Loving yourself is essential to enjoying life to its fullest in all aspects. I’m not that naive, although I’m a super positive person I know that there are times when for certain situations this approach isn’t going to work. Appreciating your values and worth, which can be developed through acts of kindness towards yourself can massively impact the decisions we make and the life’s we lead.
Throughout our lives, we are confronted with various work, life and body changes that can affect us immensely. One major change that I have recently experienced is becoming a parent, which has changed every aspect of my life, more than I thought was possible. Everything has changed, including my body and at times mental state, I’m more emotional these days that’s for sure and things affect me differently before having a baby. Learning to accept my new life and body has taken time, but certain practices have helped me to embrace, love and settle into my new groove:
1. Don’t compare yourself to others
‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ – so true! Sometimes we spend far too much time concentrating on what others are doing and forget to check in with ourselves. Focus on yourself, life isn’t a competition! Be happy with all that you are and be thankful that you have so many amazing people in your life to aspire to, don’t be jealous of their accomplishments or try to emulate them, just be you.
2. Embrace and recognise your flaws
There is nothing wrong with not being perfect…bah…what is perfect anyway? Having flaws is nothing to be ashamed of and sure enough we all have them. They make up your personality and how you approach life, I personally think the best thing is to learn from them and allow them to help you through life. The quicker you accept your flaws, rather than hating yourself for them the quicker you won’t let them hold you back.
3. Fall in love with yourself
I know it’s that old cliché again and it’s been doing the rounds lately, but truly I believe that being at war with yourself and self-sabotage is not the way forward if you are to live a positive and full life. Learning to accept who you are and what you stand for will boost your confidence and in turn open up so many doors for you because you have the self-belief that you are worthy and the courage to do so.
4. Stand up and be proud
Don’t be shy, if you have achieved something that you are proud of shout loud about it. Obviously, try not to shout too loud as it may come across as boasting, but you shouldn’t hide it either. Sharing your happy news is a fantastically simple way to encourage a positive outlook, which will help you on your journey of acceptance.
5. Realise Your Own Self-Worth
When you find the right path for yourself and figure out what you want from life, there will be struggles and obstacles in the way and it may take some time. Stay positive, believe in yourself and trust that you are worthy. Knowing your own self-worth will help you through these struggles and give you the courage to make it to the end.
6. Live for now
Capturing each moment in life, no matter how small means that we are able to give it more meaning and become more focused. Setting goals and plans for the future is important to know where we are going for our personal development, but the now is often overlooked as we plan for the unknown. It’s about finding a happy balance between the two and enjoying every moment as they unravel.
7. Be true to you
Being someone who you’re not to live up to someone else’s expectations is a rocky road to self-hate and upset. You should never have to suppress the real you for anyone and perhaps it means that this particular person is a negative influence in your life. Being happy with who you are is the first sign that you are comfortable in your own skin. Let the real you shine rather than living in somebody else’s shadow!
8. Write an open letter to yourself
When I have too much going on in my head I like to write it all down on a notepad or journal to find some clarity. The same can be done when you’re taking those first steps to acceptance to help cultivate gratitude about the things that you like about yourself. Be open and true, don’t hold anything back. Also, try not to focus on the positives in your letter, pulling out those negative traits is actually a good thing as it gives you something to work on to become a better person but also allows you to appreciate your flaws.
9. Practice Kindness towards yourself
A lot of the time we put too much pressure on ourselves to get things done and help others. I always say it, but ‘being selfish is the most selfless act towards yourself’. Learning to say ‘no’ and reigning things in isn’t a sign of failure, but a sign that you are practising an act of kindness towards yourself. Try to remember that you are doing the best you can!
10. Take some time to reflect
Making space in your day to practice mindfulness and reflect can really help establish a healthy process of evaluating your goals, values and path in life. It can become a real learning experience and can develop a deeper awareness of how you handle certain situations and connection with your body.
It’s very easy to pinpoint the negatives that you hate about yourself, but much harder to accept them – no one can help you do this, it’s ultimately all down to you. Learning to embrace your imperfections is a major act of self-love. After taking the massive leap of acceptance and being comfortable in your own skin so many new doors will open for you because you trust in yourself and believe that you are worthy of greatness.