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My aunt once told me that love is like a inviting friends over for dinner. If there is no food in the fridge, there is nothing to serve. Similarly, if there is no self-love in your heart then you cannot give others the love they deserve.

Everyone knows that self-love is a crucial foundation for any person’s character. When one has a sense of genuine self-love they may be a better friend, romantic partner, coworker, and they will overall be a happier more fulfilled person. The problem is not so much in acknowledging the importance of self-love, but rather instead in learning how to love oneself to the best of one’s abilities.

Within this article, I will be discussing how one can achieve a state of consistent self-love and things one should remember in trying to achieve this sense of self love.

1- Self-love is a journey not a destination:

Oftentimes we forget that self-love is actually a process and not a final result. When you are in a relationship or friendship, you must put in consistent work to maintain that friendship otherwise that connection ends. Similarly, you must put consistent work into oneself in order to achieve a true state of self-love. While friends may come and go, maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself is the only guaranteed life-long relationship. When you show yourself a sense of respect and dignity and you think about yourself in a respectful manner, you will develop this sense of self-love.

2- You can still be disappointed in yourself but still maintain self-love:

Think of it like this, have you ever gotten into a fight with another person? It might have been with someone you loved, perhaps they did something to disappoint you or they let you down in some way. This can also occur with yourself. Acknowledging mistakes you’ve made does not have to end in a shouting match with oneself, rather instead, you can acknowledge your flaws and work on ways to improve them. When you genuinely and consistently love another person, you accept them for all of their flaws and you support their self-growth. Maintaining a relationship with yourself is no different. There may be bad days or days where you did not accomplish a goal that you really wanted to, or got rejected from a job, or failed a test that you felt you could have passed. Rather than beat yourself up over it, think about how a genuine friend would react to your mistake if you confided in them. They would support you and support your self-growth and they would not let this mistake impact the love they have for you. You should regard yourself the same way a best friend would treat you. Even when you make a mistake.

3- Do not compare yourself with others:

When one has insecurities they may find difficulty in not comparing themselves to others. If one is insecure about their physical appearance, they may find themselves in a rut of constantly comparing themselves to others. Finding yourself in this predicament can be a strong indicator you may be lacking in the self-love department. When you can take a moment to look in the mirror and truly see the beauty of your reflection, you can develop with a sense of self-love. If you are insecure about your accomplishments, take a minute and read over your resume and look at all of the things you have accomplished already. Once you examine your dichotomy you’ll realize that you are successful after all and you can brainstorm healthy ways to continue your success and push yourself in a healthy manner to achieve the goals you want to.

4- Hang out with Positive People who treat you well

Here is something we’ve all fallen into, a toxic friend group. When you hang around people with insecurities, they begin to pick away at your sense of security because they do not want to take active steps to achieve a state of self-love within themselves. This can be damaging to your own progress in achieving a sense of self love. You must work on minimizing time with people who do not add to your self-growth. I would suggest minimizing that time to zero. It can be challenging to acknowledge that your friend group may not be healthy for you, or that your family may not be respecting healthy boundaries, but once you begin to distance yourself from those who cause you emotional or physical pain, you are beginning to take the ultimate step towards self-love. That step is understanding that others need to respect you and that if they do not, you need to develop healthy and safe self boundaries to protect your heart. This includes family, healthy boundaries and distance is a must until people begin to treat you with the respect you deserve. 🙂

5- Acknowledge you are human

When we have high bars for ourselves it can be difficult to remember that we are human beings who are capable of making mistakes and improvements. This does not mean we should love ourselves any less, in fact, it should be an inspiration to love ourselves even more! When we can look back and see our improvements from the past, we can truly see our own strength and our ability to grow. What is not to love about that? We are human beings who deserve love and we must be aware of the love we can offer ourselves. We are all so different and that is what makes us beautiful. If we embrace this so willingly in others we should embrace it within ourselves.

Buy yourself a valentine, take yourself out to dinner, go to a movie, basically treat yourself the way you would spoil a friend or romantic partner. Because you deserve all the love in the world. <3