It’s no secret that inner happiness is going to impact every facet of your life. When we love ourselves, it shows. We radiate confidence. Our relationships flourish. Our career performance enhances. We stand a little taller, smile a little brighter. So why is it we continually put ourselves last? We are easy to show love and compassion towards our significant others, friends, family members, employers, co-workers, the mailman, our dentist, but not ourselves.
Somewhere along the way we forgot about the most important person: OURSELVES!
Before we can truly flourish in the other areas of our lives, we need to love and accept ourselves first.
Sounds easier said than done, I know. I am also aware that after you read this post you are not magically going to be someone who makes a complete 180 and falls in love with yourself overnight. Not going to happen. Instead, this is meant to serve as a way to get your thinking about how you can start to implement changes to work towards this bigger goal.
Find what makes you happy. Do you even know what makes you happy? It seems like a silly question but take a moment to really think about this. When was the last time you actually felt pure joy? Take some time to reflect on what makes you happy. What lights you up? What makes you smile? What makes you feel good? Knowing what makes you happy is important because once you can identify what makes you happy, you can implement more of that into your routine. We tend to forget what makes us happy because we are so preoccupied by the day-to-day demands life throws at us. Take some time to really evaluate what makes you happy and how you can do more of whatever that looks like.
Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Our inner circle is such a vital part of our happiness. When we surround ourselves with people who love us, motivate us, inspire us, and make us feel good about ourselves we undoubtedly begin to feel happier. While it’s important to love yourself despite the love from others, it is important to surround yourself with people who love you and remind you just how amazing and incredible you are. If your inner circle is not lifting you up, time to find a new circle.
Step outside of your comfort zone. When we challenge ourselves and push ourselves outside of our comfort zones, we are building our confidence. When we feel good about our achievements and take time to recognize our growth, it lights us up inside. Accomplishing things, reaching goals, and doing something scary allows us to realize our true potential. It’s hard not to be proud of yourself when you’ve accomplished something outside of your comfort zone, no matter how big or small.
Advocate for yourself. When individuals struggle with self-love and self-worth, they tend to let others walk all over them. Advocating for yourself, your needs, and your wants is going to help you feel empowered. This can be as simple as communicating to your spouse what you need from them. Or, communicating to your friend group how something made you feel. By advocating for yourself, you are choosing to put your needs first. You are demonstrating that you are worthy enough to be heard and considered. You are deciding to love yourself enough to fight for what you need.
Do more of what you love. Remember when I challenged you to find what makes you happy? Great! Now do it! We so often don’t do what makes us happy. Why? Because we are busy doing other things that we feel are more important or vital. This means we are actively choosing to put aside our happiness. Think about that for a second! How backwards is that?! Take a moment to look at your day-to-day responsibilities. Is what makes you happy part of that routine? If not, time to make adjustments.
Stop trying to reach others expectations of you. When we live our lives based on the exceptions of others, we are forgetting about our own expectations for ourselves. The only expectation which matters is the one you set for yourself. Everyone in your life is going to have an opinion about you and what you should be doing, but it doesn’t matter. I am not saying ignore what others have to say, as sometimes those in our lives truly do mean well, but what I am trying to highlight is the importance of not focusing your entire being on their opinions or beliefs. If you want to love yourself, you need to trust yourself.
Have daily self-love chats. This is going to sound corny but stick with me for a second. What is your inner monologue like? Is it negative? Are you putting yourself down? Are you saying mean things to yourself? If so, time to change the way you talk to yourself. What we think about ourselves impacts how we feel about ourselves as well as our actions. So, if you are telling yourself nothing but negative comments, that is going to reflect in the way you view yourself as well as the way you live your life. Each day, try saying ONE positive about yourself. Say it out loud. Write it on a post-it and stick it on your mirror. Write it in your journal. The more you do this, the more organically it begins to happen. How can you practice self-love if you’re consistently doing the opposite?!
Self-care: Oh, self-care. At this point, everyone knows about self-care from social media posts, blog posts, podcasts, books, etc. What most people aren’t doing though is implementing self-care into their daily routine. You more than likely take care of everyone else. So, why are you last on that list? How can you possibly feel good about yourself when you’re not even taking the time to take care of yourself? How can others give you what you need when you’re not even giving it to yourself? Time for an adjustment. Think of one thing each day you can do which is just for YOU. Even if it’s as simple as a cup of tea and 5mins of quiet.
See yourself the way others see you. I always say I wish each of us could see ourselves the way our loved ones see us. We tend to be most critical of ourselves and as such, often forget to show ourselves love and compassion. Think about it, *typically* when we see our loved ones, we feel happy and excited for the things they have going on in their lives. We compliment them. We feel proud of them. We encourage them. We praise them. This is how you should be feeling about yourself, too! Showing yourself the same love others show you is going to help you in taking steps towards loving yourself. Also, remember when I said the impact our inner circle has on us? If you read this section and thought about how your loved ones don’t do this, then again, time to reevaluate those closest to you.
I would LOVE to know what spoke to you today and encourage you to comment below and share with me! If you loved what you read, be sure to subscribe to my blog to be the first to get new posts!
If you are interested in learning more about my therapy services, check out my website HERE. Seeking mental health services can be daunting and if you are finding my posts resonate with you, it is likely you are feeling ready to take that next step to work on leading a happier, healthier life! I would LOVE to support you in starting this journey and welcome you to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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