We’ve all heard it: to truly love others, you first have to learn to love yourself. And that’s true. Unless you show yourself unconditional love, you also won’t allow others to truly love you.
The challenge is that our lifestyles these days are incredibly focused on achieving success, comparing with others, and the desire to always do more. The result? We have become our own biggest critics – focusing on our mistakes and on areas where we âcould have done betterâ more than on our successes.
So when we hear that true love is about loving ourselves first, we wonder how the hell we are supposed to go from constant self-criticism to unconditional love.
When I started this journey, I didn’t even like myself very much. The thought of loving me was almost laughable. Going from self-criticism to self-esteem in one step is a challenge, so it’s important not to expect a drastic change overnight.
Your relationship with yourself is no different from others in your life – it takes time, attention, and effort to change to unconditional love. So give yourself the time to build authentic self-love, step by step.
To make it easier for you, here are the 10 most important steps to create unconditional love for yourself.
1. Accept yourself.
If loving yourself freely seems too far away, start with âacceptanceâ. Do you accept. Notice the times when you would normally criticize yourself and instead start saying, âIt’s me, and it’s okay. “
2. Realize that you are enough.
In a world where people’s worth is judged by how they look, how much they earn, or what they’ve accomplished in a lifetime, it’s often hard to accept that just being yourself makes you worthwhile.
You don’t need anything more. You don’t have to do anything more or be something more than what you are right now. You were enough when you were born, and you will be enough every second of your entire life. Remember every day: I have enough.
3. Stop comparing and judging.
We are taught to compare ourselves to those around us at such a young age. But when you start comparing yourself to others, you get dragged into conformism, competition, and you don’t feel smug. The truth is, your worth is immeasurable and has nothing to do with someone else’s worth.
Judgment is just another form of comparison, and our judgment of others reflects our judgment of ourselves. So, when you realize that you are judging someone, find ways to show them compassion instead. By offering to others, you will probably find it much easier to extend your compassion and understanding towards yourself.
4. Respect yourself and set limits.
Any quality relationship involves respect and healthy (enforced) boundaries. So respect yourself enough that the people around you will compassionately know what is right for you and what is not for you. Don’t be afraid to say ânoâ if you want to say no, because that’s how you set healthy boundaries.
5. Appreciate yourself (so that you can appreciate others).
In order to build a romantic relationship with someone, you have to appreciate them. Everyone loves to hear about the qualities you admire in them and when you show them gratitude.
First, take the time to recognize what you value and love about yourself so that you can eventually do the same for someone else.
6. Give yourself quality time.
Quality time is important in any relationship – your relationship with yourself is no different. Take the time to enjoy the things that really make you feel good.
Spend time learning to feel happy in your own company. Go to the movies, spend time doing yoga, cook up your favorite meal, or just relax on the sofa with your favorite book. The goal is: take time for yourself.
7. Trust yourself.
It’s important to trust yourself to look after your best interests – don’t sacrifice your needs for those around you. Honor and prioritize the commitment you make to yourself.
Enforce your boundaries in a healthy way, and if someone isn’t treating you well, be sure to step in and take care of yourself.
8. Become a master of communication.
All good relationships are built on positive communication, so take the time to check in with yourself. When doing this, be sure to listen to yourself and pay attention to what you really want and need.
Remember: always talk to yourself with love. How would you speak to someone you love? How can you speak to each other in a more loving way?
9. Meet your own needs.
Everyone has needs. And if you want to love yourself unconditionally, you have to make sure that your needs are met. How? ‘Or’ What? By meeting them yourself. Be really honest.
Do you need some time for yourself? Do you feel the need for more security and stability in your life? Do you need more adventure? Do you need to take the time to just “be”? How can you give yourself what you need?
10. Be kind and gentle to yourself.
We give the people we love a space to make mistakes. We are compassionate in the face of their challenges and appreciate their efforts. So don’t forget to give yourself a little understanding as you learn to truly love yourself. Since kindness is one of the keys to love, try to be kind to yourself every day.
Ultimately, your relationship with yourself is just like any other in life – it takes time and effort to build trust, learn to communicate, and create a loving connection. And there is no better feeling than finally realizing that you have a deeply loving, unconditional, and mutually fulfilling relationship with yourself.
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Claire Brummell is a coach, mentor and international specialist in the fields of femininity, masculinity, dating and relationships.