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love is a powerful thing.

I find that the United States tends to focus on external love between heterosexual couples. While there's definitely room for improvement and imagination there, one story I'd like to see more of is the journey to self-realization, discovery, and more importantly, self-love. 

I don't think we talk enough about emotional wellness enough, but taking care of ourselves is incredibly important. How we treat ourselves has a direct relationship with our level of happiness, success, and fulfillment. 

I wrote a post called Why You Need to Love Yourself First. That post went into more detail on why you should be kind to yourself. This post is one of its companions: habits you can implement to bring more self-love into your life.

Here they are:


1. be serious about positive affirmations

Yes, I know this sounds cheesy, but your internal dialogue effects you more than you know. It's called dialogue for a reason: how you speak to yourself cultivates beliefs that ingrain in your body and your behaviors.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.
— kathryn j. lively, Ph.D., psychology today

We all have negative scripts in our head. Mine tended to be a sense of failure and inadequacy that often pushed me to rush too fast into projects and give up too quickly. I had to rewrite these scripts in my head and learn to be patient and kind about my creative process. 

Positive affirmations also help to raise the vibrations or frequencies of your energy. When you truly believe in the best of yourself, you invite the support, the people and the opportunities that match with your energy to connect.

In general, positive affirmations should be written in first person, present tense, and should be emotionally charged and positive. 

For example: "I am filled with so much love and gratitude that I can handle any adversity that comes my way."

Take the time to write down at least five affirmations that connect with you personally. Practice saying them aloud and with conviction three to five times each in the morning and night. It's not an overnight fix: it's a continuous journey of strengthening your inner balance.


2. cut the toxic mess from your life

People and habits that challenge your inner peace have no room in your life. Oftentimes we may stay in relationships or continue specific habits out of a sense of inadequacy, obligation, or even a fear of loneliness.

Affirmations will help you on the road to thinking differently about yourself, but you also have to find the strength to cut the toxic influences from your life. 

Toxic habits are personal and infinitely varied, so I'm not going to attempt to list them. Relationships, however, include friends, coworkers and peers, partners, even family.

I know that it can feel as if you have nothing left when you're in the midst of a toxic relationship. Sometimes you might not even realize that what you have isn't good for you.

Learning to let go is, in fact, a way to fall in love with yourself. You are saying that you value and love yourself way too much to allow those bad influences into your life.

If the person who claims to love you or be your friend inhibits you from reaching your goals, from feeling confident in yourself, then you need to have a talk with them, or they need to go. 

This is different from uncertainty. Sometimes those who care for us will try to hold us back for reasons that come from love. Sometimes they can be concerned that your path or your dreams aren't the best way to success. 

This is actually helpful. It's valuable to listen to reservations, because you can use their advice to avoid making the mistakes that may upend your journey to success. Learn, however, not to take anyone's advice as final word: in the end, it's your life, and you've got to do what means the most for you. 


3. learn to compliment yourself

This is hard for myself, not because I don't want to compliment myself, but because I know I can constantly improve. This often means that I avoid complimenting myself because I fear I'll fall into complacency. 

When I go for such a long time without reflecting on my accomplishments, it can feel as if I hadn't done anything at all. That's not a good feeling.

There's a way to compliment yourself without making yourself too comfortable. Recognize the work that has brought you here so far. Find absolute joy and pride in who you are and what you've accomplished, but never lose sight of the ultimate goal.

Outside of work, practice complimenting other areas of your life. For example, women are the constant subject of body-shaming. You may want to improve your figure (and there's nothing wrong with that), but understand that you are beautiful as you are. You improve out of self-love, not because a magazine told you you had to. 

Actually, when you take the time to compliment yourself and find your own power, you're more likely to succeed at your goals because those goals are strengthened by internal motivation.

Practice complimenting five things about yourself a day. Spread them out over the day to encourage consistent positive power.


4. nurture your confidence

Confidence, confidence, confidence. Sometimes this can seem elusive, especially when you're feeling anything but.

You deserve to be confident. You deserve to be proud of who you are. Confidence increases happiness, security, and a belief in your ability to take on challenges and reach your goals. Finding your confidence is a powerful way to fall in love with yourself. 

There's a few ways you can cultivate this. Studies show that confidence can be encouraged by an improvement in posture. Basically: walk the walk. This article from Entrepreneur talks about the research behind appearing confident to increase self-confidence.

This also is true of eye-contact and clarity of voice: the more you do it, the more others, and yourself, will believe in your confidence.

Another way to increase confidence? I'll say it again: your inner dialogue. When you believe that you belong, no one can convince you that you don't. 

If you're nervous or unsteady, run a few lines of power in your mind. Tell yourself that you belong, that you deserve a seat at the table. Believe it or not, your body will follow suit.

Finally, a third tip for nurturing confidence includes an acceptance of your imperfections. You wouldn't be human if you didn't have them, and they're a beautiful part of life. Japan embraces this: it's called wabi-sabi, an aspect of their culture that celebrates and finds imperfections aesthetically pleasing. 

Let's get like Japan. If you focus too much on your imperfections as a negative part of who you are, you're almost guaranteed to show your preoccupation when dealing with others. 


5. learn to be your own knight in shining armor 

The truth is: no one can love you as much as you can. You have to live with yourself for your entire life, and it is your job to respect and cherish yourself to become the best, brilliant you you can be.

For this reason, be your own damn knight in shining armor. Learn not to rely on others to create your happiness or to give you permission to try. Respect your dreams, your ideas, and your voice.

Learn to defend yourself. Speak against those who would hold you down, and don't be afraid to cut the mess that threatens to dampen your spark.

It is your right to follow your dreams. It is your right to be treated with love, generosity, support and kindness, given that you treat the world with the same charity.

Start with yourself. Don't rely on others to save you. Find your power. Love yourself.


What are your techniques for falling in love with yourself? Let me know in the comments below!



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