. In both cases, if you are assured that a particular venture will give you happiness, by all means; go ahead after doing adequate research.
- Practice Gratitude – Human beings are naturally honed to practice gratitude. That is why whenever we do something good for the benefit of people, we feel happy. A simple thing like helping someone who has lost his way, with proper directions to his destination will make you feel inherently happy. No matter how bad you feel about your life, there are millions of people who are not doing half as well as you. Do something for someone and you feel happiness blooming inside you. So, love yourself for the fact that you are special, and have the ability to touch and transform lives with your presence.