Practicing self-love is a crucial step if you want to move further on your journey towards personal development and self-improvement. However, when most people think about self-love, they usually get the wrong impression. Self-love is not selfishness. It is simply the act of being sensitive to your thoughts, feelings, and actions and having a high regard for your well-being. It includes trusting yourself, asserting boundaries, and forming a deeper connection to your inner self.
It’s a challenge to practice self-love since most people focus on finding love from external sources. Plus, your inner critic can make it much harder to love yourself. However, if you can shut off your inner critic and truly practice self-love, it can completely transform your personality for the better. Let’s look at a few reasons to love yourself.
1. It helps you to heal yourself
One of the hardest reasons why you may find it difficult to love yourself may be due to your inner critic since it is completely aware of your every thought, emotion, and activity. It knows all about your critical flaws, bad habits, negative thought patterns that you find unacceptable, and all the bad memories that you feel embarrassed to remember. It forces you to become too harsh and too judgemental of yourself.
However, being a harsh critic only forces you to dwell on all the negative emotions and negative thinking patterns that pretty soon create a vicious cycle. However, when you start to love yourself, you realize that nobody is perfect and it is okay to be happy just the way you are currently. This breeds positive emotions and allows you to purge all the negative emotions to start a process of healing.
2. It becomes a source of intrinsic motivation
When you are feeling down, you cannot focus on doing any activity. There simply isn’t enough energy in your body. As a result, you may start to look for inspiration from the outside world to help motivate your soul. And, watching your favorite YouTube videos or listening to your favorite self-help gurus can help a lot in the short term, you may find yourself reversing back in the old, limiting thought patterns that destroy any motivation and energy that you experience for a while.
The simple reason for this is that although you may hear affirmations such as ‘you are limitless’ and ‘I’m proud of myself’, they don’t feel authentic when you don’t love yourself. However, you love yourself, you become an inspiration in itself. The positive mental energy translates into positive physical energy that allows you to feel motivated all the time.
3. It allows you to make peace with your past
Many people are stuck in a ‘past loop‘ where they recount the disappointing experiences they have had in their lives. For some, this can become a source of constant disappointment that defaults them to a sad or foul mood. For others, it starts to take on a grieving nature where they may even become very reclusive and shut out the world around them in fear of not making the same mistakes again.
However, when you begin to love yourself, you appreciate the fact that you are only human, not a perfect being that is flawless and can never make mistakes. This realization helps you make peace with your past or at least keep the symptoms under control so that you can continue to move forward.
4. It allows you to truly love other people
When you don’t love yourself, it becomes much harder to love somebody else too. The simple reason is that when you start to love yourself, you start to disengage with your critical factor and start to look at all the underlying factors that often go unnoticed. For instance, when you are able to love yourself despite all of your flaws, it becomes much easier to love your spouse or any other people even if they have some bad habits. After all, you are the same and you love yourself, so why can’t you love them too, right?
However, if you become fixated on a perfectionist attitude which prevents you from loving yourself, it would also prevent you from truly loving your family members or other people when you notice that they are as broken as you are and they have some flaw that irritates you very much.
5. It allows you to accept love from others
If you don’t love yourself and remain in a self-critical state most of the time, it can make you cynical and feel insecure. After all, how could somebody possibly love you when you yourself don’t approve of or appreciate your personality, habits, mentality, physical appearance, race, nationality, etc., correct? However, this is a flawed way of thinking that only results in complications in our lives and creates unnecessary problems.
On the other hand, when you start to practice self-love, you don’t doubt that somebody else can love you too for who you are no matter your caste, religion, physical appearance, educational background, and more. In fact, this only furthers your appreciation for the other person, be it your wife or a girlfriend, and allows both of you to form a much stronger bond.
6. It helps you to inspire your loved ones
When your friends, relatives, and loved ones feel down due to a mistake they made or a negative experience, they can lose their hope and act pessimistically. However, when you practice self-love, you inevitably try to teach them that it’s all a part of the learning process and it’s okay to love themselves. You may even share your own life stories without realizing and radiate a sense of warmth and calmness that subtly influences the people in your life. Within a short period, you can become a powerful source of inspiration for other people.
7. It allows you to achieve your long-term goals
When people fail, they doubt their abilities and skills. As a result, they give up and cannot make any sustainable long-term changes. However, people who practice self-love don’t get discouraged due to mistakes since they believe in their abilities and their capability. They look at every failure as a learning experience and become better at doing their job.
Self-love allows you to accept your flaws and appreciate all your strengths. It allows you to treat yourself kindly which ultimately helps you push through tough times. As a result, they are able to achieve their long-term goals.
8. It allows you to have confidence
People who don’t practice self-love have a fragile mindset. They look for outside validation. As a result, when other people doubt their skills and capabilities or throw a negative remark, they can start to believe it without giving it a second thought. As a result, it can shatter their confidence.
However, when you practice self-love, you become deeply aware of both your strengths and weaknesses. Thus, you no longer look for outside validation since you validate yourself from the inside. Due to this, you are no longer affected by what other people might think of you, and helps you to develop unshakable confidence since you are already aware of flaws and talents.
9. It helps you to become a kinder person
It makes sense that you would find it very difficult to be kind to somebody else when you cannot even be kind to yourself. If you cannot forgive yourself for your previous misdeeds, how can you find it in your heart to forgive somebody who has done you wrong?
Fortunately, you cannot practice self-love without learning the art of forgiveness. Thus, when you start loving yourself, you open up your mind to people who have previously hurt you. You realize that they are only human and cannot be in control of their emotions all the time. Thus, you find it easier to erase grudges when they genuinely ask for forgiveness. In fact, learning to forgive yourself and other people is an incredibly freeing experience since you no longer have to deal with all the negative baggage.
10. It teaches you to live life according to your values
Everybody has a set of values that they need to abide by. Unfortunately, people who don’t live their life in alignment with their values can feel a deep sense of regret and anxiety. It can also manifest in the sense that something is missing from their life. Sometimes, people don’t want to express their values to other people and live by them because they feel shame or guilt around it.
For instance, people who have grown up in a poor family may value money and materialistic wealth above relationships and tradition. However, due to the stigma associated with materialistic wealth and money, they might not express their true desire or pursue a career that enables them to acquire wealth.
However, when you practice self-love, you become more resilient and learn to stand up for yourself no matter the circumstances. As a result, it allows you to live life according to your rules and have a deeply fulfilling experience. Do you have an additional reason you would like to share with us? If so, please let us know below.