How To Love Yourself And Be Happy
8 Steps of Self-Appreciation
Even though all of us love someone or something, there’s one thing most of us neglect – ourselves.
We don’t love ourselves enough or, in some cases, at all. And I don’t mean it in a narcissistic or negative way.
People simply don’t realize or appreciate their own worth. Whether it’s a great character trait, looks, knowledge, or intelligence.
What’s starting to happen more and more nowadays is the opposite. Everyone only sees what they’re missing.
Regardless if you noticed it while looking in the mirror, someone pointed it out to you, or you started to compare yourself to someone else.
While it’s completely normal to strive towards becoming a better version of yourself, for too many individuals it has become an obsession.
You chase reasonable goals, but you’re never satisfied with the results. Thus it keeps repeating, always seeking and never finding.
Until it all spirals out of control and you’re stuck in a cycle of self-loathing and self-hatred, ultimately leading to anxiety, depression, and even suicide.
Everywhere you look, someone is struggling with this. It’s a problem that shouldn’t even exist, yet somehow, society has evolved into something devoid of self-acceptance.
It has become way too easy to become blinded by your “flaws”, so you stop wanting to be yourself and try to become someone else.
But it wasn’t always this bad, so how did we arrive here? How did we forget the importance of self-acceptance?
I was inspired by an article I read recently, to present some interesting findings.
The fragmented nature of your true self
Ever since the dawn of society, people have learned to only show their desirable qualities, hiding everything that’s undesirable. They’re wearing masks to fit into society, seeking approval from other people.
The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, called this the “persona”, a Latin term meaning “mask” and “personality,” the social face of every individual.
He argued, that a “persona” was a “consciously created personality or identity, created from the collective psyche using socialization, acculturation, and experience.”
For example, Gin the store clerk who’s always helpful and kind to his customers. Or Gin the police officer who’s stern, with a watchful eye, and gets straight to the point.
Each “persona” is best suited for its role, allowing us to better carry out our responsibilities. Unfortunately, for most individuals, these aren’t even close to their true selves.
So we spend our days pretending to be someone else, showing our true selves only to the people closest to us. This constant need to filter out certain parts of ourselves is what wears us out.
And with the advent of the internet and social media, it became that much worse. Sure, people are more connected now than ever, but what it means they’re also under the scrutinizing eye of so many more people.
This leads to editing, doctoring, and hiding even more things about ourselves — to creating stories and living in them. Partly because we have tools to do that now and partly because nobody wants to be ridiculed, rejected, and ostracized.
We can only afford to show the good, the positive, and the desirable. It’s not just regular people, but also celebrities, politicians, and even corporations.
Everyone so desperately tries to cultivate a positive image, but a single misspoken word, mistake, and even critique or accusations directed towards you, whether it’s true or not, can undo all your efforts so far. Without a hope for redemption or recovery.
The most recent example of that is the James Gunn controversy. He was having a spat with conservatives, which lead to unearthing his older tweets where he joked about pedophilia and rape.
Soon after he was fired from Disney and the future of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 started looking really bleak.
The main takeaway from this is, Dunn made a single mistake and that was enough to sign his proverbial death warrant without any chance of redemption. All to preserve the perfect image Disney is going for.
While the jokes were in extremely poor taste, was Disney’s decision the only solution?
It’s this obsession over perfection that is driving society and most importantly people into the ground.
Even knowing this, it’s still a grand problem that no one person can fix. Maybe Thanos could with the Infinity Gauntlet, but even then it’s hard to tell.
What’s important that we each work on ourselves. A small change will spark the beginning for a larger change.
So how do you do that?
I’ve prepared for you 8 steps you can use to re-discover self-love. Think of them as self-acceptance exercises. You can even share with your friends and loved ones…
Step #1: Get off social media or change how you use it
The first step was probably too obvious because I was building up social media as the root of all evil. Just think about it, people could live without social media in the past, so why can’t you?
What I’m trying to say is, simply don’t put yourself out there on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other platform. Or just limit the people who can interact with you there.
If you’re not forced to just show your good sides, it also means you don’t have to hide your bad sides.
It’s a simple thing, but it considerably helps to realize that you don’t have to constantly seek validation from others, which leads into the next step
Step #2: Stop seeking validation from others
This is a simple problem many people aren’t even aware of. From our childhoods, we have been conditioned to seek approval from others.
Whether it’s our parents, teachers, friends, or bosses. We feel the urgent need to make sure what we’re doing is correct and accepted.
This also ties into social media because some people consider likes as a validation for their existence, so the ask for likes, subscribes, follows, retweets, and what not.
Trust your own opinion more, believe in your own decisions, and take the actions you think are the best.
It’s not only one of the most important keys to loving yourself, but also to building confidence. And since we’re building up our good qualities, we might as well continue on that path…
Step #3: Build great habits
This one is simple in theory, but difficult in execution. You can find great habits and start practicing them, but to truly ingrain them in yourself, you need persistence, patience, and effort.
It can be just about anything. Sleeping and waking early, reading a new book each week, exercising 5 days a week, and anything beneficial you can think of.
The effects of having good habits are unbelievably great. To the point you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride, so you love yourself a lot more.
I’ve discussed building great habits in my free ebook “21 Powerful Habits,” so feel free to read it for ideas and inspiration!
It doesn’t stop here, however. If you have good habits, you should also reward yourself for it…
Step #4: Do the things that make you happy
This isn’t the lifelong problem of finding your one true passion. It’s just about upping the positivity levels in your life.
Do the things that brighten your day, especially if you haven’t had time to recently.
This can be doing a hobby, sipping morning coffee while reading an expertly written blog post (wink wink, nudge nudge), playing with your kids, or just spending time with your loved ones.
In short, boost your happiness and positivity levels to the point you start seeing yourself in a more favorable light. You’re not just a creature that works all day, eats, sleeps, and then repeats.
Give yourself enough reasons to love life and love yourself that lives it. But to truly live your life you need a goal…
Step #5: Start pursuing your true goals once again
You didn’t have time, lost motivation, or forgot about your goals completely because you had more important things to do.
I get that, it’s something I struggled with at one point. What got me up and pursuing my goals again was a simple drifting sardine of a thought.
I kept thinking about how my life would turn out if I continued on like that. All I could see was a bearded me, filled self-loathing and regret, shaking my frail fist at the heavens for not giving me a couple hundred more years.
I kept revisiting that image over and over in my head, so eventually, that tiny thought had turned into a giant whale. It wouldn’t let my mind be and I got swallowed up like Pinocchio.
It set me on the path to becoming a real boy — I mean, achieve my goals. The fear is what kept pushing me forward, but the fulfillment I had from reaching small goals is what kept me going.
Even though this might not be a short-term solution, it’s something that will eventually let you love yourself today, tomorrow, and even at the end of your life.
Because a sense of accomplishment and life fulfillment makes us realize our purpose more than anything else.
But if you’re still unsure of why you should love yourself, there’s a life hack you can use…
Step #6: Look into the reflections of your loved ones’ eyes
Before you rush out of the room and begin a stare down with your spouse, parents or kids, I don’t mean that literally.
What I mean is, if you don’t know why you should love yourself, ask other people why they love you.
Even though it might seem weird at first, it’s very simple and serves as a perfect way to remind yourself that you’re a better person than you think you are.
I’ve heard someone say that others won’t love you if you don’t love yourself, but I think it’s the opposite for a lot of people. If you don’t have anyone that loves you, you’ll never find a reason to love yourself…
This leads us to the ultimate reason why you should love yourself.
Step #7: Realize that you are truly unique
Every person is unique in their own special way, blah blah blah. You’ve probably heard this a million of times.
So reading that “you are truly unique” right now might not mean anything. Maybe because you developed an immunity to it or you simply don’t care at this point.
Of course, from a scientific viewpoint, every individual’s DNA is unique for all intents and purposes. Even if there are some similarities with other individuals or animal species.
That’s the simplified and boring answer. While it does prove that we’re unique, it’s almost never the answer anyone is looking for or is interested in.
You could argue your physical appearance is what makes you unique, but each person has two or three people somewhere in the world that look exactly like them, even if they don’t have a twin. A scary thought, isn’t it?
Then again, that’s not all that important either. To reach the true answer, we’re gonna get a little philosophical, so bear with me.
Human beings are the perfect definition of “more than the sum of its parts.”
Again, I’m not even talking about genetics or body composition.
It all comes down to your mind, personality, and experiences. You could say all the points combined from the previous steps.
What’s truly unique is our life and our viewpoint in it. Just think about it — only you can see the universe from your eyes.
How you view it depends on your mind, how you analyze and perceive things, events, and people. That’s what makes you truly unique.
There’s no way to reproduce your life– to reproduce you, unless there’s a carbon copy of our universe somewhere created by a wicked dark god. There your doppelganger will relive your life from beginning to end and essentially become you.
It’s theoretically possible. You could be one of the infinite versions of you for all you know. But even if you are, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s you, and you’re always the center of your own universe. In my mind, that’s a good enough reason to love yourself.
With that being said, please don’t steal my novel idea…
Final Step: Accept your true self
If you’ve made it all the way here, I admire your dedication. This is the last thing I can tell you to convince you to love yourself.
Simply accept who you are right now. Your good qualities, your bad qualities, your state of mind, the people in your life, and everything else about you.
Don’t reject any part of yourself because you need to clearly see who you are — where and in what shape you exist in this universe. Understand what you have and how you can use that to get what you lack.
Only after you’ve done that can you change for the better. And even if you change just one part about yourself, everything else will change about you.
Realize that you can love yourself purely for the fact that you had the determination to change yourself.
Don’t ever underestimate your potential. Believe that you are actually much better than you think you are. And the only one keeping you from getting even better is you.
Live free, live empowered and live the lifestyle of your dreams doing what you love with the people you love.
I firmly believe that there will come a day when learn how to love yourself again.
If you want to make this journey even easier, there’s a way. Just follow the 5 steps of awakening I’ve assembled for you. (click on the book below)
They helped me become who I am today and I’m absolutely certain it will help you.
That’s all for now. Let me know if there’s anything else that interests you. Feel free to email us or just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!
Until next time!
Here’s some extra self-love tips from Aaron Doughty! Really helpful!