How do you actually come to love yourself? If you read, last week’s post Do You Love Yourself. You start to understand that loving yourself makes a huge difference in who you are. No longer are you detesting the experience of going to Walmart. If you love yourself, you can more easily love others you accept a person’s shortcomings a lot easier than if you are always coming down on yourself. If you expect perfection in yourself then you won’t grant the needed grace to other people’s imperfections.
There were several different drawbacks mentioned, such as being quick to anger. You distrust everyone in that you expect everyone to let you down. You punish yourself for something most people can’t do. Often that punishment comes in the form of overeating, drinking, or some other addiction. All of this also created a serious scarcity mindset problem. Which makes it difficult for you to see the forest for the trees.
Yet somewhere you started to see that your self-esteem is low and you know that you have to change. You see that you really are hard on yourself and you wonder what could possibly it hurt to try to love yourself even a little bit more. Yet you have been in the self-hatred club for a long time and not sure, what you need to do. How do you love yourself? Are there any exercises or do you just wake up and say I love myself today!
Ways to Love yourself more
There are many different paths you can take to actually granting yourself, love. The following are some of the better ways I know of, but they are not limited to only this list.
Most important part
I am not going to bury the lead here. If there is, anything you want to take from this post is that you are the most important element to your world. If it wasn’t for you, your world wouldn’t exist, and unbelievably that would be a shame to not have you in this world. As HackSpirit points out, your world is lived out through your eyes. How you view your world and the events that you encounter are all processed through your mind. Your reality is not fixed. You have this almost god-like power to change your circumstance just by changing how you think of the events in your life.
Often the topic of negative events in your life can generate pity for yourself. Yet, if you change that thought which means you are changing your model, your outcome can drastically shift in whatever direction you choose. Therefore, if you look at your world with the tint of self-hate you are likely going to be more critical of yourself and others. You can choose to be frustrated at others as much as you are frustrated with yourself. The choice is up to you. You are the person who is in Full control of your life.
Self-Love accepts that you are not perfect.
How many times you have criticized someone for something that you find yourself doing? It is actually seldom that people recognize that they are judging others for their shortcomings. I have mentioned the Facebook group’s admin who stated that she hates all forms of negativity in her life and her Group. Then I was booted for pointing out that her hate for negativity is, in fact, negative action in her life and group.
We often don’t want to see that we have imperfections though seeing those faults we have actually doesn’t have to be an act of self-hate or self-loathing but can be an opportunity for allowing yourself grace and love to acknowledge the fact that you are far from perfect and that is just fine. You are allowed to screw up. Achieving a goal every single time on the first try isn’t going to happen. When you fail, it is actually an act of improving. You at least tried and you are willing to try again.
To do just that you have to understand you will fail. You will look like a fool in front of your friends or worse even strangers will see you try something and fail. That isn’t a bad thing either. You will inspire others when you grate yourself permission to love and respect yourself. Strangers will see you try something and it not work. Those strangers very well may judge you and think you are a fool or wasting your time. Then those strangers who are judging you will see you succeed and that ridicule will turn to admiration, all because you loved yourself enough to try.
Beware you will still fight your own worst critic.
Yes, there are times that you will face your worst critic. It is not who you think it’s not Shawn from 6th grade. It is the man in the mirror. Yes, you will have to counteract all the negative thoughts that circle around in your mind. This is a lot like Luke When he went into the cave in Dagobah and he fought who he thought was Darth Vader but only to find out that it was a fight with himself. You will have those types of fights often. Well minus the lightsabers.
You will have to fight sliding back into your old ways because the brain is very good at being efficient. The less energy it has to use the better. Making conscious changes to your life takes up a lot of mental energy. Again something, that his brain really doesn’t like to do. Therefore, when it can go on autopilot and do what it is comfortable and familiar to itself it will. That is one reason why people who are trying to quit smoking will often suddenly find a lit cigarette in their hands. They were in auto mode and their brain was just doing what it is used to doing.
Your brain enjoys taking the easy road. You will be criticizing yourself. You can’t love yourself very easily if you are constantly calling yourself stupid or saying that nobody wants to hear what you have to say. You will do something new and it will not go as smoothly as you would like for it too. After it is done, you could easily point out every little thing you did wrong, instead of congratulating yourself on doing something most people wouldn’t do. Giving yourself the needed congratulations maybe even a mental high five or two, goes a lot further than nitpicking. You can review what you did well and what you need to improve on. Remember that the failures you notice are opportunities for you to succeed even more next time.
How do you want to be treated?
Now this one is tough to do in the heat of the moment. But if you find yourself getting riled up, or you are ready to rip a person head off because they didn’t bring you your glass of water fast enough then look at their situation you may notice that, for instance, your waiter is the only person you are seeing running around in your section of the restaurant. Therefore, he may be slow because you are serving 20 other tables. Could you serve that entire table with a smile on your face? I know I couldn’t. So if you were the waiter, would like for the people you are waiting on to have an understanding mindset or would you rather have them yell at you?
So remember the golden rule treat others as you would like to be treated. Giving people that type of care allows you to feel good about yourself and yes, you are allowed to feel good about your actions if they go with your values.
When you love yourself and accept your faults, you will be more willing to overlook other people’s shortcomings.
Heal Your Wounds
You will have to face the inner demons. As mentioned before we are far from perfect. Maybe you use to habitually steal from Wal-Mart, and now when you hear of someone you know stole something, you ostracize them from your life. Even if the offense was that they forgot to put a bag of potatoes on the checkout counter. You block that person from your life even though the moment they noticed that they didn’t pay for the potatoes they went back in and rectified the problem. Why you are so hard on them, often this is called self-loathing. You can’t stand that you violated one of your core values and since you can’t accept that disdain able act, you hold everybody else to a higher level and try to make yourself feel better by using the nuclear option and removing all references of your lawless youth from your life.
You have to come to the fact that you again are not perfect and that the wounds you received from yourself or an abusive partner can be healed. Those wounds help define you to a point. Yet, again, your thoughts and your mind are what make up your reality. Nobody’s going to think less of you just because you didn’t something you view as terrible.
I for the longest time viewed myself as a horrible dad because I didn’t see my oldest daughter until she was over a year old. I denied her a relationship with me and me a relationship for her. Why, because I didn’t want to grow up. I was barely 22 now, and I wanted to run away from my responsibilities. Well, it took a while but I took responsibility for my actions and claimed the mantle of being a dad. Though my relationship with her has had its rocky portions, I am still her father.
So look at those old wounds. Examine the points of your life when you were wronged with full curiosity. Also, allow yourself the opportunity to heal you are a completely different person now than when you were that age. You view the world differently you may even have a completely different mindset. You may have been a pessimist and thinking that everyone was out to get you. While now you see that, you can help serve everyone and your life is now better because of it. Yeah was that dark time in your life. Yet, here you are stronger and smarter because of it.
Share who you are with others.
Now this one may scare the living dog crap out of you. What will people think? The reality you don’t know. Yet we as people grow when we help others. One of the major ways you can help others is to let them know that they are not alone. I know I am not the only man who has shirked his responsibilities as a father. Many young men do for many of the same reasons I did. Now I could shame them and harp on them why this is a horrible idea. Some would listen, while most would not take my message to heart. Yet, if I let them know that I did, the same thing it allows those young men to know that there is redemption for themselves.
We are all redeemable. We can be saved from that black horrible pit of despair we have put ourselves in. There is a great story that exemplifies this thought.
There was a man who was stuck in a deep hole. No matter how much he tried, he could not climb out. After a very long time, a social worker was walking by and the man yelled, “HELP!”
The social worker stopped and looked down into the hole and saw the manway down there. The social worker yelled, “Hey, you’re in a hole! I can help.” The worker then threw a bunch of forms down the hole. She then said Fill the forms out and bring them by the office when you can and walked away.
The man in the whole was dumbstruck how is he going to get the forms to her if he was stuck in this hole.
A few days later, a wealthy man was talking by and noticed the hole. When he looked down in the hole, he saw the man tired from the effort of climbing at the bottom of this pit.
The rich man yelled, “Hey! You’re in a hole. Here take this cash it should help.” Then threw him a thousand dollars down the hole. Again great but what is a thousand dollar going to do for our person in the hole?
A few days later, an ordinary man showed up to the hole, looked down, and saw the guy at the bottom.
The ordinary man yelled down, “Hey! You’re in a hole here let me help.” The man then proceeds to jump down the hole.
The man who has been stuck looks at the guy and says why you did that now we are both stuck. The ordinary guy says, “I have been here before. Let me show you the way out”
Those experiences you have can help not only you but those around you. Often when we have a scarcity mindset, we are afraid of what other people are going to think of us. Therefore, we don’t speak up. Yet if we love ourselves then we don’t care what others think of our experience. We forgave ourselves for the mess-ups a long time ago. WE now are able to proceed with more confidence because we have been here before.
Find the type of friends you would like to have.
It is easy to have the type of friend who can keep you comfortable. That type of friendship won’t help you grow. However, if you want to understand how to love yourself. Get friends who display the actions you look up to. Their mindset will help you change how you look at the world their mindset will assist in you changing your mindset.
IF you find that your attitude isn’t what you want it to be after hanging with your buds then you might start looking for people who are closer to what you are looking for. You don’t have to tell your old friends bye, but they will start fading from your life as your mindset changes. So yeah it can be a bit difficult when you see them and they ask what happened. They may not fully understand where you are coming from but you can be glad that you had them as friends and they helped propel you to the new levels as your newer friends have helped you. In addition, who knows you may have an old friend who realizes that your life is changing and they are willing to do the work to make the needed changes in themselves too.
Write in a gratitude Journal
Sometimes we have to see that we have love in our life to be able to feel loved. Writing in a gratitude journal will help you with that very task. As you start writing in your journal you will be surprised at all the different blessings you have in your life. The more you write the more love you start to realize you have. Soon your life is brighter and full of purpose. It sounds a bit woo woo and yeah I agree that it does. Yet there is evidence that gratitude journals help with your attitude, your mindset, the people you associate with, and how much success you receive in your life
Leave the cave and do something active
For you people who like to stay on the couch and watch nothing but Netflix show after Netflix show, ask yourself what are you hiding from? Because often when you are staying lost in the fantasy of television, you are avoiding something. I suggest you leave the cave. Treat your body to a little exercise. Perhaps, if the day is nice enough you could go walking in the grass barefoot. When you love yourself, you want to show yourself that you actually respect that temple that is known as a body. You don’t have to prepare for a marathon, but walking a mile or so would do you so much good. So treat your body well.
Get out of your comfort zone
Finally, challenge yourself. Take steps to get out of your comfort zone. Like Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing each day that scares you.” When you do and you achieve that success of reaching your goal or completing a hike or whatever type of challenge you give yourself you will be surprised at how much more respect you will feel for yourself. So make a goal, then Pursuit it with all the intensity of a gazelle running from a lion. With each challenge, you accomplish you will have more experience and more love and self-respect for yourself.
So, Self-love, it isn’t as dirty as it sounds. I do believe it is one of the basic building blocks of self-esteem and an abundant mindset. As anything worth doing, it is not easy. Of course, we don’t need easy we just need worth it. You are worth it. You are the greatest creation God has ever made. You are worth the time you spend on yourself. If you are hanging around people who don’t respect you, that is alright. You can find friends who will help build you up. You can join a mastermind, much like the Conclave of Men. This is a group of men who meet each week to make sure they are reaching for the topmost stars. If you would like to join, the Conclave of Men then apply and we will get you joined up. We may just have room for you. You won’t know until you ask.