So what does self-love mean to you? For many of us, it can be defined as appreciating ourselves, taking care of our health, spiritual growth, taking a vacation, lush baths, face masks and going to bed early. There is so much more to it than you already know. Loving yourself is facing everything you hate about yourself. And if you recently found out you can love yourself it is absolutely fine.
The story of Irina (not her real name) comes to mind. Irina lived all her life not knowing that she can love herself. The question is how can she love others if she doesn’t love herself. Because to love others you have to understand what love is. The problem is she never knew or understand what real love is because she has never experienced being loved given the environment she grew up in. Not enough love or acceptance – or none at all, added to that is humiliation. She held on to her shortcomings, mistakes, and poor decision making, ignoring her good qualities. As a matter of fact, how can anyone truly love others, and at the same time be unable to love themselves?
I believe that to love oneself, first, you must know and understand your worth. Knowing your worth and understanding yourself is personal and has nothing to do with others.
The concept of self-love is the state of appreciation for yourself. If you fail to understand this, you’ll always be sacrificing your well-being to make others happy.
There is so much to know and learn about self-love but first self-worth …
Self-worth can be defined as the degree of importance you place on yourself. It involves how and what you feel about yourself and the value you give to yourself. Ultimately it is your sense of value and worth you place on yourself as an individual.
How do you feel about yourself? What kind of words are you using to describe yourself? What value do you place on yourself?
Thirty-one-year-old Josephine is a budding PhD student and academic who presents herself as mannerly, self-respecting and gracious among her colleagues and students as opposed to when she is not around them and socialising with her friends and boyfriend, always criticizing and generally placing a negative value on herself as an individual. She often relates to them about how difficult it is to maintain “a face” when she is among her colleagues. Some days she can’t wait to get home to “be herself.” Even her friends and boyfriends are of questionable character. What made Josephine choose this type of people to be around, and only seems to be happy when she is around them. The kind of person she exudes when she is not among her colleagues and students is the “true colour” of who she is. The way she views herself is not who she truly is. She is a woman of worth and value but what would it take for her to recognize this?
Many times in your life you portray an image of Josephine. Feelings of worthlessness. But no matter what you will never lose your value. It is there. All it takes is for you to recognize it. We are all valuable and worthwhile. Recognizing and cultivating self-worth is personal and is not dependent on others and their perception of you.
Here are five ways to cultivate self-worth
- Eliminate self-criticism and replace it with self-compassion
- Stop focusing on your failures
- Refrain from judging yourself
- Surround yourself with people who fits your future
- Practice positivity to boost your perception of yourself
When you know your worth you make wise decisions which means you will choose to be around people who inspire you. Having a sense of self-worth allows you to accept yourself for who you are and you know you deserve every good thing in life regardless of negativity around you and the unfortunate of life. When you know your worth you know what you deserve and what you have to offer. You won’t go around with negative self-talk or people who don’t align with your goals. You will know that you are deserving of love, care, respect and compassion.
Having self-worth will lead you to a place of self-love. To truly love yourself you must first see yourself deserving to be loved and worthy of being loved. Having self-love enable you to recognize so many things about yourself your talent, dreams and aspiration and creativeness will come alive when you embrace who you are.