For the past many years, I felt worthless as a human being. Why? Because I allowed people around me and my negative circumstances to define my self-worth. The result? I became a girl who used to walk with her head held low. As a teenager, we all go through some troubled time, and I wasn’t an exception to it. But instead of coping up with everything in a positive manner, I started questioning my self-worth. I started doubting whether I deserved to be loved or not. When I asked myself this question, without even knowing I gave the people around me the power to tell me whether I was worthy of love or not. And trust me, that’s a mistake. When you give this power of deciding whether you are love-worthy or not to someone else, you lose the ability to control yourself. Your self-worth becomes entirely dependent on the judgment of that other person. If things go fine, you can sigh a relief, but if that person decides to leave your life, you will be pushed towards darkness. It is, therefore, crucial to engage in self-love. You need to get that power back. We keep telling ourself that maybe we are not worthy of this and we are not worthy of that, but is it true? Why do we think like that? A superficial analysis will not work here. You need to go deep inside yourself to know the answer. You need to engage in the journey of self-discovery. Why do you hold such negative-image? Is it because of someone else or is it something that you have virtually created within your mind? The negative self-talk that you keep on having with yourself is nothing but garbage. And you need to throw this garbage out of your mind, literally. This is not going to be easy. Self-love is not easy, it is difficult but it is worth it because you deserve all the happiness of the world.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
Face and analyze the negative-talk
I have read and seen many motivational stuff, and the most common advice is that turn off that negative self-talk. It might be possible to push away those negative self-talk now and then. But this simply means that you are deciding to ignore the problem instead of facing it. The next weekend, whenever you are free, face all these negative self-talk and analyze them. Go to the root cause of it. Is it self-created hatred or you decided to give more value to the negative words of some other xyz person? Once you have the cause in front of you, analyze it. Try to think about its context and the circumstances in which those negative self-images were built. Now indulge in forgiveness. Forgive that person who passed that negative comment and forgive yourself for underestimating yourself. And now, start the exercise of self-love. Begin this process by listing the things that you like about yourself and then start your morning with a positive affirmation. When someone compliments you, say ‘thank you’ politely and gracefully accept the fact that you are worthy of receiving compliments.
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
– Mark Twain
What is self-love?
The urban dictionary defines self-love as an act of valuing yourself and accepting your self-worth. When you engage in self-love, you allow yourself to grow both externally and internally. One shouldn’t confuse self-love with the word selfish. A selfish person lacks consideration of other people. Just because you engage yourself with self-love doesn’t mean that you do not have the power to love others.
Why self-love is important?
While watching a TED talk, I came across a fact which stated that one out of every four girls have admitted that they had sex for the first time because they wanted to be liked, to be loved, they wanted to feel important… Terrible, isn’t it? How sad it is that one has to engage in the act of lovemaking to feel worthy of love. The situation has further worsened, thanks to Instagram where we are loaded with perfect images. You want that perfect body, house, lifestyle, car, food and what not. The level of body and life dissatisfaction have reached a whole new level. And therefore, indulging in self-love becomes necessary. You need to stop that comparison and love yourself. You might not be perfect, but does that even matter? Who defines what perfect is? You have the power to create that definition for yourself. What might be perfect for you might not be perfect for someone else. This is very subjective, therefore, do not let it affect you.
“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”
– Stacey Charter
Don’t be a people pleaser and do not seek for outside validation. Go in a relationship with yourself and fall in love with yourself. All that you need to have is you. Physical growth is something which happens very naturally. And we end up thinking that even mental and spiritual growth will come naturally to a person. But mental and spiritual growth doesn’t occur this way. One needs to work on it for its growth intentionally. You can do that by reading different books, by taking lessons from your experience and diverse other sources. Finding a way to grow yourself won’t be a problem but accepting that way is something that you need to learn. When you grow spiritually and mentally, you rise above the superficial things that you are surrounded with and it becomes a lot more easier to love yourself.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay
Celebrate your achievements
An excellent way of engaging in self-love is by rewarding yourself for your accomplishments. The wins might feel small but trust me; it is worth a celebration. And always prioritize yourself without feeling guilty. Often, in need of pleasing others, we end up giving priorities to other people, and it is very harmful. Fearlessly, keep yourself at the top of your to-do list. You need to feed your own needs. If you won’t take care of yourself, who else will? And don’t be too hard on yourself. Every now and then, consider giving yourself a break.
On this Valentine’s Day, love yourself!
Bonus! Self-Love Sheet