10 Steps To Love Yourself The Way You Deserve To Be Loved
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
For some of us, we are lucky and self-love is ingrained in us from the minute we are born by our parents or by whoever is responsible for our upbringing. A vast majority of people are not as lucky and even those who are, can sometimes end up with self-doubt and even self-loathing due to physiological imbalances or certain experiences in their life.
1) Embrace what sets you apart instead of trying to curb it: I’m an Indian by descent and American by choice. Being different and being a minority has never created self-doubt. If anything, I always feel special. It’s a conscious choice I make, quite subconsciously now because of decades of telling myself unique is good. Being different is great.
2) If you are a stand-out, don’t try to blend in; if you are a blend-in, don’t try to stand out: this sounds simple enough but a lot of people try to head the opposite way from what their own personality is because they are afraid to face who they truly are. They are looking for a role model to emulate thinking that it’s a path traveled by somebody who succeeded in it so all they have to do is follow and they think they will be better off too. Wrong. Never copy, don’t fake it, you will never make it. Keep doing you, even if it’s the worst version of you- that’s the only way the version will improve and become better, and then best. This can be a beautiful journey, you don’t want to deprive yourself of it and the confidence that will come at the end of it, is all yours to claim.
3) Be productive: nothing can eat away at your self esteem as not being productive. Whatever your capabilities- even if you’re confined to a hospital bed, just following all of the doctor’s orders for the day and trying your best is all that this means. If you are healthy, complete at least one task for the day, if not all.
4) Appreciate the hard work you put in: YOU have to innately appreciate your efforts. This starts with recognizing what you did and validating it even if you have to go in front of a mirror and say it to yourself. If you have someone who truly loves and supports you, call them up and tell them, even if it’s a daily thing.
5) Reward yourself: For me now, it no longer means retail therapy. It means a simple thing like taking my dog for a walk, a bath, maybe a mani or a pedi- hardly ever both at the same time- simplicity is key. Our inner true selves cringe from complexity- life was supposed to be simple when we were cavepeople (hard, but simple).
6) Give others a chance to appreciate you: There is no satisfaction in blowing your own trumpet- there are people who do it and it seems like they can never have enough of doing it, or receive enough appreciation back. This does not mean that you rely on outside validation. It just means that whatever you’re doing is for your own satisfaction: you appreciated yourself inwardly (step 4), you rewarded yourself outwardly (step 5) and any external validation should be just that: external- leave it outside of you after you say a sweet thank you.
7) Expect greatness: why not? This can be as simple as ‘feeling great’. Now that you have a better understanding and acceptance of yourself, you are probably getting better at being you- so set some goals.
8) Don’t fear you, as you get unleashed: we are all characters waiting to happen- be free, let yourself happen.
9) Seek like minds, avoid negativity: whether you know it or not, if you have accomplished steps 1-8, you are becoming a leader of sorts and people around you are either following you or getting intimidated by you. Either way, there’s going to be pushback and there will always be people who will try and pull you down in whatever way they can. They may ignore you or they may openly be a negative energy around you. You don’t need that, stay away from them. Friends can turn to foes. Foes can turn to friends. You are wise enough now to know which is which.
10) Gratitude: Always. None of this will mean anything if you’re not grateful for all the ups and downs. There is beauty even in pain and heartache because of the inner growth that happens and the strength you gain, especially from negative experiences.
Dr. Mahima Singh
Ms. Pennsylvania 2019