Why Is Loving Yourself So Damn Hard?
Because it just is, isn’t it?
Even though we all know on some level that we need to love ourselves for ourselves, the emotion and the mindset don’t usually come easily. We are more often engaging in self-doubt than self-love, and the things we sometimes say to ourselves we’d never say to a friend… or even an enemy. So let’s explore why loving ourselves is so damn hard, and what we can do to make a change.
1) You are conditioned to be better
There is a consistent belief in our society that we always need to be better, do better, and have something better. It’s the consumer society’s way of getting us to spend money, after all. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with working on yourself and aiming to be better. However, there needs to be a balance here, and you can love yourself as you are now while you are also striving to become a better version of yourself. Realizing this is the first step in the healing process.
2) Loving yourself equals being selfish
This is the ultimate piece of bulls*it we have all been made to believe at some point. We are taught to be selfless, so putting yourself first somehow got equated to being selfish. Which is just wrong. Not only is it wrong on so many levels, but it is also untrue. Remember how you are always told to put the oxygen mask on yourself before trying to help a fellow passenger on a plane? The exact same thing is true in life. Make sure you are okay first, and then you’ll be able to make sure everyone else is fine too.
3) Others tell you you are not worth it
We’ve all heard someone tell us or show us we are not worthy of something – whether it’s support at a specific moment, understanding, sacrifice, or even love. An ex, a parent, a friend, a teacher, an acquaintance, a stranger – we all get hurt by others sometimes. However, there is no reason why we should believe these people in the first place. Funny how we are ready to believe the worst of ourselves when someone says something unkind, but how we are unwilling to accept all the compliments we get. We dismiss the positives lightly but hold on to the negatives as if they were a lifejacket.
Stop believing the negatives you hear about yourself – and only welcome the positives. But ultimately remember it’s you who needs to love yourself, and not the rest of the world. If you do, the rest of the world will follow.
4) Others are just better than you
We are also often guilty of comparing ourselves to others, and since there will always be someone out there who is better – in whatever way – we tend to think of ourselves as less than. Comparisons breed nothing but frustration, and we need to teach ourselves that the only person we need to be comparing ourselves to is the person we were yesterday. Sounds like such a cliché, I know, but it’s so true.
How to love yourself more
Let’s look at a few ways you can start loving yourself more and better:
- Sleep more – When you are sleep deprived, you can’t think straight. And there is no reason to deprive yourself of sleep, no matter what the modern lifestyle dictates. Look for ways to fix your sleep schedule and don’t beat yourself up for it.
- Cut out the negative – Whether it’s negative thoughts or negative people, things you don’t want to do or events you don’t want to attend, cut out everything that makes you harbor negative emotions and replace them with positive ones.
- Take care of your body – Make it a habit to eat well, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and pamper your body. From your hair to the tips of your toes, find products and rituals you like and reward yourself with some of them every single day.
- Stop waiting for something – We all tend to wait for things: to get married, have kids, finish university, to have enough money, etc. But all that waiting just means we’re not focusing on the now and the living. Stop anticipating the future; instead, focus on the present day and how you can make the most of it.
- Remember you deserve it – No matter what that jaded voice in your head tells you, remember that you deserve all the love you can give yourself. Every single bit of it! The voice will get tired eventually and shut up.
It may take you some time to get used to your new “in love with myself” mindset. But once you do, you’ll notice how life suddenly takes on a whole new dimension. Enjoy it and make it last.
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