“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.” ― Steve Maraboli
When someone tells us that we need to love ourselves, lets be honest, that is easier said than done. We are our biggest critic and are often the toughest on ourselves.
I love this quote because it says something that most people do not realize. You set the standard for how others will treat you. Most of us do not realize that the way we treat ourselves demonstrates to others how we feel we deserve to be treated. If we want to teach others how to treat us, we have to demonstrate what that looks like.
1. Love ourselves.
Easier said than done, right!? But loving you is the best thing you can do for yourself. Often, when thinking about loving ourselves, we think about those that tend to REALLY love themselves to the point of being obnoxious. However, the sad truth is that often those who seem to be most in love with themselves are those that feel the worst about themselves. Therefore, loving ourselves is misconstrued and often has a negative connotation attached to it, because most of us do not strive to be conceited. I am not talking about this kind of loving yourself. Although, I do not think it hurts to take pride in loving yourself. If you can truly accept and love yourself for who you are, I give you a lot of props, because most people are not able to do that. It is a daily struggle for most of us. So what does it mean to love ourselves? It means that we come to terms with the fact that we are not perfect (no one is), and we become completely content with who we are inside and out. Now, this is somewhat difficult when we live in a world that not only strives for perfection, but is obsessed with having the perfect body (most of the time to unhealthy levels), plastic surgery, and photo shop. I think women struggle with this the most, because we have magazines shoved in our face of photo-shopped pictures of women in bathing suits/lingerie looking absolutely perfect. However, what we fail to remember is the fact that these women are encouraged to have unhealthy diets or are photo-shopped to be what is "ideal". Why can't we just be okay with who we are inside and what we look like?! We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, whether it be the women on a magazine cover, our friends/colleagues/etc.. We are always striving to be someone we are not. If you ask someone to name something they love about themselves, it is a struggle for them, but ask them to name 5 things they dislike about themselves and they list easily more than 5. Why have we become so okay tearing ourselves down and hating ourselves? If we spent just as much time and energy focusing on what we love about ourselves as we do hating ourselves, we would be so much happier! Ask one of your friends to name just 5 things they love about you and it would be easy for them, because we are perfect just the way we are. We just have to start believing it!
2. Demonstrate for others how to love us.
If we demonstrate that we deserve nothing, then others are going to duplicate our behavior and also treat us as if we deserve nothing. If we do not teach people that we are worthy of respect and love, they are going to treat us as such. Through our actions and the things that we say about ourselves, we teach people how to treat us. If we stand up for ourselves and do not tolerate others to treat us poorly or speak negatively about us, those that choose to treat us that way will eventually fade out of our lives. If we demand nothing short of love and respect, that is what we will get. We do not think about the signs that we are giving others throughout our daily life that shows others how to treat us. Think about the things that we speak about ourselves, while they may be simple, it conveys a message. Think about a person in your life that is confident and demands nothing less than respect, probably most people are intimidated by them, because this is rare in our society. However, those that surround that person are respectful of them and probably think highly of them. On the other spectrum, think about your friend that doesn't often have an opinion, isn't quite sure what they deserve from people and does not demand anything from those around them. They probably get taken advantage of and walked all over. Am I wrong? Make yourself a priority and demand more for yourself. You deserve it. Whether you believe that or not - I believe it and am standing up for you.
3. Be gentle on yourself.
We are our biggest critic right? The tapes that have been playing in our head, continue to play. I wish I could be prettier, I wish my stomach was flatter, I wish that I had bigger muscles like my friend, I wish I was more successful... I wish... I wish... I wish. Love who you are! Give yourself a break. Life is tough enough and you are who you are for a reason. You are a blessing to those around you and you have an impact on the people that you encounter. Give yourself grace and choose to love yourself rather than wishing for something that you are not. Quit letting the world determine your value, because it is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS going to let you down. I can guarantee it and can say that very confidently. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! What are you going to do to start believing that?!
Find something everyday to love about yourself, rather than spending so much time finding things that you dislike.
You are beautiful. You are loved. You are Worthy. You are Valuable.
What will you do to show yourself that today?
I am going to be starting a few groups on self-esteem. If this is something that you are interested in, please let me know, as I would love for you to join them! You can contact me at 720-336-0913 or send me an email here.
Nurtured Hearts Counseling's Blog
I am a Licensed Therapist in Lone Tree, Colorado and my goal for this blog is to explore taboo subjects that no one is willing to talk about and I am eager to bring awareness to.