I wanted to write an article about organization skills & co. but I’ve been getting a lot of messages lately regarding self-love issues, internal conflicts, or difficulties in dealing with certain life problems. I have realized that some messages touch people more than others do, and this opened my eyes to how much people nowadays lack a lot of affection, care, confidence, and love.
Without going much into the core of such conflicts because every case is more or less different in every individual’s life, here are some steps to self-love:
1- Accept and Deal With Your Past:
It is not enough to say, “This doesn’t mean to me anymore, I have moved on.” What does moving on mean anyway? In my opinion, moving on is not solely about not letting that certain person or incident affect you. It is rather feeling every painful emotion that this has caused you, touching your scars and acknowledging their existence and how this certain situation makes you feel. After acknowledging the pain, accept it, deal with it, and let it go. Move on to bigger and better things. Letting go means forgiving yourself and the person or people involved (if any), and allowing that incident to transform you into a more mature person who now knows how to deal with such situations. Find the good in the painful and take it from there. Every bad experience teaches you something and opens a new door for growth. It is all about perspective and how you choose to see things. If you feel destroyed by an act, hunny, it only destroyed you because you let it. So, don’t. Pick yourself up, acknowledge what you went through and how it made you feel, learn from this experience, and move on. Don’t dwell on negative things nor leave any grudges, it only does you harm, not the other person or people.
Decluttering not only includes you cleaning your room or closet from unnecessary things after planning for months to do so, but it also includes getting rid of all the toxic people and negative energies you have allowed into your life. As cliché as “surround yourself with positive people” can get, as beneficial as it is. You won’t know unless you try, and I have, so here’s a piece of advice from my experience: Do not put effort into making friends just to have more friends, it’s not worth it, I promise. However, if you sense a good vibe, someone whose energy vibrates with yours, go up to that person and start a conversation. These are the types of people who will add value to your life. Getting rid of people who bring you down, badly influence you and your thoughts, or make you look at others in a spiteful way is one of the most beneficial decision you will take. By doing so, you will have more room for the right people to come into your life. Once you do, you create an environment of love, growth, and good vibes without any hate, drama, gossip and all those unnecessary BS. I know, it’s hard getting rid of people who have been around for quite some time, but it is harder to live with them around, and the longer they stay, the greater their effect will be on your own personality. You attract what you allow into your life. Choose wisely, and act upon it.
3- Stop Comparing:
Y. E. S. Please! Anyone’s success is not your failure. On the contrary, if they can do it, so can you. If you or any other person has worked hard to reach success, then he, she, or you deserve it. Don’t envy those who get there, work for your own success. Even if you are in the same field as those who succeed, they won’t take away your spot at the top. Who you are will always give a different essence to what you do, and once you are at peace with the kind of person you are, that essence will take you even further that you ever planned to reach. Once you love yourself, know what you want to achieve in life, and believe that you are able to get there, you will start to genuinely clap for the ones who make it, because you will know then that this doesn’t mean you won’t, and you will make sure that is the case. It doesn’t take beauty or money to reach success, it takes discipline, hard work, perseverance, and patience. Any person is capable of taking on those acts, but not everyone is willing to. It is then, once again, your choice. Note that by the term success, I mean any goal you have in mind, not just the monetary aspects of it.
4- Make yourself proud:
Little to big achievements always make us feel better about ourselves. From simply making our bed in the morning to crushing any goal we’ve put for ourselves. Who doesn’t feel good after ticking a box in their to-do list?
What do you care about? What do you want to change? What have you been putting off and want to just finish already? What do you want to achieve?
Are you doing anything to reach those things?
Pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones can be one of the most challenging things we do, but most rewarding. You can never define how much you are capable of, it is always going to be greater than how much you think, especially if fear is anywhere in your heart and mind. The more you spend time and effort working on proving that to yourself before anyone else, the prouder you will be of who you are and what you’re able to do. You will also feel more confident and capable and that will make you engage in new opportunities that will teach you even more about who you are as a person. Some people define themselves by their achievements, others genuinely don’t care. Whether you’re this type or the other, keep in mind that the more you push yourself, the more you learn about yourself. We spend our lifetime trying to understand how the world functions when we don’t even know how we do, ourselves.
It’s time to shift that focus.
5- Self-reflect: Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Aka “Get to Know Who You Are.”
Get out a piece of paper and write down all your strengths and weaknesses. Which one outweighs the other?
It’s easier for many to write what they hate about themselves than what they love about themselves, if they were able to think of anything that is. It’s sad, really. Why do people focus more on the negative aspects than the positive ones? If they focus on the negative aspects, is it because they want to ameliorate them, or do they use them to bring themselves down even more?
The first step to getting to know who you are, is to spend time with yourself. Make time for yourself and listen to your thoughts, desires, and emotions that have been pushed away. Notice what bothers you and what doesn’t, what music makes you dance and which one makes you daydream. Think of the friends that make you happy and the ones who don’t. Reflect back on what good you’ve done to others and ways you have hurt them.
Acknowledge the weaknesses and set out a plan on how to make them better. Most importantly, identify your strengths, fall in love with them and be proud. Look for ways to make them even better and the things that will make them stand out.
These characteristics make you who you are. They define you and where you ought to go from here.
Stop reaching out to others to tell you or show you how you’re supposed to reach wherever you want to reach, how you’re supposed to dress, or what you’re supposed to look like to be considered beautiful, successful, or accepted. Every person’s destination is different than another’s so, every way should be different as well. Stop idolizing other people and start looking within you. Spend more time with yourself, notice the way you think and analyze things, the way you perceive situations, what inspires you and what makes you feel bad about yourself. Ask yourself what you want out of life and plan how you’re going to get it in your own way.
The more you learn about your strengths and weaknesses and work on exemplifying your strengths while acknowledging and ameliorating your weaknesses, the more you will accept yourself for who you are.
If I were to ask you about yourself, how much would you know? Most importantly, how much would you love?
6- Do What You Love
I cannot stress enough on how important that is. It is not limited to self-love, but loving life in general. You will thank yourself every day of your life if you decide to do what you love.
Why are unsuccessful people the majority in the world? Because most people settle. They settle for jobs, relationships, etc. They think they’re taking the safe way out, or are just too afraid to take the risk of doing what they love. One quote that stuck with me growing up is: “If you have a chance of failing at something you don’t like, then might as well do something you love.” Once you follow your passion and decide to spend your life doing something that defines who you are and is aligned with your energy and what you were born to do, you will be so happy that success will be the last thing on your mind because it will become inevitable. When you align your life’s work with what you truly believe in and love, you will be spending your life just doing you and getting paid for it. Never settle for anything. It’s scary, I know. Yes, you are going to fail and maybe tens of times, but the harder the failure the greater the success will be if you decide to get up, learn, and try again. Don’t spend your life thinking “what if I had the guts to be or do this.” Spend it celebrating yourself for deciding to be who you were set out to be, fearlessly and unapologetically. Neglect the “you can’t do this” and ignore the social standards of certain jobs. They all don’t matter. You can spend 10 years trying to become a doctor, but if you don’t like it, you won’t be successful and you might even decide to eventually go back and do what you really loved in the first place. It happens a lot. Don’t waste your time trying to be what someone else wants you to be. Go do you, and prove everyone who didn’t believe you could or should do it wrong. I’m rooting for you.
7- Take Care of Yourself:
I personally had to learn this the hard way. Most times, when I’m buried with work and deadlines, I completely forget myself and taking care of myself, even my health would not even cross my mind. I wouldn’t want to “waste time.”
Time spent on yourself is never wasted, unless you don’t know how to control it. Taking care of yourself and pampering yourself every once in a while will fill you up with that energy and confidence you need to go on with your tasks. From the little things including wearing that outfit you like, to getting your hair or nails done, fitting in a gym session, reading a nice book, or even sitting in a bathtub with a glass of wine, a facial, and good music (damn, that sounds so good). You deserve that attention you give to your work, family, or friends constantly. You owe it to yourself for all that work you’ve been putting in. There’s nothing wrong with looking and feeling beautiful while you grind.
8- Be Nice to Yourself:
“Be careful about what you think about yourself, you can hear you.”
Don’t beat yourself up for an extra hour of sleep, a cheat meal, skipping a gym session, gaining a few pounds, etc. I don’t know about men, but I know that women tend to do that a lot, especially when we have too much on our plate. “Ugh, I should’ve done that/shouldn’t have eaten that…” Stop. It’s okay. You don’t always have to go by the rules you set for yourself. Enjoy life and stop trying to live up to society’s standards of beauty or motherhood or anything else. You are doing just fine, and you are just enough. Nobody is on his or her A-Game every single day of the year. Some days or weeks you might fall behind a little and THAT’S OKAY. You’re human, not a robot. A structured life is not an enjoyable one.
Your opinion of yourself should be the most important one out of all the other unnecessary opinions that pitch in. In fact, it should be the only opinion you listen to. If someone called you anything less than beautiful and deserving of all the great things in life then there’s something wrong with them, not you. If your opinion of yourself is not as good as it should be, then you haven’t been spending much time with yourself lately. Get to know you, understand you, and work on you, FOR YOU. Not to please anyone, nor to live up to anyone’s standards, but to love yourself and everything you are, because believe me, once that is done, any opinion other than your own won’t matter at all.
9- Thank Yourself:
Take a moment to travel through your past. Remember the good times, the achievements, the successes. Now, remember the tough times, the heartbreaks, the painful moments, especially those ones you thought you wouldn’t be able to get through. Now look at yourself and pat yourself on the shoulder because you made it. Through it all, you were able to get yourself back up, dust off the dirt and the scars, and keep pushing through. Thank yourself every day for making it through whatever you face. You owe this to yourself. You were there for yourself when nobody was. You made it when so many told you “you couldn’t”, even yourself. Appreciate that, admire that, and celebrate it every night before you go to bed.
You are the only person who is really going to be there for you when you fall, hurt, even need advice. You know more than you think you do, you just lack enough silence and clarity to listen to yourself and what you truly want. We are so distracted nowadays and exposed to so many opinions that we are rarely able to hear our own voices.
10- Know You Deserve It:
“You will never get there until you start believing that you deserve it.”
Why wouldn’t you? You are nothing less than how amazing those other people are, believe me. If they can do it, so can you, and I will keep saying this until you believe it. You deserve love just as much as others do. You deserve that love you give so freely to everyone around you. However, don’t wait on others nor depend on them to love you the way you deserve to be loved. Love yourself, take care of yourself, do things that make you happy, make yourself proud. Start with you. Fill yourself with so much care and love, so abundantly that it’s overflowing to all those around you.
We are all humans, that is the root of our essence. Our capabilities are aligned with it, and so is our worth. Not one person doesn’t deserve to be happy, to be loved, or to be cared for. We all do, no matter who we are or where we come from. Whatever you’ve been through, whatever you’ve done or haven’t done, you deserve this just like every other person does. You deserve to be happy, to feel loved, to relax and take a day off, and to create your own reality.
Not only do you deserve it, but you are also capable of getting there.
However, don’t expect to be given so much love if you spend most of your days hating on people, talking behind their backs, or refusing to help anyone in need. Yes, everyone deserves to be loved and happy, but what you’re going to get is highly reflective of how much of them you give out to the world.
I hope this will help you realize how much of a precious person you are to the world. Go love yourself unapologetically, be who you truly are fearlessly, and don’t forget to spread that love to all those around you. It all starts with you, within you. This is your life, your time, don’t waste it wishing you could be like someone else. Would you have been born if the world didn’t need someone like you to exist? Don’t let us miss out on your light, radiate.
Written by: Maria
Maria is a 21 year-old Nutrition premed student with a minor in Psychology at the Lebanese American University. She is a personal trainer, the Assistant Under Secretary-General for the Training and Educational Development Team of the 13th GCLAU Model United Nations, LAU Mosaic Newspaper Vice President, Editor, and Staff Writer, and Vice president of the Civic Welfare Club. She has a passion for health, fitness, music, arts, and anything that involves creativity and leadership.
You can find Maria on Instagram through: @mariajsaab. She also has her own blog to which you can subscribe for more articles like this one: https://mariajsaab.wixsite.com/mysite.