Do you often beat yourself up when you make mistakes?
Do you neglect your needs and put other people first all the time?
Do you feel guilty when you do nice things for yourself?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you could be experiencing symptoms of a lack of self-love.
When you love yourself unconditionally, you prioritize your needs and are gentle with yourself when you fall short of your expectations.
However, loving yourself doesn’t come easy to a lot of people.
Due to your parental upbringing and societal conditioning, you may struggle to practice self-love on a regular basis.
This is because you don’t want to appear self-centered and really like to help people around you.
But, if you focus too much on other people’s needs and neglect your own well-being, it can be detrimental in the long run.
So, what does it mean to love yourself unconditionally? Self-love means accepting who you are and being kind to yourself no matter what.
It also means allowing yourself to be joyful when things are going well and practicing compassion when everything is falling apart.
Unconditional self-love is an ongoing practice of self-care, so you have to be patient with yourself as you try to master the art of loving yourself.
If you struggle with showing yourself love, this article provides a step-by-step guide on how to love yourself unconditionally without feeling guilty or selfish.
HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF UNCONDITIONALLY
I used to struggle with caring for myself because I thought I didn’t deserve to be happy and channeled most of my resources to improving other people’s lives.
Since I became spiritually awakened and more mindful about my journey here on earth, I’ve been learning to be kind and loving to myself as I care for others.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to love yourself more, here are a few tips for making yourself a priority without feeling as if you’re letting others down.
1. Stop seeking external validation
The most common obstacle to loving yourself is not feeling good enough or worthy of love and this can make you look to other people for constant validation.
When you measure your worth with another person’s yardstick, you won’t get your real value because everyone’s opinion of you will always be different.
You need to realize that you are good enough and don’t need anybody to validate your self-worth.
Stop waiting for someone to say, “You look pretty” when you try on a new dress.
Look at yourself in the mirror and with a big smile, tell yourself,” You look so beautiful.”
When you stop seeking other people’s approval, you’ll begin to love yourself more and accept who you are in the world regardless of what others think of you.
2. Accept all your flaws and shortcomings
Most people have something they dislike about themselves. It’s either they’re too short, have a crooked nose, or don’t have straight eyes.
And because of these perceived flaws, they look down on themselves and think they don’t deserve to have good things in life.
The only way to truly love yourself is to accept who you are. That means embracing all aspects of yourself— the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to “fix” yourself in order to feel worthy of love. But that’s not realistic or sustainable.
True self-love comes from loving who you are now, exactly as you are with all your flaws, shortcomings, and imperfections.
Accepting yourself also means taking ownership of your actions and doing your best to learn from your failures.
The most powerful way to show yourself love is by refusing to beat yourself up for past mistakes.
You deserve a lot of grace and compassion. Don’t forget to remind yourself every day that you are beautiful inside and out.
If you’re looking for an incredibly helpful resource to teach you how to love yourself, grab a copy of You Are Enough by Jonathan Puddle.
3. Avoid comparing your journey to another person’s life path
Comparison is the biggest self-esteem killer because it makes you feel less than others and you’ll constantly strive to become somebody else.
The key to loving yourself wholeheartedly is to recognize the phase of life you’re in and to honor your unique journey.
No two people can be completely alike even if they have the same parents and come from similar backgrounds.
Likewise, your story can not be exactly like someone else’s.
Instead of paying attention to the outside world and trying to be like everybody else, learn to embrace your unique qualities, so you can realize your full potential.
The best way to practice self-love is to stop comparing your growth to another person’s progress and stay focused on becoming a better version of yourself.
4. Do the things you love regularly
Another way to show yourself love is to engage in your favorite hobbies and activities daily.
Do you enjoy reading, dancing, or cooking? Carve out time to do one fun thing you love every single day.
Even if it’s just for a few minutes, doing something you love can create feelings of warmth in your heart, put a smile on your face, and make life worth living.
If you’re looking for meaningful ways to love yourself, take note of some of the activities you thoroughly enjoy and participate in them regularly.
5. Be kind and compassionate to yourself
People who struggle with a lack of self-love are often hard on themselves when they make even the slightest error.
The key to loving yourself unconditionally is to accept that nobody is perfect and give yourself a break from time to time.
Sure, it’s good to want to excel in everything you do and come out on top, but if it’s at the detriment of your overall well-being, it’s not a good idea.
If you keep punishing yourself for not being perfect all the time, you’ll find it difficult to love and show yourself compassion.
Stop being so hard on yourself and don’t look for ways to blame yourself for everything that goes wrong in your life.
Practice self-compassion and learn to treat yourself as you would a close friend you love.
If you struggle to release self-doubt, cultivate self-compassion, and embrace who you are, you’ll find the Self-Love Workbook For Women immensely helpful.
6. Learn to forgive yourself over and over again
Learning to forgive yourself and let go of your negative thoughts is another important step in loving yourself unconditionally.
We all make mistakes, and it’s important to be kind to yourself when you do.
Do you often dwell on the past for a long time and refuse to move on from something bad that happened?
Learn to stop laying blame or beating yourself up for your shortcomings.
Acknowledge what you did wrong, learn from it, and let it go instead of overthinking yourself into a panic attack.
Self-forgiveness is a gift that can set you free from pain and give you the inner peace you need to flourish in life, so remember to forgive yourself repeatedly.
If you’re dealing with post-traumatic stress and can’t seem to let go of the past, The Body Keeps The Score by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk can help you heal your inner wounds.
7. Be patient with yourself, especially when you don’t live up to your expectations
Another way to love yourself is to practice patience especially when life pushes you down.
While it’s easy to look at other people who are progressing and feel sorry for yourself for not having everything figured out, you need to remember that everybody’s story is different.
Give yourself time to get better and don’t push yourself beyond your limits.
Things will get easier with time, so be gentle, kind, and patient with yourself, especially when you fail.
8. Don’t lower your standards or settle for less than what you deserve
One key element of self-love is understanding when to set boundaries and how to hold yourself accountable.
Often, we default to people-pleasing or doing what other people expect of us, but this can easily lead to feelings of resentment and burnout.
Learning to say “No” or “Not right now” can be difficult, but it’s an essential part of having self-respect.
By setting solid boundaries and saying no to things that don’t serve you, you can create more time and space for the things that bring you joy.
That being said, it’s important to remember that healthy boundaries should be based on what you need personally, not what someone else wants from you.
Worrying too much about how someone else will react to a decision you make is a sure way to put yourself in a compromising situation.
Learn to stand by what you believe in and don’t lower your standards or accept anything less than what you deserve.
When you set limits in your life, people will respect you and treat you better because they see that you value yourself and won’t tolerate mediocrity.
9. Be open to receiving help and compliments from other people
One major problem people who lack self-love have is rejecting assistance and turning down admiration from other people.
Since they don’t love themselves enough, they find it hard to believe that someone else can find something praiseworthy in them.
A great way to practice self-love is to allow people to help you in any way they can and be open to receiving kind words offered to you.
When people shower you with nice compliments or praise you for something commendable you did, don’t try to downplay your success.
Receive the kind gestures and beautiful words with sincere gratitude then pay it forward by doing something nice for another person.
10. Talk to yourself respectfully
Most people who don’t love themselves have a critical inner voice that torments them nonstop.
This is often because they come from a toxic home, had a narcissistic partner, or were abused as a child.
As a result, they internalized the abusive words and subconsciously repeat them when they experience weakness or failure.
Learning to shut down your negative inner talk is essential to increasing your self-esteem and overall happiness.
Renowned motivational author, Louise Hay writes, “Loving the self begins with never ever criticizing ourselves for anything. Criticism locks us into the very pattern we are trying to change.”
A good way to eliminate negative self-talk is to watch your internal dialog and change it to a positive one.
It’s easy to slip into a pattern of negative self-talk, which can be damaging to your mental health and physical well-being.
Instead, try to remind yourself daily that you are worthy of love and remember to speak to yourself with a respectful tone.
Make a list of all the things you like about yourself—your accomplishments, physical features, or anything else you take pride in and read it when you need a reminder of how awesome you are.
Every time a negative thought pops into your head, counter it with something positive about yourself like your talents, skills, or unique personality traits.
11. Always prioritize your needs and do what’s best for you
Lack of self-love often makes you neglect yourself and put others first because you feel guilty for doing nice things for yourself.
However, you cannot pour from an empty cup and it’s crucial to meet your own needs before trying to help other people.
Remember to take care of your body. Exercise regularly, eat well, get enough sleep, and avoid unhealthy coping habits that are harmful to your health.
Another way to love yourself is to invest in yourself by reading good books, enrolling in courses, and purchasing the tools that can make your life easier and help you succeed in life.
12. Engage in self-soothing activities regularly
Whenever you feel unlovable or overwhelmed with life’s demands, that’s the perfect time to be alone and pamper yourself.
However, self-care isn’t something you do once and then forget about. It’s an ongoing practice that requires patience and consistency.
To increase your self-love, create a consistent routine where you engage in self-soothing activities such as having a warm bath, drinking herbal tea, or diffusing essential oils in your room.
When you learn how to love yourself unconditionally and accept yourself for who you truly are, that’s when the real magic begins.
So go ahead and take care of yourself! Showing yourself love comes down to being a little kinder, gentler, and more forgiving of who you are right now.
If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation experience at home, this luxurious bath set from Nurture by Nature contains everything you need to unwind and de-stress after a long day.
It comes with lavender bath salts, a moisturizing body scrub, a deep sleep pillow mist, a cleansing soap, a relaxing bath bomb bar, and a mood-boosting candle to nourish your mind, body, and soul.
13. Create a set of beliefs or affirmations that nurture and support you
Do you have inner beliefs that work for you or against you? When you think about yourself, what comes to mind?
If you only believe negative things about yourself, you’ll be stuck in a cycle of self-hatred forever.
When you’re trying to love yourself more, it’s important to have a list of beliefs and affirmations that support your personal growth.
Here are a few self-love affirmations you can repeat to yourself daily to get rid of old negative patterns and boost your esteem:
• I love myself
• I forgive myself
• I am beautiful
• I am good enough
• I am worthy of love
• I deserve to be happy
• It’s okay for me to take care of myself
• I allow myself to accept love now
If you need more powerful affirmations on how to love yourself, get these positive self-love cards to heal your life and create lasting change.
14. Remember to celebrate your achievements
People who struggle with a lack of self-love often find it difficult to pat themselves on the back when they achieve something because they don’t think it’s noteworthy.
However, celebrating small wins will give you hope and motivate you to keep going even when times get tough.
A great way to start loving yourself unconditionally is to celebrate your achievements no matter how small.
We often overlook the accomplishments and successes we have, but choosing to recognize your achievements will give you a confidence boost and help you appreciate how far you’ve come.
If you reach a certain milestone or overcome an obstacle in your life, show yourself some love and celebrate your wins.
You can try sending yourself a congratulatory email, giving yourself a special treat, or having a mini-dance party in your living room.
Whatever you decide to do, take the time to acknowledge your successes and reward yourself every time you attain a goal because you deserve to be celebrated.
Moreover, celebrating your wins will make it easier for you to feel proud of your accomplishments, which confirms that you are capable and strong enough to do anything.
Loving yourself unconditionally is one of the most powerful gifts you can give to yourself.
It is an act of self-compassion and a way to nurture your emotional and mental health.
When you love yourself unconditionally, you heal past hurts, forgive yourself, and create a more meaningful life.
However, it can be challenging to show yourself love when you weren’t taught how to love yourself by the people you looked up to.
But that’s not an excuse to dwell on the past, neglect your needs, or punish yourself when you make mistakes.
If you want to create a better life for yourself, you need to learn to let go of old negative patterns and become your own best friend.
The universal truth is that you are solely responsible for your well-being and if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will.
So don’t forget to prioritize your needs, be kind to yourself, and engage in self-soothing activities on a regular basis.
About The Author
Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life.
As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.
She strongly believes communication and intimacy are the most important ingredients for building a successful relationship.
Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.