If you were asked to list the people in your life that you love the most, would you list yourself? Most people would list themselves last or not at all. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t fully love anyone else. Self-love and self-respect can help in areas of personal growth, better relationships, and reaching your goals and dreams.
The key to everything starts with you. Here you’ll find some ways to help love and respect yourself for a more fulfilled and happy life.
This doesn’t mean be a jerk, but it means that you need to put your needs first. The one step in loving yourself is ensuring that your needs are met, because without this then you are filling everyone else’s cup and not your own. You can’t fill from an empty cup. Know when to say no because you are busy, know when to stay home because you need some self-care time, be compassionate towards yourself.
Be unapologetically you
Respecting yourself and loving yourself means also being yourself. You can’t love yourself if you are going against your inner self and trying to fit in to a mold. Find what you love to do, it can be anything from painting to gardening, running to yoga, or anything in between. When you are passionate about something you are truly being yourself.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, because nothing they say should sway you from being who you are. Find what you love and do it without a second thought about what anyone else thinks. Be unapologetically you at all times.
Be honest with yourself
This is a tough one because being honest with yourself also means looking at what you are doing wrong in your life and taking responsibility for where you are. If you can look at yourself and realize that you got to where you are because of your actions you can change to make yourself happier.
It can also lead back to the previous tip of being unapologetically you, because if you know what you will and won’t do, who you are and aren’t, you can learn to love yourself and set boundaries for yourself so that when you do commit to something, it’s something that you will truly love doing.
Normal is subjective
What is normal? Normal is based on societies perception of it. You don’t have to follow the grain to be you, or your families wishes, or your jobs wishes (unless you love your job and have to conform to a dress code, this might be something different), however, in everyday life, you should not have to conform to being ”normal”. Loving and respecting yourself is about being true to yourself, and by conforming to what others consider normal is not leading you to a self-loving life. It’s like caging an animal that needs to be free.
Define your normal, and don’t let anyone challenge that definition, because your normal is whatever you make it, and when you are yourself and love yourself, others with the same ideas will flock to you (or you to them).
Respect and love yourself exactly how you are right now
The last and final part of this, is to love and respect yourself as you currently are. We all want to lose weight and don’t like our skin, or our hair, our voice, we always want to change something.
No matter what you feel you need to change in order to truly respect and love yourself you have to take all of your perceived flaws and realize I’m perfect the way I am and while I could change things, I love who I am right now. Yes, it’s a million times easier said than done, but this is the key to self-love and self-respect.
Respect yourself and love yourself in your current state, accept nothing less from others, and realize that you are perfect just how you are. Make changes if you want, but the key is to truly love you, right here and right now.
You upgrade your wardrobe, computer, phone, and maybe even your furniture or household appliances. Are you ready to invest in yourself and upgrade your life experiences? Upgrading your life experiences is a way to get much more out of life.
Upgrading your life experiences is not about getting more things. Getting new things can be fun and might make you feel good for a little while, but new things don’t truly enhance your life. Who you chose to be, the people you spend time with, and what you do with your time will upgrade your life experiences in positive, productive ways.
Choose a Better You
According to a study published in the Journal of Adult Development, life experiences play a significant role in human development. Investing in yourself starts with focusing on who you are and who you want to be. Making positive choices in these areas will help upgrade your life experiences:
Your mood and attitude are how you think and how you present yourself. Do you want better life experiences? Start your day with positive intention and stay calm when you are presented with challenges. That way, even difficulties become learning experiences instead of disasters.
Pay attention to your health. The time you might spend being sick, managing a chronic disease, or unable to participate in things because you’re not well or strong enough only degrade your life experiences. Exercise, good nutrition, and getting plenty of rest pay off in the long run because you will be able to participate fully in the experiences around you.
Choose Your Friends
The people you spend time with can affect your mood and attitude. Life experiences are enhanced when you share them with trusted friends and family. The Italian National Statistical Institute’s multipurpose survey concluded that friendships are vital in quality of life and life experiences. Relationships take work. You need to find people you trust, get to know them and maintain your relationships. Consider these factors when choosing your friends:
Toxic people who drain your energy and stifle your personality do not make good friends. While it might be tempting to develop a friendship with someone popular but toxic, this type of relationship does not upgrade your life experiences. Instead, chose open, honest, friendly people and spend time getting to know them. If you know a toxic person at work or socially, limit your interactions with them as much as possible and keep your conversations brief and to the point. With a toxic coworker, focus on work tasks, not befriending them.
If all your friends look, act, and like the same things as you do, your life experiences will be boring. Upgrade your life experiences by seeking out different types of people. A diverse group of friends adds to your life experiences with opportunities to explore different cultures, likes, and thoughts.
Your investment in your friends helps keep your relationships strong and upgrades your life experiences. Friendship takes time and effort, so build and nurture your relationships as an investment in yourself as well.
Having the same life experiences over and over is not an upgrade. Get off the couch, turn off the computer, and look for ways to chose more opportunities to upgrade your life experiences. A Journal of Happiness Studies report showed that what you choose to do with your free time directly impacts your quality of life. Try these options to upgrade your life experiences:
You don’t need to be an expert to use your creativity or learn something new. Try baking something new or painting a picture. Remember, failure is only a learning experience. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology showed that spending time in nature enhances experiences, mental health, and overall well-being. Volunteering to help others can also be a positive experience that enhances and upgrades your life.
You can invest in yourself by upgrading your life experiences. Who you are, who you spend time with, and how you chose to spend your time all play a role in your experiences.
If you want to invest in yourself, then it’s time to challenge yourself. Challenging yourself is the foundation of personal development. Because challenging yourself creates opportunities for personal growth, it is important to be mindful of how a challenge affects you. Both large and small challenges can impact who you are and how you see the world.
Challenging yourself means putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. You may not have all the answers right away or know what to do. The challenge is to learn and grow, not necessarily to master everything you try.
Each learning experience boosts your self-esteem. According to a School of Psychology International study, there is a strong link between self-esteem and resilience. Challenging yourself helps build a stronger, more resilient you.
Choosing how to challenge yourself is a personal choice. Not everyone will feel challenged by the same things. If you already know how to play the piano, learning to play isn’t a challenge. But if you can only plunk out a few notes, learning to play your partner’s favorite song might be the perfect challenge. Here are some ways to challenge yourself to invest in your body, mind, and creativity.
Staying healthy through physical activity is a way to invest in yourself. In a study published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine and Public Health, researchers found that physical activity influenced multiple aspects of quality of life, especially in social and emotional areas. Whether you are already physically active and looking for variety in your challenges or just starting a fitness plan, consider these challenge ideas:
Planking is a full-body exercise that builds core muscle and strength. It can also serve as an opportunity to practice mindfulness and focus. Challenge yourself to increase the length of time you can plank or doing a plank more often during your day.
No matter what your workout routine is, try adding five more minutes to your time. Run an extra half mile, so more sit-ups, or hold a yoga pose longer. Or try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You might want to start with one trip a day then build to using the stairs more often or for longer climbs.
Keeping your mind active and engaged is good for your mental and emotional health. According to researchers at Harvard Health, challenging your mind helps improve your memory, too. Are you tired of crossword puzzles and Sudoku? Try these mind challenges instead:
Learning another language can be very challenging. It can also expand your knowledge about a different culture. There are many classes available online for foreign languages; health care workers can learn medical Spanish, anyone can learn conversational Italian, or you can even learn computer language by studying how to code.
Imagine a friend is coming to visit from out of town. Where would you take them in your city? Plan a tour that highlights more than the usual tourist spots. Getting to know your city better is an exercise in expanding your knowledge and creativity.
You can also learn a new word every week. Pick a word that you can make part of your conversations to build your self-esteem by increasing your vocabulary. Or try reading a news story about something you aren’t familiar with or don’t usually read. Learning more about an unusual topic is also a challenge for your mind.
Not everyone enjoys painting or learning a new dance. You can still challenge the artist within you by:
Have you tried eating by yourself in a fancy restaurant? This challenge builds creativity as you find ways to keep from looking bored and lonely. How do you present yourself? What story do you tell yourself about why you are there? While it may feel uncomfortable, eating out by yourself builds self-esteem and helps you find creative ways to manage your feelings.
Skip the take out and create something from all the leftovers in your fridge instead. You might discover a new casserole you like! Or attend a cultural event that you usually wouldn’t. Imagine yourself as one of the performers or presenters. Dream about what your life would be like if you were a part of a different culture.
Challenging yourself in big and small ways is an investment in yourself. You can expand and strengthen your body, mind, and creativity by trying something new.