When we think of love, we often think of fiery romances and passion, but that’s not love. Love is genuinely knowing someone and accepting them despite their flaws. Love is treating your partner with respect and dignity. Love is mutually supporting one another’s goals.

Well, love doesn’t stop with your partner. Those same behaviors that come with loving another are imperative when it comes to loving yourself. I want to help you with this sometimes difficult path to self-love. When you love yourself, the world is a brand new place. You start each day in a better place. You start treating yourself better. Every aspect of your life will improve. 

The first step to loving yourself is simply being kind to yourself. I know you’re thinking it’s easier said than done, but it’s true. You wouldn’t make friends with someone who was always saying awful things about you, would you?

Then why do you allow it from yourself?

Be Nice To Yourself 

As children, we chanted it. “Sticks and stones will break my bones. But words will never hurt me.” We were wrong. Words can be damaging. They can decimate relationships and destroy self-confidence. They can bully, and they can demean. However, if used correctly, words can also inspire, uplift, and encourage. While it is important we say the right words to those we care about; it is even more vital that we choose the right words we are saying to ourselves. These words become our truths. They impact how we see ourselves and, in turn, how we project ourselves out into the world. 

If you’ve ever thought negative thoughts about yourself, if you’ve ever run yourself down over mistakes you’ve made, if you’ve ever just been outright mean to yourself, let’s take the first steps to change that today. It doesn’t come easily, nor does it always come naturally, but if you are willing to do the work, you will see amazing results in all facets of your life.

If you’ve looked into self-help, I’m sure you’ve come across words of affirmation. Even if they sounded cheesy, don’t brush them off just yet. Studies have shown these positive declarations open people up to a higher possibility of behavioral change. They also decrease stress and increase overall well being.

For an affirmation to be effective, it needs to be positive, and it needs to be current. It is crucial not to choose a statement such as “I am not a bad person.” Your mind always hones in on the negatives. You will be repeating “bad person,” and it will stick. Instead, choose “I am a good person!” Note how I kept it current. Choosing “I will be a good person” will only reiterate to yourself that you are not there yet! But you are! Own your words and rewire that brain!

For the most powerful results, it is best to focus on one affirmation at a time and truly commit to it. You are just starting out, and there is no need to overwhelm yourself just yet. Use the words as your new mantra. Speak the words to yourself as you get ready in the morning, on your commute, or when you need a pick me up. 

Do you feel silly talking to yourself? Not all affirmations need to be spoken aloud. Some people work better with the written word. That’s an entirely acceptable approach to this exercise. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down your affirmations. It doesn’t matter how you’re getting them out of your head and into the world; it only matters that you are getting them out there.

Our brains are designed with the ability to change. When you use your positive statements, you begin that rewiring process. You will start to alter your passive thoughts away from the negatives, and you will be amazed at how your outlook starts to change.

The Results

This path to self-love will completely alter your life. You will begin to see things in a different light, starting with yourself. Your health will start to improve. When you love yourself, you care about your body. You want it to keep going to support you through all stages of your life. I just know you’ll start feeling better from the inside out.

Relationships with others only become better when the relationship with yourself grows. No longer are you riddled with self-doubt and low self-esteem. Instead, you are confident and ready to make that new friend. You are more willing to put yourself out into the world when you love the skin that you are in. 

And, when you put yourself out into the world, there are opportunities aplenty. Your motivation will begin running high, and the drive to succeed is immense. There is nothing you can’t do! With all of this confidence, you are sure to take on that next promotion at work with ease. Or perhaps make that leap to starting your own business. Whatever you want, it’s suddenly in the cards for you.

Maybe the most satisfying part of self-love is the freedom you will feel. When you genuinely love yourself, the expectations others hold for you are irrelevant. You already know who you are and what you want. The immense feeling of just being yourself is incredibility freeing. You are free to get out there and take on the world.

What’s the first thing you’re going to tackle? You are capable of all of it.