There’s nothing quite like the love of oneself.
“As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a health egoism. Today I know it as ‘love of oneself’.” – Charlie Chaplin
Over these past few months I’ve realised the incredible importance of loving oneself and the power it holds. I’m not talking about loving yourself on the days you feel great or when your hair looks amazing or after the workouts you’ve hit personal best’s in. Oh no, i’m talking about loving yourself all day, everyday. To love yourself when your skin breaks out, when you make a mistake at work or when you’ve accidentally stuffed a whole pizza in your mouth and then continued with the following chocolates that you’ve hidden away and thought you would forget about (don’t kid yourself).
It’s important to remember that on the good, ok, bad or ugly days that you are equally loveable at all times. Ok, so you’ve just had an off plan day with your diet – but you’ve just smashed an incredible workout – learn to outweigh the negatives that you find within your life and body and focus on the positives.
Learning to love yourself means spending time looking at yourself in the mirror (what do you like about yourself?), talking about your accomplishments at parties, and accepting a compliment without negation. The love of oneself means enthusiastically cultivating and sharing your gifts and your strengths with others, and refusing to body-bash or gossip about anyone – something of which we are all guilty of. Have you ever took the mick out of somebody’s outfit? Uh huh – learn from those mistakes.
It also means making the time to explore and prioritize authentic self-care, and to stop automatically putting other people first. Be selfish and don’t be afraid to be it. At the beginning of the year I ended my two year relationship to focus on my University work, Raw & Pure business and to be able to love myself and my own company (something I cannot recommend enough). I love my me time – so much and it’s made me realise what I love as a person and what I look for in others. Some people may think this act was selfish and in a way it was. But, at the time it was what I needed to do for myself. Don’t be afraid of the opinions of others.
Lastly, loving yourself means having the courage to accept and love who and where are you today, even if you’re working towards change.
“But, wouldn’t you be guilty of vanity for loving yourself?” – No!
Do not be afraid to love yourself because of the opinions of others. It’s important to remember that if somebody treats you badly or speaks badly of you then recognise that there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people do not go around destroying other people. Your happiness shouldn’t depends on others. In fact, I believe that there is nothing more attractive than somebody who shines bright with confidence and ambition.
It’s an amazing thing to be able to love yourself in a world that is constantly telling us not to like who we are or telling us what we should be instead.
As sad as it is society teaches women that self-loathing and self-criticism are not only normal, but also commendable. Women of today face limitless and infinite messages of judgment and negativity about the way they look, speak, behave, and exist in their bodies. If you are a woman, you are never good enough. Photoshop, celebrity culture, fashion, fitness, magazines, and media all compare, scrutinize, and attack your appearance and body every day.
However, even worse than those messages is the fact that we eventually believe them so they become our own personal truths. We continue the comparison, scrutiny, and attacks on ourselves in an effort to “not be stuck-up,” or to “stay motivated” to improve ourselves. Self-judgment shows “humility.”
Remember, love can only ever create more love, not less. There is no such thing as loving yourself ‘too much’ or being ‘stuck-up’.
Why is self love so important?
Self love gives you the strength and courage to try new things, create new goals and to go after your dreams – no matter what happens, you will always have yourself and the ability to believe in yourself.
Remember, “Success does not bring happiness; happiness brings success.” And for me personally, I have learnt that success doesn’t bring self-love; self-love brings success. Ask me a year or so ago when I was considering dropping out of university if I thought it would be possible to graduate with a first class honours degree? HECK NO!
No, i’m not just saying that either. I’ve never been the brightest, I always peaked over the person sitting next to me shoulder to see if I had the right answers during school, I had no motivation to work really hard on my studies. I would be happy with just a grade ‘C’ or a pass. But, it wasn’t until my lifestyle changed for the better that my attitude completely changed. I became motivated, I created goals, I worked to smash those goals and guess what? I did just that. I proved to those who thought I wouldn’t – that I could.
It really is amazing what you can achieve when you start to love yourself, have faith in yourself and believe in yourself. Anything really is possible.
The next time you want something in your life in order to feel good about yourself, ignore the negative thinking and decide to feel good about yourself. Learning to love yourself will help transform your way of thinking and attitude in life in the following ways:
What do you love about yourself?
By changing the way you think about your body and interrupting the negative thoughts we are often consumed by, you create dissonance in your brain’s neural patterns. Therefore, this leaves room for you to create a new pattern of thinking and behaving. A quick example of this would be look at yourself in the mirror. Although, typically, your eyes might search out the parts of your body that you don’t like so that you can scrutinize them, instead, now you consciously look for things you like about your body. By searching for what you like, you’ve interrupted your brain’s pattern, and offered yourself a chance to build a new one—a nicer one.
Positive self talk
By consciously choosing to speak positively about yourself, both to yourself and in front of others, you feed your brain positive messaging about you and your body. You probably won’t believe what you’re saying about yourself at first and it may feel forced or phony. But, over time, when weeks or months have passed since you last said something mean and hurtful about yourself, those old messages will start to fade away, while the new, positive messages will change from sounding fake to sounding plausible. Eventually then, those thoughts will be true. Not only this, but positivity is an attractive feature in somebody and rare to find nowadays. Have you ever noticed how somebody who shines with positivity and energy is hard to dislike?
Following on from the last point… Acting like you’re not afraid to love yourself will change the energy and atmosphere around you and in turn affect the people around you. By refusing to tolerate or bond over body bashing or self-criticism, you will fade out the people in your life who are stuck in that kind of behaviour, while positively influencing and attracting others. Instead, make room for people who have other things to talk about and other ways of looking at things. Such as, people with ambitions, goals and similar interests. You will soon start to notice that your rigid attachment to those old habits start to soften, and it becomes much easier to take on the new habits.
I really hope this enlightens some of you as to why you should start loving yourself and the importance of self love. Love your flaws and your imperfections – they make you you and ‘you’ is pretty amazing.