What is Self-love? How to practice it?

Self-love Rituals

Self-love - Our most powerful weapon in the war we wage against the world.

Also, the one concept I love talking about. Practicing self-love changed my life. Most of us don’t even realise, that there is a little corner of our brains dedicated to destroying our own selves.

There is so much self-doubt and self-blame, that no room is left for growth or happiness.

Related: Step-by-step guide to becoming more self-aware

We all like to think of ourselves as fairly confident people. Except we allow social opinions to dictate our life choices. Our social media image carries more weight than our achievements at a humane level. We dress according to the latest fashion. We are so diplomatic that we have forgotten what it’s like to be honest. None of this points to a confident individual. It points to insecurity, gullibility and a lack of self-respect.

Cultivating self-love has been reduced to a fad with little understanding behind it.

The term has become so commonplace that people have stopped treating it with the gravity and respect it deserves. It’s not about fancy spa days or buying yourself whatever you want or worse, ignoring your own mistakes.

What is self-love? How to practice it?

What does self-love really mean?

Self-love, to put it simply, means being kind to oneself. It precludes comparison to others, self-denigration or self-blame.

It’s often confused with narcissism. Narcissism is a recognized psychological disorder. It is a dangerous obsession with furthering one’s own needs. Narcissists are toxic people who can damage the emotional health of those that care about them.

Self-love, on the other hand, is gentle and focused on lifting oneself without putting anyone else down. It goes hand in hand with self-awareness.

Elements of Self-love-

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Compassion

Most importantly, knowing that you are capable of mind-blowing awesomeness!

Learn to Love every inch of your heart, mind, and body. Learn to be so comfortable with your unique self, that nobody should ever be able to embarrass or discomfit you into altering yourself.

If I had a dollar for every single time someone called me crazy or weird, I would be a very, very rich lady. Instead, I settle for a patronising smile, put a little swagger in my step and walk away. These moments give me so much power. Now, If anybody called me normal, I would be beyond disgusted. To spend every day improving myself from a place of love, that is the rule I live by.

I never allow people to put me down, nor do I allow the opinions of irrelevant people any mental space, but none of this is easy to do. Last Monday, I published a post about Self-awareness which has to be nurtured in a loving environment.

Aiming for a strong personality without first developing self-awareness is fairly pointless. It’s like erecting a beautiful building without a sound foundation. The building is in constant danger of collapse.

If self-awareness is accompanied by self-love, the process of growth is faster and more effective. When we set out on a journey of self-discovery, there are a lot of truths that we uncover. Some of them are so awful that they make us want to curl up and sob our hearts out. Been there, done that!

In such moments, only a sense of strong self-worth can help you. You must feel like you have a right to fight for your happiness and a better future. It will help you snap out of the vortex of pain and replace that crumbling, defeated confidence with a renewed surge of energy, all of it directed towards building a well-rounded, self-sufficient person prepared to deal with whatever life chooses to throw at her.

Related: 5 steps to rapid personal growth

Think about how you would fight for the person you love the most in the world, now do yourself a favor and make yourself that person. (No, I am not channeling Harvey Specter!)

Don’t ever confuse self-love with selfishness. You need to understand that if you can’t love yourself, you will never be able to love anyone else either. This other person will simply end up being a crutch for you. You will derive validation from the success of the said relationship, putting undue pressure on it, and the other person involved.

To say I love you, one must first be able to say the “I”.

Now that we understand the importance of self-love, here are a few ways of practicing it-

1) Learn to say ‘No’

Push the toxic people out of your life. Refuse them access. Say no to doing things that violate your personal code. If someone is constantly relying on you to come to their rescue, even if it is at great personal cost, shut it down! You don’t have to validate your existence by obliging others. Set boundaries. Help those who need it, not those who abuse it.

Related: 7 Signs Of A Toxic Person

2) Say ‘No’ without an accompanying explanation

‘No’ can be a complete sentence. Say no and walk away. You don’t have to explain your refusal. If you feel you are being pushed around, you have the right to walk away without needing to make the other person understand. If you are afraid you’ll lose them, then ask yourself, if you really want someone so self-serving that they would walk away simply because they didn’t get their way.

3) Take responsibility for your actions

Lack of accountability will keep you from growing into a better person. When you make a mistake, be gracious, apologise and move on. Doing so will give you a feeling of power. It will rob the other person of the opportunity to make you feel bad. The world will see you as someone who has his act together.

Related: How A Victim Mentality Can Destroy Your Life? 5 Steps To Go From Survivor To Fighter

4) Accept yourself

If you truly know and accept your flaws, nobody in the world can use them against you. Develop better self-awareness.

5) Cultivate healthy behaviour patterns

Don’t do things that hurt you! When I am successfully maintaining a steady exercise schedule, I feel great about myself because along with taking care of my body, every day I am accomplishing a task that requires discipline. I don’t sleep with my phone next to me. Doing such little things make me feel good about myself.

Maybe there is something similar you can do for yourself. Better skin care, giving up alcohol or smoking, taking walks – anything, no matter how small, will make a difference.

6) Defend yourself

Next time someone tries to put you down, stand up for yourself and fight. Do it with grace and dignity. You may not be able to win the verbal battle, but at least you’ll know that you didn’t let the other person treat you like a pushover.

7) Forgive Yourself

We are our own worst critics! Don’t indulge in self-hate. It would be tragic if the voice inside your own head becomes the instrument of your destruction. No matter how many times you fail, forgive yourself and start afresh. The one thing every success story has in common is persistence. So, allow yourself to be human and just keep going.

Related: How to forgive and let go of unhealthy emotions?

8) Don’t complain and be grateful

Practicing gratitude has made such an immense difference in my life. Every morning starts with me saying a thankful prayer for all the wonderful things in my life. This sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Whenever I catch myself complaining, I remember all the amazing things I have and it changes my mood completely. Be intentional about this. Every time you catch yourself complaining, just stop talking and redirect your mind towards positive things in your life.

9) Celebrate the little wins

I celebrate everything! A good hair day, finding a good book, productive day at work – everything and anything! Celebrate yourself. Don’t wait for the world to appreciate you, appreciate yourself! Give yourself a boast at every opportunity!

10) Please, don’t compare yourself to others!!

I cannot emphasise this enough. Comparing yourself to others is the most toxic thing you can do. You don’t know their story. You don’t know what they had to go through to get where they are, so don’t compare your own life with theirs.

Compare who you are today to who you were yesterday. That’s your benchmark! If you are better today, then you were yesterday, go celebrate!!

(you, see what I did there 😉  )

In conclusion, you are amazing. Every little achievement counts! Love and respect yourself and turn every failure into a stepping stone towards greatness. Also, to add a little musical emphasis here, listen to the song ‘Masterpiece’ by Jessie J! Really gets the point across.

Related: The Best Self-Care Products For A Healthier Mind & Body

The Brain Behind The Blog

Hi! I'm
Krati Mehra

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I know what it’s like to fall apart and gradually put your pieces back together to build something better than what you had before and I share all my lessons in this space hoping that you will share my learnings without the struggle.

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