It can be hard to raise a strong sense of self, but it’s life-changing…
Unfortunately, there’s no class in our school system called “Learning how to love yourself.” Wouldn’t that be great if we all took a class like that?
You’ll be surprised how loving yourself is connected to multiple aspects of life, such as success, happiness, love, and even family relationships.
If you don’t love yourself, then everything else is affected. This means that your perception of yourself is most likely inadequate if you don’t see yourself as worthy.
But the truth is, the art of learning how to love yourself is easier said than done.
So where do we get our self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love from *or lack thereof*? It comes from a variety of places, but it all starts with our parents when we were children. It explains a lot about how you love yourself, which is often why children raised in broken families and unsupportive parents find it tough to love themselves.
Beyond your parents, however, a lot of other factors affect our self-esteem. The media, your peers, and comparing yourself to other people are all other things that can make or break your self-esteem and your ability to learn how to love yourself.
Why don’t we love ourselves?
There’s no single explanation for why we don’t love ourselves enough, but it’s usually caused by a terrible childhood. Or, it can also be caused by a toxic relationship or friendship that encouraged you to have that perception of yourself.
You don’t feel like you’re adequate because someone mistreated you, and you think this is how you deserve to be treated. We are our worst critics after all, so it’s a normal struggle.
However, at some point, you need to learn how to love yourself if you want to be truly happy in life.
The way we love ourselves affects all our decisions in life.
If anything, loving yourself can prevent you from terrible decisions you’ll likely regret in the future.
Loving yourself – The 23 ways towards unconditional self-love
The good news is that even if you feel like you don’t love yourself, you can learn. You are not destined to be a self-loather forever. But first, you need to realize that all the thoughts in your head about yourself are just that… thoughts. Thoughts aren’t necessarily true.
You might think they are, but they might not be. So here are some ways you can learn how to love yourself and become happier.
1. Write down your good qualities
Look, it’s so easy to critique yourself for all your negative qualities rather than looking at your strengths and weaknesses. However, you need to realize that writing down your good qualities will help you learn how to love yourself. You might be a very nice person, or maybe you’re really smart.
Write down as many as you think. Then look them over as often as you can – every day. You’ll thank us later for doing this regularly!
2. Write down your bad qualities
While it’s helpful to write down your good qualities, this goes for your bad qualities as well. This is much easier to do since we’re all naturally critics, but if you find it difficult to admit your faults, then this won’t be an easy task for you to do. After you do, you have to look them over and tell yourself why they aren’t bad.
Or if even they are, then you need to tell yourself how you are going to change those qualities. We can’t change all qualities we don’t like about ourselves, but we can try to make some of them better.
3. Set goals and find purpose
Goals are really important if you want to learn how to love yourself. Whether it’s losing weight, finding a job, or something as general as getting your sh*t together, you need to set goals. It gives you a sense of purpose and direction in life to keep you going forward.
Most importantly, it distracts you enough from dwelling in self-pity if ever you’re going through something devastating and difficult.
When you take steps to improve yourself or your life, you’ll start to learn how to love yourself more.
4. Talk to a friend
People are way harder on themselves than other people are. Our friends love us, and they usually see the best in us even when we don’t. It’s why friendships are so pure and why they can lift you when you’re feeling so judgmental and critical towards yourself.
By talking to a friend, it can change your perception. If other people see the beauty in even your flaws, so should you!
5. Go to a therapist
The thing is, you’re not crazy, and there’s nothing wrong with you just because you talk to a therapist. Society pushes this unhealthy notion on therapy that we should all just learn to let go of.
While friends are great to have as a support system, they are no substitute for a trained therapist or psychologist.
If you think your self-esteem is particularly low, try to find a therapist to help you through it. Your therapist will give you effective coping mechanisms to increase your self-image, helping you love yourself more.
6. Monitor your self-talk
This is really where all our self-esteem begins and ends. No one can change how you feel about yourself except you. But you have to first notice all the bad things you say about yourself – to yourself.
If you tend to talk negatively to yourself, this is also a sign you don’t respect yourself enough. If you want to know how to love yourself, then you need to monitor your self-talk.
7. Keep a journal
This is a useful tool to use when you are beginning to monitor your self-talk. When you catch yourself saying something bad about yourself, write it down in your journal. You get to reflect on everything and assess the way you talk to yourself.
The minute you see how badly you really talk to yourself, you can be more self-aware about your words moving forward. Remember that the way you’re thinking isn’t often what’s real.
8. Only associate with positive people
Negative people can drag anyone down with them. In fact, they want everyone around them to feel just as bad about themselves as they do. The people you surround yourself with will impact you more powerfully than you think, so choose your peers wisely.
You can’t learn how to love yourself if you don’t surround yourself with the right people. So, stay as far away from the toxic and bad ones as you can and surround yourself with only positive people who lift you.
9. Reflect on your accomplishments
We know how easy it is to focus on what you did wrong, but remember that there are also some things you did right.
We have all accomplished good things in our life, so remember those times and give yourself a pat on the back while you’re at it, and reflect on every one of your accomplishments. *both big and small!*
10. Look at what you’re grateful for
There is always, always something to be grateful for. Even if it’s just the roof over your head, food on your table, and a bed to sleep on, hey, that’s more than most of the people in the world have. When you’re in a state of appreciation, it’s more difficult to hate yourself.
Gratitude is a far stronger emotion than all the negativity you’re feeling towards yourself, so use that to your advantage!
11. Be patient with yourself
Remember, learning how to love yourself won’t happen overnight. The older you are, the more past programming you are going to have to undo. So there’s no reason for you to rush learning how to love yourself.
It takes a lot of self-awareness and reprogramming for you to change how you perceive yourself entirely. When you’re patient, you’re also consistent in bettering yourself every day and trust us, the results will pay off!
12. Stay true to your values
Don’t compromise who you are for other people. If you’re hanging out with people who make you feel bad about yourself and somehow make you compromise your values and who you are, then stop doing that.
Stay true to yourself. Your values reflect who you are entirely, so you can’t keep adjusting your values to please other people.
13. Be selfish
This sounds like a weird tip. But people who love themselves can set boundaries. They do this because they know they are worth it. It’s the reason why people pleasers often have issues with loving themselves and seeing their self-worth.
If you want to know how to love yourself, we’re not saying you need solely focus only on yourself, but at least learn to set boundaries. Don’t be a doormat for other people; you’ll end up empty!
14. Forgive yourself, and forgive other people
Forgiveness is the key to not only self-love, but to loving others. We have all done things in life that we regret. So, forgive yourself and do it better next time. And give others the same courtesy. You’ll always have difficulty in learning how to love yourself if you don’t forgive yourself first.
We’ve all made mistakes and made the wrong decisions, but that doesn’t mean you should dwell on them further. Forgive, and then let go.
This one might sound cheesy, but there is a lot of research that proves the power of visualization is real. Even Olympic athletes use it. So, visualize yourself loving yourself.
That way, you will eventually trick your subconscious into believing it is true. If you imagine it as your reality, it’ll eventually feel natural to you until you do end up loving yourself!
16. Don’t compare yourself to others
Comparison will rob your joy faster than anything else in this world. If you want to learn how to love yourself, then stop comparing yourself to others. What good will you get out of comparison, anyway?
You need to realize that your pace and progress will be different from others, so comparison isn’t a valid option. If anything, it’ll just bring out your insecurities and flaws.
17. Don’t seek validation from others
Validation will never come from the opinions of others, but it comes from within. Loving yourself doesn’t come from constantly seeking approval from others and from caring about everyone else’s opinions.
It’s your life, so at the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is your own.
18. Realize you’re not perfect
If you’re a perfectionist, then you’ll struggle with your self-image and self-worth for a long time to come. Learning how to love yourself comes from letting go of the ideals of perfectionism and coming to terms with your quirks and flaws.
Perfectionism is an impossible standard that you can never achieve. The earlier you realize that, the better.
19. Heal from your trauma
Your trauma is one of the reasons you don’t love yourself in the first place and think that you’re inadequate or worthless. So if you want to learn how to love yourself, healing from your trauma is the key.
Whether it’s your childhood trauma or relationship trauma, but you need to seek closure and acceptance to let go of the damage it caused in your life. Everyone has something they wish never happened in their lives, but you can’t change the past, no matter what. You can only move forward.
20. Refrain from overthinking
Overthinking is a terrible habit we’re all guilty of, some more than others. The more you overthink and constantly think of the worst possible scenarios that can happen, the more likely it’s going to happen.
No matter how hard it is to control your thoughts, you need to reprogram your mind to think more positively. You can’t love yourself overnight, but you can help yourself get there by thinking more positively.
21. Practice self-love activities
Self-love activities can help you feel more balanced within yourself. But also remember that self-love activities alone aren’t a magic pill for learning how to love yourself more.
They only serve to help you appreciate yourself and prioritize yourself more, but it’s not the only basis of loving yourself. So even if you constantly pamper yourself and exercise, these activities aren’t enough to love yourself entirely.
22. Have a plan for failure and rejection
When things go wrong, do you tend to have a plan, or do you resort to self-blame immediately? If you’re serious about loving yourself, then you can’t blame yourself every time. *it’s not healthy, and it isn’t always your fault!*
By having a plan and sticking to that plan, you can be more logical when failure and rejection happens.
23. Hold on to the reasons why you should love yourself
Why do you want to love yourself? Is it to feel more confident, to speak up more, to develop better friendships and relationships?
Having reasons why you need to focus on self-love can help you remember exactly why you’re trying to learn how to love yourself. Just in case you feel like giving up on yourself, these reasons will help you remember and keep you trying.
So, how do you love yourself more?
Loving yourself takes a lot of patience, respect, and effort. Just like you pour everything to love other people, the same should go for yourself!
Remember that you’re just as deserving of self-love, and there’s no reason you should refrain from giving yourself the love you so freely give to other people.
The key to loving yourself is to never give up on yourself. It doesn’t take overnight, but you’ll eventually get there and be so proud of yourself once you do!