How to Love Yourself and Not Hate Yourself
Self-Love is a Choice
How do we find self-love and success when our inner voice is telling us that we're worthless?
It can be hard to love yourself when you're not living up to the potential of who you could be.
And it's even harder if you have low self-esteem or a negative self-image.
How you think about yourself is what creates your experience, so the way you see yourself is more important than anything else.
We all deserve love and kindness, but sometimes we don't even give it to ourselves.
If you don’t like who you see in the mirror, or you’re carrying negative baggage from the past that makes you hate yourself, stop it now.
You’re not that bad, and there’s always a way to make things right again.
Let's take a look at the best ways you can overcome self-hatred, and replace it with self-love, success, and abundance.
Why Do We Feel Self-Hatred?
1. Mistakes From the Past
Everyone has made mistakes in their life.
Sometimes, people make huge mistakes that can have devastating effects on their lives.
Other times, we make small mistakes that don't seem to affect anything, but if we repeat them enough, they become a real problem.
We all have moments where we wish we could go back and change the past or prevent something bad from happening.
However, if you think about it more deeply, making mistakes is actually an essential part of success.
Mistakes teach us valuable lessons that will help us grow and understand ourselves better so that we don't repeat the same mistake again.
If you don't deal with your mistakes from the past, they can destroy your future.
2. You Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough
We all know the feeling of not being good enough.
It can be so intense and consuming that it becomes hard to see the beauty in ourselves, our lives, or even in the people around us.
When this happens we tend to withdraw from life and avoid socializing with others. But self-isolation is the worst thing you can do.
If we feel like we aren’t good enough for long enough, we start to believe it, and it becomes self-hate.
But what if instead of trying to be perfect all the time, you just let yourself be who you are?
Being imperfect is beautiful too.
You might feel like there's something wrong with you because no matter how hard you try, things don't always go your way.
That doesn't mean that you're a failure. It means you're human.
3. You Were Told You’re Worthless
Have you ever been told that you are worthless?
One of the most damaging things can say to someone is to tell them they're worthless, dumb, or that they'll never amount to anything.
Those words not only make us hate ourselves, but we also start seeing ourselves as less valuable.
When we're told this, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We end up living in a world where we believe our own self-defeating thoughts about ourselves.
It's often our parents, teachers, and friends that tell us we're not good enough.
These are the same people we look to most for love, acceptance, and validation.
It's hard not to let these words affect you when you hear them over and over again, especially from someone you love.
You start hating yourself for who you are because you believe you're not good enough.
But the truth is that the people telling you you're worthless are the ones who most feel that way about themselves.
4. Self-Destructive Habits
Have your self-destructive habits ever made you hate yourself?
I know mine used to, every day for about ten years.
Self-destructive habits include drugs, alcohol, gambling, overindulgence of sex, lying, cheating, procrastination, laziness, and self-loathing.
Few things are as frustrating as knowing your habit is destroying your life, but at the same time, you can’t stop doing it.
Before you know it you’ve repeated the same habit you swore you’d never repeat again.
That makes you dislike yourself even more because if you can’t stop this habit there must be something wrong with you right?
When we aren’t congruent with who we think we should be, we don’t like ourselves.
So what’s the solution? Habits can be hard to break, some harder than others.
The most important thing is to consciously acknowledge how this habit is destroying your life.
You then need to replace the negative habit with a more positive activity to take its place.
From there the change is incremental.
Take it one day at a time until you’ve gained momentum and the new behaviour becomes anchored into your nervous system.
How to Find Self-Love
1. Write About Your Past in Detail
Self-love isn't always easy to come by. It's a process that takes time.
There are many ways to get there, but one of the best ways is writing about your past.
Writing about memories you feel good or bad about can help you find self-love for the future.
You may be thinking that this sounds too simple and it won't work - but in truth, it does work!
It's not always pleasant reliving past memories, but writing about them gives you a new perspective.
You're seeing your memories through the eyes of who you are now, not who you were at the time.
When you analyze your past through new eyes, old experiences take on new meanings.
Maybe what you thought were your darkest days were actually what had the biggest impact on you to move forward and make something of yourself.
Others experiences you've been holding onto, in retrospect, now seem insignificant.
Reviewing your past in detail is amazingly therapeutic.
Most of the negative associations we have to our past can be dissolved once we attach a new, more empowering meaning to them.
2. Decide Who You Want to Be
Sometimes we go through life on auto-pilot and don't even think about the type of person we want to be.
We get caught up in the day-to-day, and it’s not until our lives start to crumble under pressure that we start questioning ourselves on a deeper level.
As human beings, we need to be in alignment with the person we want to be.
One of the most common reasons people hate themselves is they don't feel they're living up to an image they have about who they should be.
This can be a major factor in our self-esteem and confidence levels.
It's time to find out what type of person you want to be, so you can start living up to your potential and experience the self-love you deserve.
3. Identify What You Don’t Like About Yourself
Knowing what you don't like about yourself can help you to cultivate your self-love.
It's an empowering message to believe in and to live by.
But it's not always easy listing all the things you don't like about yourself that you know you need to change.
But when it comes to building your self-love and well-being, you need to understand yourself, both the good and the bad.
Loving yourself sounds obvious and simple. But the fact is that many people struggle with self-love.
4. Set New Goals That Excite You
Setting goals for your life can be a great way to find self-love.
The process of setting and achieving goals builds you up, motivates you, and keeps you focused on what's most important.
Goals also give you something meaningful to work towards.
Having meaning is a prerequisite to fulfilment, and exactly what we need when it comes to finding self-love.
While setting goals is important, what's even more important are the steps you take to achieve those goals.
You can't just set a goal and expect it to happen without any work.
Don't hate yourself, love yourself!
Time for Some Action!
1. Write Your Life Story
- Write about your past as if it were a story, from when you were a child until now
- Choose 3 life experiences that had the biggest impact on you
- Write about how they influenced your life and how you changed as a person as a result of these experiences
- Finally, for each experience, write three positive learnings you can take from them (the experience might not be positive, but there’s still something there for you to learn)
2. What Don't You Like About Yourself?
- List all the things you don’t like about yourself and your life
- Write a short paragraph for each describing how each particular trait is holding you back from the life you want
- For every characteristic you don’t like, write its opposite, or what you would prefer to have in its place
- Finally, write a few paragraphs about how your life will be once you discard what you don’t like and integrate the new behaviours into your personality.
3. Decide Who You Want to Be
- Write in detail about your ideal self
- Include what you look like, how you think, what you do, how you speak, and the type of life you live
- Identify three things you can do this week that will move you closer to being that person
4. Set New, Exciting Goals
- Break your life into categories like health, career, relationships, finances, etc
- For each category write three goals you want to achieve in the next 1-3 years
- Write the goal, why you want the goal, your plan for achieving the goal, and how your life will improve as a result
- Now choose one goal from each category and take the first step towards them, and repeat
Best Quotes About Self-Love
“We must fall in love with ourselves. I don’t like myself. I’m crazy about myself” - Mae West
“Just be, and enjoy being” - Eckhart Tolle
“You start to live the moment you stop competing with others” - Maxime Lagacé
“You can’t really love someone else unless you really love yourself first” - Fred Rogers
“The moment you accept yourself, you become beautiful” - Osho