Lifestyle Change: 11 Steps On How To Start Loving Yourself

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I thought long and hard about what I wanted the first blog post on this site to be.

I want it to be memorable. Something that you and I can look back on ten years later and still feel a connection.

First, I thought it should be about the clothing you wear, your grooming habits, dating, etc.

Then I thought it should be about traveling and how happy that would make anyone feel.

But would any of that matter if you don’t love yourself? I mean, you could have all the money in the world, travel privately, and be accompanied by the most beautiful woman in the world and still be miserable if you don’t love yourself.

If you’re unsatisfied with your lifestyle, before doing anything else, the first place you need to look is within yourself.

The key to creating a lifestyle worth living is loving yourself.

Everything after that is a bonus.

Why is loving yourself so important?

Loving yourself increases your self-confidence, self-worth, and will help you think more positively.

Not to mention that it will transform you into a happier person. One that others will find joy being around.

Loving yourself will also make you feel more in-tune with the world around you, and help you appreciate the little things in life.

So you might be wondering how can I start loving myself?

#1. Understand the following

You are the most important person in your entire universe.

If you take nothing else from this article, it should be that.

That doesn’t mean you should stop considering the people around you, but it is of utmost importance that you understand you are the most important person in the world.

Let celebrities, sports heroes, and politicians be the most important person in their own universe.

Your life is lived through your eyes and no one else’s.

#2. Learn how to forgive yourself

Unless you were born yesterday (which would disqualify you from reading this article), there are probably things from your past that you aren’t very proud of.

Sometimes those events can weigh so heavily on us that we cannot function properly at times.

That is why you must learn how to forgive yourself.

It’s impossible to love yourself, while still feeling shame about something you did in the past.

Forgiving yourself doesn’t mean you have to forget that something ever happened. On the contrary, you should learn from those mistakes and strive to never make them again.

Accept your mistakes, understand why you made them, and move on.

If your mistakes affected others, make an effort to apologize to those individuals.

That might be the hardest thing about learning how to forgive yourself, but trust me when I say this… even if they don’t accept your apology, you’ll feel much better for putting yourself out there.

Beating yourself up over things that you did in the past, does nothing positive for you.

Don’t forget your past, because it is what made you who you are today. However, understand that what you did in the past doesn’t have to be what you do now.

Forgive yourself for past mistakes, don’t commit them again, and start living your life in a way that you can feel proud of from this moment forward.

Action Steps:

    1. Write down one thing that you haven’t forgiven yourself for.
    2. If it involves others, write that down as well.
    3. Let yourself know that it was a mistake and that you have changed.
    4. Forgive yourself and ask for forgiveness if needed.

#3. Get to know yourself

Look at the people around you and you’ll realize that most of them do the exact same thing every day.

A typical adult wakes up in the morning, gets ready for work, handles his work duties, and comes back home at the same time each and every weekday.

On the weekends they might spice things up a little bit, but if you pay close attention they probably do the same things on the weekends as well.

This isn’t to say that having a daily routine is a bad thing. What I am trying to help you understand is that most people live their daily life without giving it much thought.

Most of us need certain routines in order to get things done, but you must stop and allow yourself the time to get to know yourself.

And when I say “get to know yourself” I don’t just mean knowing what your favorite restaurant is, or what your favorite movie is.

I mean everything. You should know the things that make you happy, what irritates you, and everything in between.

Who would you like spending more time with? Who would you like to avoid? What would you like to do in life? What role does money play in your life?

You get the idea…

So what is the best way to get to know yourself?

    • Meditation
    • Writing a journal
    • Talking to yourself

Of the three mentioned above meditation is the toughest to get started on. If you’ve never meditated, I’d recommend you read “how to meditate” over at mindful.org.

At first, you will probably struggle with it, but keep chugging along and you’ll get the hang of it.

The other two techniques for getting to know yourself are fairly self-explanatory.

If you decide to write a journal make sure you write about the small things that happen to you throughout the day and not just the big stuff.

Also, take a day each week to read what you’ve written… You’d be surprised at the things you’ll start noticing over time.

As for talking to yourself, you can do this out loud or within yourself. Might feel a bit weird at first, but we have thoughts running through our heads all the time… why not make good use of them?

The key to getting to know yourself using any of these techniques is honesty.

Action Steps:

    1. Choose a technique for getting to know yourself.
    2. Start meditating, writing, or talking to yourself NOW.

#4. Accept your imperfections

“There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.” –Leonard Cohen

Nobody is perfect and we all know that.

However, sometimes we expect so much of ourselves that we forget the obvious.

This doesn’t mean you should start embracing failure, but understand that things won’t always go your way.

Put forth your best effort into everything you do in life with an understanding that you might make a mistake here and there.

Learn from those mistakes and understand that they are part of your imperfect self.

Action Steps:

    1. Next time you make a mistake or fail at something take the time to understand why it happened, learn from it, and gracefully move on.

#5. Be Grateful

Depending on your current situation you might think that there’s not much to be grateful for.

However, anybody reading this article can be grateful for the following things:

  1. Being alive
  2. Having access to the internet
  3. Knowing how to read
  4. Electricity
  5. The air you’re breathing
  6. Clothing
  7. Your sight

Notice how I didn’t mention money, health, people, or housing.

No matter what your situation is at the moment, you have the power to change it.

It’s impossible to love yourself without being grateful for your surroundings.

Therefore, don’t focus on all the negativity around you and find the things that you can be grateful for.

I went through a time in life where I couldn’t find anything to be grateful for. However, looking back knowing what I know now, there were plenty of things to be grateful for.

This might sound harsh, but if someone like Nick Vujicic can find things to be grateful for, I believe you can too.

Action Steps:

    1. Write down at least 10 things that you’re grateful for.
    2. Grow your list daily.
    3. Recite your list once a day.

#6. Know the importance of your thoughts

Have you ever taken the time to pay attention to your thoughts?

If not, do so and you’ll realize that not a second goes by in which you’re not thinking about something.

What does this mean?

Well, if your subconscious thoughts are mostly negative, how can you expect positive results?

It’s important that you train your subconscious to think positively in your journey to loving yourself.

The more positive you are, the better you’ll feel and the easier it becomes to love yourself.

Many people believe in the law of attraction which basically states that what we think about, comes about.

I don’t necessarily think it’s that cut and dry, but I am certain that if all you have is junk in your head, you can’t expect gold to come out of it.

In other words, if you don’t feel good inside, it’s impossible to feel good on the outside.

Love starts from within, so make sure your thoughts are in line with your goals.

Action Steps:

    1. Pay attention to your thoughts and read the following books:
    2. Law of Attraction
    3. The Secret (Video is on Nexflix and AmazonPrime)
    4. The Strangest Secret (Free on YouTube)

#7. Get rid of these 3 toxic beliefs

Your beliefs shape your perspective on life. Therefore make sure you stay away from these three:

1. Money = Happiness

This is probably the biggest misconception in the world today.

If having money could guarantee one’s happiness then we would never hear stories about millionaires committing suicide.

Simply put, money will not make you happy. It can certainly help you live a happier life, but it does not guarantee happiness.

I love money and the freedom that comes with having it. Not to mention the things it allows you to do.

I also believe that everyone should strive to have as much money as they can.

However, do not think money will solve all your problems. Having a lot of money comes with its own set of issues.

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not the type that believes money is the root of all evil.

But I do believe that if you can’t be happy without having an abundance of money, you probably won’t be happy by having it.

Money opens new doors and can help you live a happier life, but having it doesn’t guarantee happiness.

2. Being alone is bad

Some people like isolation, but in general we weren’t made to be loners.

We are meant to be around people and make connections with others.

Sharing your life with another person is one of the most important things for being happy.

However, not being in a relationship, having no friends, or anyone to talk to isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Sure, you won’t want to stay that way forever, but if you’re alone, make good use of this time.

Use this time to get to know yourself and decide what type of person you want to be, as well as what kinds of people you want to surround yourself with.

Being alone isn’t bad, just make sure that it’s temporary as permanent loneliness will negatively affect your life.

3. The present is indicative of the future

We cannot choose our parents, change certain birth defects, nor defeat specific diseases.

Beyond that,  we have the power to change just about anything about our lives.

Just because you’re broke, hate your job, dislike the people around you, etc., it doesn’t mean things have to stay that way.

Your present becomes part of your past the moment you live it and the future will never arrive.

The only thing you have control over is your present. Therefore if you don’t like something about it, work to change it so that you can love every moment of your life.

Action Steps:

    1. Write down your toxic belief (if any).
    2. Ask yourself why you have this belief.
    3. Work towards changing it based on what’s above.

#8. Help others

One of the easiest things to do in your journey to loving yourself is helping others.

The feeling you get when you help another person without expecting something in return is euphoric.

And the better you feel, the more you’ll like yourself.

If you want to see this principle in action go down to your local food kitchen and pay close attention to how happy the volunteers are.

You’d think the people being served would be the happiest, but it’s the complete opposite. Those serving ooze happiness.

When was the last time you helped a total stranger? I can guarantee you that no matter how long ago it was you have a perfect recollection of that moment.

That’s because it made you feel good. The kind of good that you don’t feel every day.

By the way, it doesn’t have to be anything major. Something as simple as helping an old lady carry her groceries will do.

Every little bit will make you feel better about yourself.

Action Steps:

    1. Help at least one stranger per week.
    2. Write down how it made you feel.
    3. Rinse and repeat.

#9. Avoid negativity

Ok, so I know that it’s impossible to live in today’s world and avoid negativity altogether.

However, it’s imperative that you stay away from it as much as possible in order to work your way into loving yourself.

The more negativity around you, the harder it becomes for you to be cheerful.

Have you ever walked by a group of people who were having a blast and for whatever reason you got excited even though you had no idea who they were?

Negativity works the same way. There more you see it, the more you’ll be bound by it.

Think of negativity like the flu… Avoid it if at all possible and if you must entertain it, then make sure it’s temporary.

Action Steps:

    1. Make a list of all predominantly negative individuals around you.
    2. Decide who you can cut out and who you must deal with.
    3. Cut out the ones you can, and “temporarily” deal with those you must.
    4. Pay attention to what you’re watching on TV and cut out as much negativity as possible.

#10. Learn to have fun by yourself

Do you ever set time aside for yourself? If you’re like most people… Probably not.

This doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, but it’s always good to have time set aside for yourself.

This time must be used to do something fun and I don’t mean fun for someone else, but for you.

If your idea of having fun is reorganizing your closet then that’s exactly what you should do with this time.

Remember, this journey is not about loving yourself through other people’s eyes… it’s about enjoying yourself to the point where you fall in love with the person you are.

One of my favorite things to do is look at the night sky. However, I live in South Florida so there’s nothing to look at most of the time.

So you know what I do? if I’m ever in the countryside or somewhere that I know city lights won’t interfere with my view of the sky I take a few minutes to enjoy myself.

Might sound boring to some people, but I get such a sense of peace when I look at the night sky that I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t.

… And no I couldn’t name you a single star outside of the three kings.

Action Steps

    1. Write down several things that make you happy which you can do by yourself.
    2. Do at least one of them each week.

11. Exercise

Most people associate the word exercise with being inside a gym lifting weights and running on a treadmill.

However, exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.

Simply put the healthier you are, the better you’ll feel about yourself.

Something as simple as walking your dog is a form of exercise that can help your overall health and wellness.

Along these lines, you should also pay attention to the food you eat.

Not everyone can walk around looking like Brad Pitt, but the better we look and feel, the easier it is to love ourselves.

Action Steps:

    1. Exercise at least twice a week.
    2. If possible, eat healthier food.

Conclusion

Everybody wants to be happy.

Most people will tell you that they want to be a millionaire, live in a mansion, be famous, and drive the fanciest car.

What they don’t say is that the only reason why they crave those things is because they believe that’s what will bring happiness into their lives.

However, the key to being happy is loving yourself.

No amount of money or possessions can bring happiness into your life the way loving yourself can.

Therefore, it’s imperative that you embark on a journey to learn how to love yourself.

Love yourself now. Don’t wait until you lose those extra pounds or until you’re swimming in cash.

There will always be reasons for disliking yourself but you must learn how to push them aside and love yourself NOW.

Use the above-mentioned techniques to help you on your journey to loving yourself.

Useful Resources:

Do you love yourself? Let me know why or why not, and what you plan to do about it…

Love FAQ

What it means to love yourself?

Loving yourself means that you have accepted yourself just the way you are and have come to grips with things about yourself that cannot be changed. It means to have confidence in yourself, have a positive self-image, and self-respect.

Can you love someone if you don't love yourself?

Yes, but it is my personal opinion that in order to achieve true happiness you must love yourself first. There will always be people around you that you feel great attachment/love towards, but what good does that do if you don't feel good about yourself?

How can I practice self love?

The best way to practice self-love is by getting to know yourself to the core. Knowing the things you like, dislike, as well as those you wish to improve upon. Spend time getting to know yourself and doing things that make you happy.

What does working on yourself mean?

Working on yourself means to spend energy making yourself a better person. Working on your flaws and figuring out what your purpose in life is. In other words, it is working to find your happiness.

How can I get my self worth back?

In order to get your self-worth back, you must take full responsibility for your current situation, and understand that no matter how bad things are you can take control and make it better.

How does it feel to love yourself?

There is probably a scientific definition for what it feels like to love oneself but to me its a feeling of knowing that no matter what life throws at you, everything is going to be OK because of you. It is knowing that you deserve to be alive and actually enjoying yourself.

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