Loving yourself may have become a self-help cliché, but I never grasp its importance until I knew about the Law of Attraction.
Under this law, like attracts like. Therefore, when you vibrate at the frequency of “I love myself,” you draw people who love you to your experience. On the contrary, if you believe that you don’t deserve love, you will magnetize people who won’t fall for you.
As it turns out, loving yourself before others serves a practical purpose.
Moreover, as you prioritize yourself and fulfill your needs and wants before others’, you naturally become happier and more confident, and your capacity to help others expands.
Nevertheless, few of us are expert at self-love. Parents and school teachers taught us that sacrifice is a virtue and that we should care for others before ourselves. Entrenched in the subconscious mind, these beliefs then shame us every time we try to prioritize ourselves.
Self-love paves the way to happiness. We might have missed it back then, but we can still pick it up at any time. And you will learn to love yourself and see the benefits that it brings about as long as you keep the intention and make consistent efforts. The 12 tips and techniques below are what have helped me on my journey. Take what resonates with you, practice on, and enjoy the process.
#1. Say “I Love Myself” Like A Mantra
Words matter. If you have zero ideas of how to love yourself, start with repeating these words.
Kamal Ravikant, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, wrote in his book “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” how he stood back on his feet simply by saying “I love myself” incessantly.
It might not sound right at the beginning, especially if you chronically criticize or hate yourself or tend to meet others’ needs before your own. Stick to the practice regardless, and let the phrase sink into your subconscious mind. You can also use self-love affirmations.
Like forming a new habit, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
#2. Accept Where You Are
We aren’t perfect and will never be. Life is a never-ending healing cycle and the more shadows we uncover and work on them, the more shadow we will reveal about ourselves.
Therefore, instead of chanting “I need to heal” and trying to fix yourself, make peace with your shadows. Never invalidate your feelings, even if they’re negative.
Your fear, insecurity, grief, self-pity, self-doubt, and resentment are all part of you and need your unconditional love and acceptance. To love yourself, stop judging your “flaws.”
#3. Meet Your Needs and Wants
What do you need? What do you want? Are you striving to meet them, or are you busy chasing what others expect of you?
Society may have you believe that you want success and wealth, while you crave love, connection, and following your passion. However, you may be ashamed of wanting them since they don’t fit in the box that others have imposed on you.
Love yourself by getting in touch with your true desires and taking actions to fulfill them. Some steps might seem frightful and irrational, but they will lead you to happiness. Baby steps will do!
#4. Nurture Your Mind and Body
One of the most self-loving practices is to attend to your body and mind. Commit to a healthy diet, stay away from drugs and alcohol, take time to exercise, and rest when your body needs to.
Touch and feel your body with love, gratitude, and admiration. Your body is the vessel for your soul to experience this physical world—it needs your love and nurturing.
Take time to be still or to meditate. It helps you to release stress and anxiety and connect you with your true self. The bliss, serenity, and vastness that you feel in a deep meditative state are like magic that you have never experienced before.
#5. Let Go of Traumas and Past Wounds
Traumas might have been such an integral part of your life that they become your identity. Who are you without them? What will be left to remember if you throw away those hurtful memories?
But holding on to traumas obscures your light. That true you that is fun, loving, blissful and compassionate can never shine if you choose to identify with pain, hurt, suffering, grieve, anger and resentment.
Do shadow work, acknowledge the traumatic experiences and let them go. You might need to do it more than once, and that’s okay. Just keep in mind that you are no longer the little child that had no power to guard him- or herself. You have full control of your life and can enjoy as much fun and happiness as you wish to.
As you practice on, you will begin to embrace the new you that is truly free, happy, and loved.
#6. Set Healthy Boundaries
Your boundaries outline your personal truth and your likes and dislikes, and they are set based on your feelings. When you feel bad, your boundaries are violated.
Realize that no one can violate your boundaries without your permission. For examples, you might want to spend a quiet night at home, but your friends egg you on to attend a party; you finally give in and go with them, but you feel sulky about it.
Love yourself by honoring your boundaries and how you feel. It’s your birthright to choose what feels good for you and follow that.
#7. Build Self-Worth
Our under-evolved society likes calling out “winners” and “losers” and often equates our value with our achievement. If you buy into that, you might have a hard time loving and appreciating yourself if you aren’t successful yet.
We are born worthy. Every one of us serves a unique purpose in the expansion of the Universe, and our value will never go away because we did or did not do something. We deserved love and happiness when we were born, and it remains so for the rest of our life. Loving yourself is to recognize and acknowledge your worth, even if you think you are far off the track.
#8. Walk Away from Toxic Relationships
Whether they are with romantic partners, friends, or family members, some relationships just drain your energy and make you feel imprisoned. Yet, you can’t talk yourselves out because you need love from these people.
However, needing love is a sign of lacking it. When you vibrate at the frequency that signals you don’t have love, your relationships will only serve to reinforce your state. Therefore, the longer you hold on to them, the more damage they will do to you.
Let go of toxic relationships and love yourself the way you want to be loved. Have faith that by doing so, you WILL magnetize genuine, loving relationships to your experience.
#9. Allow Yourself to be Vulnerable
Our society is obsessed with strength, willpower, and grit, and they are the three ingredients to achieving your goals, realizing your dreams and to fulfilling your potential. On the other hand, expressing your emotions is a sign of inadequacy and incompetence.
Love yourself by allowing yourself to be vulnerable sometimes: to have fear, to ask for help, to tank, to balk, to admit defeat. We are no longer that little child who would be punished by our parents if we appeared “weak.” Permit yourself to express your “negative” emotions without judgments.
#10. Stop Needing Approvals from Others
Others might be keen to tell you what is right and wrong, but only you know what serves your best interest. However, if you weren’t allowed to make decisions when you were a kid, you might find it hard to decide based on your beliefs and preferences as an adult.
However, everyone judges you through their lenses, which are heavily influenced by their experiences and perspectives. They can never know your truth. Only you understand what drives you to take the actions you take.
Love yourself by trusting your intuitions and following what feels right to you. Others’ opinions might be important—take them with a grain of salt.
#11. Make Time for Yourself
Others might expect you to be a hard-working citizen, a diligent employee, or a generous philanthropist. But what they don’t understand is that if you can’t meet your needs, you can never truly contribute to the society.
Love yourself by allowing time for yourself only and do what you want to do without purposes. It is when you have enough and feel fulfilled that you will be able to serve others unconditionally.
#12. Ask “What Would I Do If I Loved Myself?”
Incorporate self-love into your daily life and ask yourself “What would I do if I loved myself” before making every decision. From choosing a career to deciding what to have for dinner. Act on the answer you get.
Your ego might protest, but a self-loving decision is always the one that serves your highest good.
Learning how to love yourself is a lifelong process with no end to it, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Patience and consistent efforts are all that you need.
Commit to loving yourself. Trust that when you’re happy and fulfilled, everything falls into place.
What are your self-loving routines? Please share them in the comment box below!