Love Yourself First

Love Yourself First

Loving yourself starts
with liking yourself,
which starts with
respecting yourself,
which starts with
thinking of yourself
in positive ways.
– Jerry Corsten –


Devote this day to loving yourself more.

You are your home

You are your home, your everyday companion, your safe place and your foundation. It’s you who knows yourself best – your wishes, your needs, your weaknesses and your dreams. You know what makes your heart sing and what soothes you when your heart is feeling heavy.

You are your best friend … until the outside world gets too noisy. Too loud with all the demands and requests, endless possibilities and options, offers and assignments, beauty standards, physical noises, material things, all the accessible information and other people’s achievements. From early on, you’re being compared to others – to their behaviors, their possessions, their looks and their paths. Trying to fulfill the need of being accepted and the need to belong, you learn to please others and start this marathon of living up to other people’s expectations.

Fear of conflict

People who grow into people-pleasers take the childhood fear of being rejected and abandoned by their loved ones into their adult relationships. They learn to program their responses based on other people’s level of comfort in order not to upset anyone. What’s more, they tend to overestimate other people’s imagined negative reactions to what they say or do. Avoiding the possibility of upsetting someone and causing an argument, a people-pleaser won’t speak up about what’s bothering or hurting him/her, and won’t reveal (and after some time also won’t recognize) his/her true feelings. 

If you have the ability to love, love yourself first (Charles Bukowski)

Live your life for yourself, not to please other people’s expectations. Expectations are not your reality – they are ideas based on people’s own experiences, opinions, disappointments and moral values. And the truth is, you will never be able to please everyone, no matter how hard you try. Put the expectations in perspective and know that someone else’s expectation of you is theirs, not yours – meaning it is their problem, not yours.

Remember that real success in life isn’t what others see, but how you feel – it is doing what makes you feel happy and alive

The key to letting go of the expectations of others is not in fighting them, but rather in reframing your relationship with them. No one knows you better than you know yourself and only you can define what’s possible for you and your life. So instead of searching for approval from the outside world, you need to search inwards and cultivate your inner voice. To be able to do so, you need to spend time alone in the quiet so that you learn to listen to your emotions. Learning to identify and listen to the messages of your primary emotions is the best way to become skillful at validating your authentic self.

How to identify your emotions?

Practice body scanning: when you are feeling an emotion, pay attention to the sensations in your body. Ask yourself: what it is that I am feeling and where do I feel it?

Use a list of emotions and their accompanying sensations/feelings: understanding emotions may be easier if you have a premade list of ones to pick from.

Write it out: journaling is the act of tracking your personal thoughts, feelings and emotions. By doing it daily, it is easier to recognize recurrent sensations and pair them with emotions.

Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line (Lucille Ball)

Once you learn to listen to your emotions, you will be able to recognize what makes you feel worthy and alive and who makes you feel loved and accepted and is therefore worthy of your time and attention. By letting your emotions guide you, you will (after some time) gain the power to set boundaries and make decisions about your life based on what you want, not seeking other people’s validation.

List of self-love practices that make space for your feelings and thoughts:

  • Ditch perfectionism, embrace flaws
  • Practice gratitude
  • Live in the moment, be present
  • Eat healthy and nourishing food and move your body
  • Declutter and clear up your environment
  • Meditate
  • Try minimalism
  • Nurture creativity
  • Take a moment every day to reflect on everything your body does for you
  • Celebrate little moments
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