I find myself getting stuck on how to begin this post because let’s be honest the title is such a cliché isn’t it? Love yourself first before anyone else can. Usually this is where the advice ends from your wonderful friends and family and you are then left wondering, ‘how do I love myself? I’m a mess!’
People will tell you that someone will love you just the way you are, but if you are actually a mess you’ll likely attract someone into your life who is also a mess! To love yourself you have to do things that prove to you that you are worthy of being loved. Do things for you, that boost your confidence and move you forward with your life.
You can start simple here and build up! Maybe simply wash you hair, paint your nails, tidy your house. These little wins will help stack up very quickly building your self-esteem! Once you have tackled some of the easier wins, look to tackle some of those harder, but achievable goals. These are totally personal to you but perhaps starting an exercise regime, get your finances in order, redecorate a room in your house. Anything that you feel is a bit more of a challenge, but will make you feel great when you accomplish it. There are loads more examples that you can add to that list but I think that it is important to recognise that these are things that you can do on the outside to make you feel good on the inside.
Well, I'm sure you have noticed but by starting to improve yourself on the outside you are already beginning to improve yourself on the inside! Getting confidence and self-esteem must come from the things that you do for yourself that you take great value in.
I’m always working on this, and you know in life you will never fully reach the top of your game. It’s a permanent work in progress. To gain self-esteem you not only have to let go of stuff from your past (how you do that is for another blog post) but you also need to be doing things in your life that make you feel as though you are making progress. Take a course, join a dance class, get fit, write a book. Be brave enough to follow your biggest dream, I often say to myself when I feel super scared about something that all I need to do is just prove to myself that things are going to be ok. This involves, focusing on the positive feeling that you will get once you have done something a little scary.
By focusing on the positive outcome you naturally take away a lot of the unnecessary stress. Rather than looking out for all the things that could go wrong you’ll have a much happier time of things. That doesn’t mean you should ignore all the thoughts that are coming up, because if you ignore them they just sit there building energy and waiting for the moment when you least want it to pop up.
Loving yourself first means being able to do things that normal everyday people do. Hold down a job and manage your finances well, keeping yourself in great nutritional and mental health and being able to do things outside of the normal day to day hum drum. There's also the side of loving yourself that comes from 'getting over' all the emotional needs that our parents did not meet as we were growing up. This might take a little more time. The point is to make the attempt to at least build your self-esteem, believe that you can and will get better.
When I looked up what loving yourself means Google told me this and I felt it useful to share.....
'...to have self-respect, a positive self-image, and unconditional self-acceptance. Needless to say, it does not mean being arrogant, conceited or thinking that you are better than anyone else. It means having a healthy regard for yourself knowing that you are a worthy human being.'
How we all work towards loving ourselves is something that is unique to the individual, dependent on our past and our journey to the present moment. One thing that I have learned over the years of being a Life Coach and helping people, is that whatever it is that you might feel, it is a part of you. The moment that you start to deny your feelings and play victim to them is the moment that you either stop learning or have your biggest steps backwards. Self esteem might not be something that you have right now, but I can assure you over time of constant self learning and growing you will get there.
Start with the small steps, as these eventually lead to the biggest changes and ultimately happiness.
TraceyAnne is a Relationship Life Coach qualified in Neuro-linguistic Programming. She is the founder of FindThatMatch.com, a website and ecourse devoted to helping others find love.