Loving yourself is a prerequisite to creating a life of happiness. This is because you can only be truly happy and at peace with the world if you love yourself. Likewise, you can’t fully love another person if you don’t even appreciate yourself to begin with.
“You can't let someone else lower your self-esteem, because that's what it is - self-esteem. You need to first love yourself before you have anybody else love you.” - Winnie Harlow
With that said, how do you know if you love yourself enough?
Here are a few tips:
You love what you see in the mirror
You don’t need to have the most beautiful or the most handsome face in the universe to appreciate your looks. You also don’t need to have a supermodel’s body to say you look sexy. We can’t all be so fortunate to win the genetic lottery. But, the truth is, even those we think look ‘perfect’ have insecurities as well.
We think that making ourselves look perfect is the only way to appreciate what we see in the mirror. But when we’re constantly comparing ourselves to somebody else, and we’re always spotting imperfections even when there are none, then it’s never going to stop, is it? You’ll never be satisfied with your looks and yourself. You’ll always find something to criticize.
Sure, cosmetic technology may have come a long way, and you can now transform your physical appearance to your ideal one, but at what cost? Cosmetic surgeons don’t exactly do pro bono work, so expect to spend a lot of money. Unfortunately, not everyone has that kind of cash lying around, so they’re left with no choice but to totally avoid the mirror. But do you really need to do that? The good news is you absolutely don’t have to.
You just need to work on accepting yourself for who you are, that includes your looks. Whether you like it or not, it’s the face you were born with. Learn to look beyond the physical. Sooner or later, you’ll be comfortable in your own skin, and the mirror will finally become your friend.
You prioritize yourself above everyone else
Prioritizing yourself over others is not a sign of selfishness, it just means you love yourself more than others. However, if you take to an extreme, that is, if you step over others to get what you want, then it’s a different story. But, if you're not hurting anyone, then it’s okay.
The problem with most people is that they're too afraid to hurt others’ feelings. They follow their parents’ wishes, their spouse’s demands. They easily bow down to peer pressure even though they know what they’re being asked to do goes against their values.
Giving in to people you like and love is okay, but don’t make it a habit. Your so-called friends can easily exploit your trust. If you don’t learn to stand up for yourself and fight for what you believe in, they can easily manipulate you to do their bidding.
Letting others walk all over you is not a sign of selflessness. It’s a sign of stupidity, for lack of a better word. You’re a breathing human being. You have your dreams, your goals, your own life to live. Don’t waste your time making others happy if you yourself aren’t happy to begin with. If you want to devote your life to making others happy, you need to be in a position of loving yourself fully first.
You take care of your body and your health
Nothing says self-loathing louder than letting your health go to waste. The old cliché is true: your body is your temple. If you don’t take care of your body, then it means you’re not taking care of your temple.
You don’t need to sign up for a gym membership right now. Neither do you need to buy all organic food from this point forward. Taking care of your health simply means paying attention to your body and its needs. Make a habit of eating healthy food and stop feeding yourself junk food. Stop doing anything that basically degenerates your body. Things like smoking and drinking and taking drugs aren’t cool. Sure, these may give you a short-term burst of happiness, but in the long run, you’re going to suffer big time.
Learn to listen to your body. When you’re stressed and tired, take a nap. Take a day off. Go away for the weekend. Sometimes, you may also want to do nothing at all for the whole day. Binge watching Netflix isn’t ideal if you do it every day. But if it’s just once a week or once a month, then it shouldn’t be a problem, especially if it helps you take your mind off stressful things like work.
Give yourself some room to breathe. As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You not only get to have fun, but you also give your body a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine.