How do you have and maintain a relationship with another person? The to-do list goes on and on: Honesty, communication, trust, transparency – there are literally professions dedicated to understand the best way for two people to thrive and fall in love with each other. So with so much focus on how to nail a perfect relationship with others, why do we neglect the most important relationship that we will ever have, the one with yourself? People spend so much time putting themselves down, thinking they’re not good enough and having low self esteem. Moreover, they think that if they just got that job, or they just got that boyfriend/girlfriend, they would finally have self love. What we don’t think about, however, is that the same manual that we so closely follow and observe for a relationship with another can be applied in the exact same way to find love within ourselves.
Here are five tips on how fall in love with yourself and to continue to grow this love for the rest of your life.
1.) Be Yourself
Just like in a relationship, this is the cornerstone for love. While this seems like a pretty obvious step, social pressures have a huge effect on the image we end up showing to the outside world. We obviously want to fit in and have friends or a significant other, so many times we change how we act or what we do in order to reach these goals. The problem is, however, if you are not yourself you cannot love yourself. You have to embrace your individual qualities and your unique set of talents in order to truly thrive and be confident. While changing yourself has short term results, the long term is a sense of self-denial, and slowly the glassy surface you give to the world starts to crack. So sit down and decide that you are no longer afraid of what other people think and let that inner beauty shine.
2.) Communicate with yourself
How many times are you upset with another person and end up telling them that you “need to talk.” This talk may result in a very long conversation, where you both divulge reasons for why you are feeling a certain way and express your inner emotions in order to come to a resolution. My friends many times will say to me, exacerbated by a lack of communication with their crush “he won’t open up,” or “we need to have a heart to heart.” But then, when you are sitting by yourself and a bad emotion starts to swim in your head, how many times do you whip your phone out and distract yourself with Instagram or turn the TV on? We deny ourselves that same “heart to heart” that we expect in another person. So tell yourself “we need to talk.” If you aren’t feeling okay, sit down and have a heart to heart with your own heart. Find out why you’re feeling certain emotions, get to the bottom of an issue and talk it out.
3.) Trust yourself
If you cannot trust yourself, you can never love yourself. Trust is essential for confidence and absolutely essential for self love. You have to trust that you made the right decisions and will make the right decisions in the future. You have to trust in your gut feelings, in your choices and in the belief that everything will be okay. If trust is not present in an external relationship, it has no hope of lasting. It is the absolute same for the relationship you have internally. Slowly, anxiety builds, uneasiness persists and you fall out of touch with who you are — which means you absolutely fall out of love. All sense of self comes from trusting yourself and your ability to make decisions for yourself and from this comes confidence within, and then a deep sense of love for who you are and who you want to be.
4.) Forgive yourself
Mistakes are one of the most important parts of life. Mistakes are how we learn, and how we grow. In life, however, mistakes are greatly frowned upon and are a great way to really start to hate yourself. To err is to be human and it is surprisingly a positive part of your life, because without them there would be no change, no soul evolution and really no reason to try new things. We have to learn to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes. Just as in a relationship, unfortunate events or random outcomes happen and it is vital to offer forgiveness to the other person if you want to continue in the relationship. The same principle applies to yourself. You absolutely have to forgive yourself and mistakes you made in order to love who you are. If you change your mindset to one where mistakes are a part of letting your inner light shine, forgiveness will come much easier. Forgive and let live for others, but more importantly, for yourself.
5.) Spend some quality time with yourself
It is all too often that as a relationship gets more serious, many couples have the conversation about neglecting to spend quality time with each other. Quality time is essential because it focuses on the two people and allows for all of the above principles to happen in a conversation. It opens communication and allows for the two people to zone in on one another and get to know one another. Well, again this exact same thing applies to you. When is the last time you took an hour walk just by yourself? When is the last time you did something you really enjoy, and did it just for you, not for someone else? Bake yourself a cake, cook yourself an amazing dinner, buy yourself some flowers and celebrate who you are. Being alone with yourself allows you to know yourself and to honor yourself. From this comes self respect and then self love. We are so busy in our everyday lives that we neglect to spend time alone. Many people also think that this is a sign of having no friends or being unpopular. This could not be farther from the truth, and alone time should really be your best time. So, take some time this week to have a date with just you, and that self love will have nothing else to do but grow!