How do you react when people give you a compliment? Do you accept it, smile and thank them or are you one of those when they hear “You look good” or “Sharp shirt”, they go – Oh? (eye roll) Are you serious?This shirt? I have had it since 2004. I even forgot I had it. It is getting old. See?
By time you are through hearing about the shirt, you start questioning yourself on why you gave the compliment in the first place.
Or you compliment someone on her weight loss and she says “No! It’s my dress. I have not been up to 1 month in the gym to lose weight”
By the time she is through with running herself down, you will end up agreeing with her that it was indeed her dress that deceived you.
What makes it hard for some people to accept a compliment and instead ask the person that paid the compliment to explain their reason for it?
Why can’t you take compliments?
It is simple. You feel that you do not deserve it.
No one is making you feel bad about weight and your shirt. No one said any bad thing. You are the one who chose not to accept the compliment. The feeling of inadequacy and unworthiness is coming from you.
You cannot love yourself until you start taking responsibility for your feelings. It is no someone who is making you feel unloved. The feeling is coming from you.
Today you are going on another date with yourself to find out more loving yourself is.
- Doing and saying what honors and uplifts you.
Vulgar words do not honor you or make you belong to any special class. It belittles, debases and dehumanizes you. And not just you, it does the same to the people you are talking to and the others listening to you.
You can still express yourself properly without resorting to vulgarity. What does not uplift you debases you.
Loving yourself means using words that uplifts you and others, not words that debases you, no matter how popular it becomes.
- Letting go of old wives tale and false belief
It does not have to be that way. Just because some not too good things happened to Grace does not mean that it is normal and that you should expect and accept it in your life.
People will have you believe that getting fat after child birth is normal.
What is true is that most women put on weight during pregnancy but once you deliver, you have a choice to seek help to get back in shape or to feel that it is normal and do nothing about it.
Most times it is not the tale, it may be that you may not care enough to do what it takes to start and hold on till you get what you want.
Getting back in shape is not easy but it is the love you have for yourself, that keeps you going day after day and month after month when the initial motivation is gone.
Loving yourself means that you do not accept other peoples experience as your own. You are different.
- Be discerning of the people you allow into your life.
If you allow people who have no respect and no value whatsoever for themselves into your life, with time you will grow to become like them.
The 5 people you spend most of your time with will eventually mold you.
Spend time with people who uplift and affirm you. How do your friends treat you? Do they appreciate you for you or because you cannot say No. Do they place unnecessary demands on your time even when they know it is not okay for you?
If you consistently have a nagging feeling that you are being used, look into it and ask yourself; what makes you feel that way? You may find out that you are indeed being used
Learn what and who is causing you pain and take the necessary action to protect yourself
Let go of friendships that no longer serve you. Understand that sometimes friends grow apart. That can happen. That is not strange. Actually, it is natural and it is alright
Loving yourself means being available for your friends and loved ones but at the same time knowing where to draw the line. There should be a balance. Relationships that cause you pain, friends that always sees the negative things in all you do, loved ones that always see failure in all your vision should not be managed. Let them go. Causing yourself pain, frustration and turmoil just to spend time with friends is not worth it if makes you feel upset with yourself afterwards.
- Be real
Stop pretending to be who you are not. Speak up about things that you are passionate about. Do not pretend that is does not affect you, it does. Do not suppress it. It is part of who you are.
Loving yourself involves looking into yourself and recognizing those things that you are passionate about.
What are those things that cause you pain when you see it? It may be child abuse; it may be caring for the elderly or children with your time, money or other resources.
Find a way to do it. Team up with people who care about the same cause and make a difference. That is part of self love.
Loving yourself means finding what makes your heart bleed and finding a way (no matter how small you think it is) to help
- Stop calling yourself negative names
You are not stupid and you are not a failure. You are not a bad mother because your child failed Biology. If you must know, most mothers do not have a good relationship with certain subjects. It may not be Biology, it may be Literature. That does not make you a bad mother.
Stop beating yourself up. Instead think of it this way; if Biology is not your best, it is someone’s best. Enlist that person to help your child with Biology and save your strength for Mathematics and all those other things you are really exceptional in.
Loving yourself means knowing when to ask for help and that there are other things that make you exceptional. Not doing a particular thing well does not make you stupid.
- Stop focusing on the negative events in your life
So you lost your job, you were not promoted, you are divorced, your fiancée broke up with you. That is painful. But, everything that happens to you is not bad, everyone do not hate you. Life is not hard on you. You lost your job. That is painful. Instead of dwelling on it and losing precious time see the good in it.
See it as the opening of another chapter in your life. What are all those things that you were thinking of doing when you had a regular job? Remember? Those times you will think, “if not for this job, I would have loved to write a novel and a workbook for children” Well, you have the time now. Do it.
The negative events do not define. It is embarrassing and even shameful but that is not all there is to life.
Loving yourself means, seeing negative events as experiences and stepping stones, that makes your vision clearer and brings you closer to your vision and purpose.
- Love yourself without judging
Love yourself always. Not because you were good today, not because you were promoted in the office, or because you lost weight. You do not need a reason to love yourself or special days to love yourself, everyday should be a love day.
Loving yourself means just loving yourself for no reason, after all God is love
- Take care of your appearance
Do not look like you rolled out of bed and lost your brush and mirror. Take care of how you look. It does not mean wearing the most expensive clothes, it means taking care of the ones you do have, expensive or not.
Looking unkempt is a sign of lack of interest in your well being. So barb your hair, shave your face and armpit. Buy underwear and keep the ones you have clean. Take care of yourself and keep clean both what others can see and what they cannot see.
Loving yourself means taking a little time for personal grooming
- Get fit and healthy
Exercise is not just for the overweight. It has numerous health benefits for everyone. It prevents and reduces blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, improves mood and a host of other benefits.
Eating right and exercising is one of the signs of self love. Exercise includes any physical activity you enjoy.
Exercise because it is good for your soul and not solely for beauty. Appreciate your body and all the things it can do. Stop criticizing it. It is working with what you give it every day.
Loving yourself means taking care of you in every way necessary to achieve fulfillment and wellness.
Loving yourself is not a onetime major event. It is a continuous process of loving actions and affirmations. Every time you feel negativity or self loathing coming on, feel free to come back to this page and fall in love with yourself all over again.
Better still, write out all the 9 things that loving yourself means and paste it somewhere you can see it every day. It will be a constant reminder and check for you.