The Importance of Loving Yourself
By: Maggie Berberian
We’ve all heard the saying, “In order to have others love and respect you, you need to love yourself first.” You may ask yourself, what do you mean I have to love myself? I do love myself. Challenge yourself to look at this cliche quote a bit differently.
You have to learn to love yourself
Before you allow yourself
Our thoughts and beliefs can sabotage our relationships, whether it’s friendship, business, or romantic. When you’re plagued with thoughts of worthlessness and low esteem you can develop the habit of negative mind chatter. For instance, I’ll give you a brief scenario. Meet a girl named Amy. She tells herself, she’s fat, too athletic, unattractive, and a failure. She constantly compares herself to others and thinks to herself, “If only I were thin, more feminine, ambitious, and pretty.” So when Amy meets someone who treats her with respect, she thinks “Oh, he/she was just being nice” When anybody does something nice to her, she assumes that “Oh he/she does that for everyone.” These thoughts may seem harmless on the surface, but when constantly repeated it devalues your qualities. You are basically putting that energy out to the universe saying: “I’m not worthy enough for anyone to go out of their way to do something nice for me.” This thought, that you aren’t worthwhile, only steals the joy from your relationships. Instead of enjoying the present moment and social outing, you are too fixated that you said or did something wrong. You put yourself in uncomfortable situations just to please other people. You downplay compliments and second guess your decisions. This is how powerful our thoughts are when we get stuck in a lack mindset. When you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, you look for faults in your relationships just to prove all along you weren’t good enough. You never allow your guard down because you are on a subconscious level just waiting to be hurt or abandoned; and you don’t allow yourself to genuinely trust and enjoy the relationship. Essentially, until you truly learn to accept and love all of you, you’ll never allow yourself to feel loved by others.
Change Your Thinking
We don’t often realize the way we are thinking and our self-dialogue. When we learn to recognize those thoughts and beliefs when they occur, we can then look for patterns and begin to challenge our thoughts. Just “think positive” doesn’t work, it feels superficial at the moment. In order for positive thinking to stick in the long run, you really need to break the thoughts you have down. Ask yourself these questions. Where did the thought come from? When did you start telling yourself that? Who caused you to feel those thoughts and feel that way about yourself? What evidence do you have that the thought is true? What evidence do you have that the thought isn’t true? What would it feel and look like to let it go? Breaking down these questions and negative beliefs one by one can give us clarity to lead to a more positive way of thinking. The only way a positive thought can stick is if you first spend time breaking down and challenging the negative thoughts. This is one of the primary goals in cognitive behavioral therapy and also in manifesting.
Believe in Yourself
You don’t need anyone’s permission to believe in yourself and you don’t need any evidence from your past to believe in yourself. You have the power and ability within yourself to believe in yourself without the need to prove it to anyone but yourself. When you truly believe anything is possible. Always remember that! I remember a time when I would constantly get discouraged easily and feel I wasn’t able to do certain things. However, that belief is what kept me stuck and unable to thrive. When I changed the way I spoke to myself and began to speak the words, “Yes, I can do it. I am fully capable of doing it” is when it all changed. Another reason why we don’t believe in ourselves is due to the programming that has been instilled in us from those around us. Whether it’s a parent, friend, relative or romantic partner. When you’ve been exposed to criticism and any form of bullying early on we grow up to believe that we aren’t capable of doing and achieving certain things. Don’t allow the opinions of others to diminish your worth and ability. You are capable of anything you set your mind to.
Start Today by Accepting Compliments
A simple way to start practicing the ability to accept compliments is by allowing yourself to truly receive the compliment. You are worth it! When you genuinely accept a compliment by another, you are affirming to the Universe and yourself that you are worthy and deserving of receiving. It’s these little acts of affirmation that guide you to learn to love yourself, and eventually allow yourself to fully feel loved by others.
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