“Learn to love yourself!” Wonderful and inspiring words, but certainly can sometimes be a challenge to do, right? Well, the way I have come to see it in recent years, if you want to feel more self-love, It can really help if you feel positively about yourself in the following four areas:
- Self-enjoyment; and
Let’s dive deeper into each one of those components.
Self-liking describes the positive, likable personality traits and qualities you see yourself as having. These could be anything from intelligent, to outgoing, ambitious, kind, a good listener, devoted, energetic, or funny. Self-liking expresses the things you are good at and the good that others may see in you as well.
Self-respect describes anything you feel you are accomplishing in your life—most certainly including the “little things” you do each day that are worthy of giving yourself a little bit of credit or acknowledgment for. These can include: making the effort, self control over a self-defeating habit, an act of kindness, something that took some creativity, meeting a goal you had set, and—last but not least—an act of courage.
Self-enjoyment describes anything you do that allows you to entertain and enjoy yourself. It could be through watching a funny show, writing something creative, making people laugh or telling an entertaining story, or being out in nature.
Self-comfort encompasses anything you do to compassionately comfort and soothe yourself when you are emotionally (or physically) hurting. This can include things like taking a warm bath, listening to peaceful music or a meditation recording, reading something comforting or reassuring, making a list of what you like and respect about yourself, or—certainly not for everyone, but in my view so worth trying at least once —taking some kind of a furry stuffed animal or person (or even a pillow), holding it in your arms, imagining that it is you, and saying the kind of comforting and reassuring things you would say to a real live person you know who is hurting.
In other words, in a nutshell, the clearer you can become that there are things you like about yourself, you respect about yourself, you enjoy doing in your own company, and you do to effectively comfort yourself, the more you will know your self-love is where you want it to be. But if you feel you fall short in any of these four areas, at least this can help you identify what you want to work on to get your self-love to that loving place. And if I may just add, a place I am grateful for and is a better place than it ever has been.