Why is "Love Yourself" So Difficult?

It all starts at a very young age. We listen to what people say around us and we perceive the media as a source of truth and ultimate guidance. We quickly learn to be dissatisfied with ourselves and others. We compare and assimilate that we will never be beautiful, or intelligent enough, for anyone. We become our worst critic.

Loving ourselves should be the most basic and natural daily ritual; yet, we can probably count on one hand how many positive thoughts we’ve had about ourselves in a given week! The only thing standing between love and hate is our mindset.

What is self-love?

Self-love is appreciation for who we are, as we are, right now. The same unconditional love that we are capable of giving to other people in our lives, no matter what they do or look like, is exactly what we should award to ourselves as well.

Why so difficult?

We have learned, over generations, to react to criticism, to take comments and opinions personally, and to compare ourselves constantly with the world around us. The society’s thirst for perfection has made us pawns for self-judgment and self-deprecation.

When it comes to our bodies, we are being bombarded with photo-shopped images of so-called perfection and diets and fitness ideals that far surpass our capacities, and which, in turn, make us feel even more dissatisfied.

Promote self-love

While we can’t change what the media promotes about our personality, our character, or our bodies, we can change how we perceive ourselves, how we process information and opinions, and how we apply them to our lives.

Acceptance and appreciation for yourself

Wherever you go, whatever you do, however you look, there is one person who will always be there for you: YOU! Appreciation is the key to a rewarding life and the basis for all positive changes. You need to team up with yourself, accept how you are today, and appreciate all the little details of who you are. Foster a healthy relationship with yourself.

Catch negative thoughts

Be aware of the negative thoughts you have about yourself as they occur. Being an active witness is a remarkably powerful tool against ego-driven, self-destructive thought processes. Becoming conscious of your own presence, your critical mind will start lessening the attacks.

Stop the pleasing quest

The only person that should be pleased by you is yourself. Don’t try to please everyone.

Be positive

Write something positive about yourself daily. The goal is to start focusing on the positive and slowly let go of the negative.

Grain of salt

You can’t always stop or prevent negative self-talk or the hurtful comments of others; it’s the way you process that information that will make a big difference in your life. Opinions, hurtful comments, even compliments - take them all with a grain of salt.

No matter what others say, nothing can truly affect you or your self-image, unless you let it.

Do it for the right reasons

No matter what changes you decide to do in your life, always base them on how it makes you feel, not for what others may think. For example, don’t try to change yourself or try to lose weight to look like your next-door neighbor, do it because it would make you feel better.

Inside out

Unlike what the media tries to tell us about success and beauty, it all starts within. True beauty comes in all shapes and forms. Beauty is inside out.

Role model

How we perceive and treat ourselves, in thoughts, words, and actions, will teach others to do the same, whether a child, a friend, or a stranger. Foster well-being and self-appreciation — we could all use inspiring role models!

Embrace who you are and enjoy and appreciate yourself and your body as it is today. Your physical appearance does not define who you are or your value. Care for yourself, stay active, and have fun!