“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” Oprah Winfrey
It can be easy to love other people but it’s not always easy to love your authentic self, am I right?
We can be kind and loving towards others but not that kind and loving towards ourselves and that is exactly why I decided to write this post and to share with you some ideas on how to start accepting who you are and how to start to love all of you, the good and the bad.
1. STOP UNDERVALUING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
You are not perfect, nobody is and that is perfectly fine, so stop being so harsh on yourself. Start paying close attention to your own thoughts and see whether they serve you or not. Are these thoughts good thoughts, are they kind and loving, are they empowering? If not, let them go and shift your focus from the things you think are wrong with you towards the things that are okay, towards those things that are unique and beautiful. If you don’t know what those things are, go ask a friend and you will soon find out what an incredible being they think you are.
If you continue to look down at yourself, expect others to do the same, because just like William Hazlitt said, “He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others.”
2. CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK
Don’t be afraid to express yourself, don’t be afraid to speak your mind and don’t be afraid to be who you are and act the way you feel like. The world is full of people who act the way others want them to and not the way they want to … you don’t have to live your life that way.
I can tell you from my own experience the moment you accept yourself completely and the moment you start acting the way you feel like acting, more and more people will be drawn to you and not only you will realize there is so much about you to love, but you will also start projecting this love on to others.
“So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself.” – Alan Watts
. BUILD THE FRIENDSHIP YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF
The most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself and if you don’t work on building and improving this relationship, chances are you will not be too happy. Be kind and loving towards yourself and make an effort to start seeing yourself as your own best friend because the moment you do, you will realize there is no friendship more valuable than the friendship you have with you own self.
What are the things you love to do and what keeps you away from actually doing them? What are the excuses you are using not to do these things? Can you let go of these excuses and start spoiling yourself from time to time? I think you can and I also think you should allow yourself to be happy.
“Friendship with one’s self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
4. INVEST IN YOURSELF
Take time to learn and to grow, take time to nurture your dreams and goals, take action and commit to making them happen. By doing so, you will have little or no time at all to waste on stuff that bothers you, and all your focus, energy and attention will be directed towards the improvement of self. If you only do this one step, I promise you, you will be living a very happy and fulfilling life and many of the people around you will admire you and also feel inspired by your actions and behavior.
“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley
5. GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS
You can’t ignore the role forgiveness plays in all of this. Whether we are talking about others or yourself, it is crucial to understand the power behind forgiveness and why you need to exercise it.
Who are the people you need to forgive and for what? Why is it that you feel you can’t forgive them? Do you realize that by not forgiving them you are in fact not allowing yourself to fully experience life?
A good way would be to regard the people you need to forgive as teachers. This way it will become easier for you to forgive, find the strength to move on and enjoy life. This also applies in situations when you need to forgive yourself for something you have done in the past, because a past mistake has most certainly taught you something valuable, right?
“Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means of correcting our misperceptions.” - Geral