One of the most important thing everyone needs to learn in this life is to love themselves. Not just loving, but loving without conditions. It doesn’t mean being egotistical, it means forgiving yourself when you make mistakes (after all, you?re human). It means appreciating what’s good about yourself. It also means being able to love others with all your heart, because your heart knows what true love is. These 13 mental exercises will set you on the right path to truly loving yourself.
1. Remind yourself what you love about you
Many allow their mistakes to rule their lives rather than their triumphs. The first thing you must remind yourself of is how great you are. When you know your own value, the world recognizes it too. Remember that you are often a mirror for the world around you ? when you?re angry at someone?s mistake, you recognize that mistake in yourself. The same goes the other way as well ? your love of others is a reflection of your love for yourself. Remind yourself of all that is wonderful about you, and trust me, the world will see it too.
2. You can plan for the future, but you have to LIVE in the moment
There is a saying that goes: ?People make plans and God laughs?. Even if you try to plan each step in your life ahead of time, there are always surprises and opportunities, and if you don?t pay attention ? they might just pass you by. Live in the now, enjoy what you have, it might be gone tomorrow.
3. Approval is important, but you are more important
You don?t have to be one of the herd, and you don?t need permission to be who you are. You are your own person, and if people around you can?t accept it ? it?s their problem, not yours. It doesn?t mean that you need to be egocentric, but you do need to remember it’s not a crime to put your own needs first sometimes.
4. Remove harmful influences
If you have people in your life that are constantly taking you in the wrong direction, or treat you with disrespect or worse ? cut them loose. If you want to stop smoking, don?t hang around people who keep offering you cigarettes. The people in your life should support you and appreciate you for who you are. Quality over quantity!
5. Forgive yourself for past mistakes
We all make mistakes, some big, some small. The most important thing is to be able to forgive yourself for these mistakes. Remember that your mistakes don?t define you, they just make you human. Most importantly, you come away with a lesson. But the most important thing to keep in mind is – we ALL make mistakes, each and every day. We can all be a little better, a little stronger or faster or wiser. Do what you can, and forgive yourself for the rest.
6. Change what you know needs to be changed
If there?s something you enjoyed doing but now takes all your energy away, it may be time to stop doing it. By sticking to old habits from pure inertia, you end up stuck in the same place, never making any progress. Keep doing what makes you happy and gives you energy, and avoid things that don?t empower you. Don’t be afraid of change, it may be hard in the short-term, but in the long-term, nothing is more important than you finding satisfaction in this life.
7. Do (at least) one thing that makes you happy every day
Sounds corny, right? And yet how many of us forget to take a happy moment for ourselves? Between work, family obligations, paying bills, and so on, we lose track of what makes us happy and can spend days, and even weeks without doing something that truly delights us. Despite what some might tell you, everybody needs their ?me time?, where they devote their time to something that brings them joy. There?s nothing selfish about taking care of your own needs. This is what gives you the energy to spend on others the rest of the time.
8. Don?t be afraid of new things and new opportunities
Instead of fearing the unknown, embrace it. You?ll learn more about yourself and may even discover a hidden talent. The future is littered with possibilities, so don?t squander yours. Life is dull if you stick to the same set of actions. Try things that scare you and find out how many different colors and tastes life has to offer, if you are willing to take that brave step. And it IS brave, because change is hard. But it’s also what makes us feel most alive.
9. Listen to your gut feelings and don?t lie to yourself
A person who speaks with integrity has a powerful presence. Leave the storytelling for bedtime. Once you?re honest with yourself, you can also listen to your own advice. We often lie to ourselves, break promises and dissapoint ourselves in ways we would never inflict on others. It’s important to treat yourselves with the same respect and commitment you give so freely to others.
10. Believe in yourself!
"Oh, back to corny again," you may be thinking. That doesn’t matter, because if you don’t believe in yourself, eventually no one will. People believe you know yourself best, andd if you keep putting yourself down and doubting your own strengths, so will others. So hold your head up high, and don’t be ashamed to feel proud, to go for what you want without fear of failure. You have power and abilities, so believe you can use them to achieve your goals.
11. In your life?s story, you?re the writer, not the reader
So often in life it seems we are being dictated the course of our day, as if a giant hand is tossing us about from event to responsibility. Get ahead of the game, try to put yourself in positions where you set the tone of your day, and you decide where you’d like to take it. Remember that others are feeling this way too. We’re all fighting to lead our lives instead of being led by them. Be pro-active and show the world you can take control of your day and lead it, instead of being led.
12. Be present in your life, you don?t get another chance
Living in the moment is not the same as being present. Being present means paying attention to what is happening. It means appreciating the full significance of what is happening to you and around you. Life is more than just the moments you experience and remember; it?s every second of every day. You are alive all the time, every breath, every step. So once in a while, lift your head up, look around you and try to be present in this moment, to FEEL it, sense it and love it as a moment in time that belongs to your life story.
13. Always make an effort to be kind and loving
You don?t need to believe in Karma to know that good deeds come back to you. Kindness is its own reward, but it also comes back to you, sometimes twice-fold. Be kind and forgiving, be inclusive and thankful. And most importantly, try not to judge before you know the whole story. People will appreciate that about you and confide in, while you’ll learn to appreciate that side of yourself that people can trust.