Often you will hear people talk about self love, but what does it mean to love yourself?
Self love is about loving and appreciating yourself. When you love yourself, you hold yourself in high regard, you respect yourself, your own happiness comes first, and you don’t put others’ needs ahead of your own.
Practicing self-love means never settling for less than you deserve, and knowing that it’s always alright to be yourself.
Authenticity and being the best version of yourself will require work on your part. It takes continuous effort to cultivate a healthy sense of self-worth. But like anything else, once you develop the habit, it gets easier. Over time, you can go from actively berating yourself, to absolutely not tolerating it from yourself or anyone else!
Self love is about being calm, patient, and understanding with yourself. It’s about treating yourself as a loving parent would. For example, if you are starting something new and you are making mistakes, you would treat yourself with love, patience, and understanding.
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Because we each have our own unique approaches to self-love, it can mean different things to different people. It is therefore important that you figure out what self-love means to you. For example, if one person is having a bad day, she may practice self-care by indulging in her favorite candy bar. Another person may see candy bars as toxic, and may prefer to practice self love by taking a hot bubble bath.
Self love is important, but it is not necessarily easy, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you. In fact, if you are a self-deprecating person, self love will feel strange to you. If you’ve been telling yourself how fat and ugly you are for years, it will feel downright weird to start telling yourself that you are beautiful and perfect.
What is self love in action
Self-love comes from doing things that help you develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. There are tons of ways to practice self love, but no matter what you do, self love in action looks something like this:
Being assertive and standing up for yourself.
Prioritizing your health and wellbeing.
Forgiving yourself when you make mistakes.
Recognizing your strengths.
Spending time with people who support you, and avoiding people who don’t.
Valuing yourself and your feelings.
Acknowledging your progress and efforts.
Giving yourself healthy treats.
Living in accordance with your values.
Accepting your imperfections.
Saying positive things to yourself.
Holding yourself accountable.
Setting realistic goals and expectations.
Making healthy choices most of the time.
Not allowing others to take advantage of you.
Asking for help when you need it.
Pursuing your own interests and goals.
Meeting your own needs.
Letting go of grudges or anger that hold you back.
Self-love is an important foundation. It allows us to set boundaries, practice self-care, be assertive, create healthy relationships, feel proud of ourselves, and pursue our own interests and goals.
Why is self love so important?
The reason some people do not love themselves is because they don’t think they are worthy of love. People who don’t love themselves are likely to:
be very critical of themselves;
allow others to abuse or mistreat them;
neglect their own needs and feelings;
sabotage themselves or make decisions that are not in their best interest.
What's the difference between self love and narcissism?
There is a vast difference between narcissism and self love. Narcissists think they’re better than everyone else. They won’t admit or take responsibility for their mistakes and flaws, and they’re always looking for extra validation and recognition from other people. Narcissists don’t care about other people.
When psychologists and therapists talk about self-love, this is not what they are talking about.
By loving yourself, you are not meant to put yourself on a pedestal above the rest of the world. Self love is not about putting on a show about how great you are. Rather, self-love is about loving yourself in a healthy way. Members of the self love club know that they are flawed and make mistakes, but they accept and care about themselves despite their imperfections.
Self-love doesn’t stop you from caring about other people. It simply means that you can treat yourself with the same kindness that you treat other people.