Next on your way to loving yourself comes an important step-by-step process – reconnecting with your inner self, finding reasons to appreciate yourself for who you are and fixing the bad behaviors that lead to suffering, lack of confidence and not taking action to find your life’s purpose and follow your dreams.
Here’s what you need to pay attention to:
1. Forgive yourself.
You can’t be happy or find meaning in your days or peace of mind unless you have forgiven yourself.
To forgive is to know that it was what it was but it doesn’t have to be what it will be. It’s to understand that all the mistakes you made in the past, the times you didn’t take action, the words you didn’t say, the goals you never achieved, all this was just as it was supposed to be. It doesn’t mean you won’t perform better in the future.
Not forgiving means carrying the burden of the past. It’s when you’re blaming yourself for all the things that went wrong, all the people who left you, all the times you lost hope, or didn’t take opportunities. But remember that at that exact moment, it was what you wanted. You were a different person then and you should respect your past decisions. Because of them you are who you’ve become.
Blaming is self-destructive. Don’t bring any negative emotions from the past to your present. Instead, enjoy what you’re doing now and who you are today, and look forward to who you’ll become.
2. Appreciate yourself.
Here are some things we usually forget but which can let us be thankful for who we are. And that appreciation can soon turn into love:
– all the small wins so far – we remain blind for our past successes and often choose to look only at the defeats. But what about all the times you exceeded in your career, learned something new, got a good grade on a test, showed courage when things were difficult, spoke up when no one else could, refused to settle down for less than you deserve, took a chance and made the most of it, etc?
These are the things you should smile about. What’s best, these successes can be replicated and you can accomplish much more if you’re determined enough. The past proves that you can do it. So what’s stopping you from succeeding again?;
– the compliments we received – a great exercise that will lift you up and remind you why you’re worth it is to list all the compliments you’ve ever received from other people. Others are able to notice good qualities of ours when we refuse to, and that’s encouraging;
– the good deeds – go back in time and think about all the times you helped others, gave advice, motivated someone to take action, did favors, etc. These are part of your good personality, don’t ignore that side of yours.
There’s plenty of stuff to appreciate about yourself already. Sometimes we’re just looking in the wrong direction.
3. Take care of yourself.
In order to create self love in your life again, you’ll have to show that to yourself. If you’re constantly neglecting your health, appearance, feelings and peace of mind, you’ll be negative, discouraged and in a bad shape.
That’s why living a healthier lifestyle, having some special rituals, making time for what matters, doing things you enjoy and having some me time is crucial for your physical, spiritual and mental health.
You’ll see what some of these good habits to develop are in the last chapter of the book. Turning them into daily practices will let you feel energetic, be in a good mood, be calm and peaceful, unleash your positivity and creativity, and be productive and get things done.
For now, just know that you should be taking care of yourself more.
Begin by resting properly. A good night’s sleep, taking regular breaks during work, spending some time alone and in silence, and meditating – all these are great ways to get the rest you need.
Most people are keeping themselves busy all day and that makes them stressed out and exhausted. When they get home, they keep thinking about what happened during the day, bring their work and problems with them, or are overwhelmed with what must be done the next day.
That ruins their sleep and they wake up in a bad mood and start the day in a negative way. Such a vicious circle.
Having some peaceful me time can help a lot here. A great way to get it is to wake up a bit earlier and enjoy the early morning. It’s quiet, no one else is up at that time, it’s perfect for some inspiring and creative activities like writing, reading, getting some focused work done or brainstorming new ideas for your business. In the end of the book, you’ll learn how to create a whole morning ritual like that to set yourself up for a successful and productive day.
4. Trust yourself.
If you’ve let yourself down a couple of times, and haven’t taken the steps above to fix your relationship with yourself, you probably don’t trust yourself.
That’s when you don’t try again after failure because you don’t believe you can do it, when you let others take decisions on your behalf, or don’t follow your dreams because you don’t listen to your true desires and don’t trust your guts.
All this is how you show disrespect to your soul, body and mind and get even further from loving yourself.
So stop these. Instead, start to actively listen to your inner voice, go with the flow and believe that whatever happens, you’ll be fine, do the things you enjoy, take decisions fast without overthinking, listen to your heart and do what it says even if it’s against all odds.
Communicate with yourself more often by spending some time alone, asking yourself questions and trying to answer them honestly, noticing your feelings and the emotions that arise in different situations. Your body and such inner conversations can tell you a lot about yourself that you may have missed over the years.
Say yes to things you feel like doing even when it doesn’t make sense, and learn to say no to others when they want you to go against your nature.
This will help you be your true and best self.
Build self-trust and see how your life transforms in more than one way.
5. Things to stop doing to yourself.
Now, let’s see what bad behaviors you should avoid to live in peace and improve your relationship with yourself:
– giving up on your dreams – if you think about something often, it’s worth pursuing it. Don’t give up early on, there’s always another way to get there. Only after you’ve tried all possible options, can you move onto another goal;
– criticizing – instead, you should be your biggest motivator. Don’t be too harsh on yourself, be alright with the mistakes, accept them as part of the journey to success, and go try again or something else;
– not staying true to yourself and your values – this happens when you listen to others just to please them, or do what you’re supposed to do even though it’s not something you want;
– lying to yourself – that’s an awful thing to do. So many people live in an illusion, don’t ever express their true feelings, pretend to be happy, try to convince themselves that they are doing the right thing, or else. But deep inside, you always know that this is not true. And you won’t be satisfied or able to forgive yourself and move on peacefully if you don’t put everything on the table and start from there;
– not keeping your promises – when you make a promise to yourself, be it to change an aspect of your lifestyle, stop letting someone treat you badly or go after something you’ve wanted for so long, you should do everything you can to keep it. Otherwise, you’re letting yourself down, which results in lack of self trust and thus you become even unhappier;
– doing things you don’t like – it may be your job, spending time with people you don’t want around you, taking up a sport you don’t enjoy or else. None of this is necessary. You can decide to ditch it at any moment, and instead do things you enjoy, which you’re good at, and which bring you results;
– feeling bad about your weaknesses – that’s a waste of time. Even trying to improve them isn’t the best choice. Because there are so many other things you feel confident in, which come naturally to you and even skills you can master. Take a look at your strengths and work on them even more. That will help you build self-esteem too.
So these are the actions you should take and the practices you should adopt early on to start building a bridge to your heart.