Updated June 2020

When you look at the quality of your life, does it make you happy? Are you living your life for your own happiness or do you prioritize the happiness of others over your own?

Making yourself happy doesn’t have to be selfish, but it is definitely a step closer to self-love.

What is self-love?

There are many ways to explain self-love and I touched on it above. It’s about prioritizing your happiness, needs and other things that are valuable to you. It’s also about being aware of what brings you the most joy and doing what brings you joy. There are many ways to explain self-love. For instance, I always ask myself if I am treating myself the way I treat someone I love and deeply care about, this question helps me be kinder and understanding to myself.

Often, we do so much for the people we love because we want to, not because we are forced to. We also need to act in the same way towards ourselves. We cannot move mountains for the next person but see ourselves as an afterthought.

How do you know if you love yourself?

Do the actions of others affect you?

If anyone has ever done something to upset you, how do you react? Usually, we try to find out why the other person was upset and try to solve the issue. But when the other person walks away from us after numerous failed attempts at resolution, what do you do?

If you find yourself chasing people even after rejection, you need to take a step back and analyze yourself.

People who want to be in your life will be, stop forcing yourself on others, it decreases your value and makes you feel even worse about yourself.

Are you protecting your peace?

If people naturally gravitate towards you, be careful. You could potentially attract a lot of negative people along with the great people.

When people feel that you are easy to speak to, they will be comfortable to speak to you about anything.

If you are always willing to allow everyone into your life without filtering good from bad, others can come into your life and steal your peace. It will happen so subtly – you won’t even know what’s going on until their energy starts to drain you.

If you are allowing all types of people into your life, you need to start protecting your peace.

Do you feel obligated to say yes?

I used to be this person, always saying yes when my brain is screaming NO. I didn’t want others to think I’m a bad person.

We can’t be saying yes to everyone and who cares what they think.

If you give people all your time and attention without putting yourself first, they will keep taking and soon you will be taken for granted.

Don’t feel obligated to say yes. Not everyone deserves your time or attention. When you start saying no, people will respect you and you will respect yourself.

Reflection and disappointment

Are you looking to others for happiness or do you find it within yourself?

A simple way to understand what truly makes you happy or upset is to reflect and forgive yourself. When you start to reflect on your life, you may not be proud of the decisions you made. It’s okay to be angry and be aware of the emotions you have, even if nobody else around you understands how you feel.

Feel the feelings but let it pass and let it go. The longer you hold on to anything, both tangible or intangible, the heavier it becomes. It eventually leads to toxic behaviour which will stop you from loving yourself.

What habits can you adopt to love yourself?

It’s all about the RIGHT focus

If you focus on everything that went wrong or anything that might go wrong, you need to change your mindset. Changing what we choose to think about is difficult but not impossible.

If you continue to focus on negativity, you will remain miserable. Try to remember what you loved doing as a child, and do that.

We get so caught up trying to survive that we often forget about what brings us genuine happiness. It’s time to start focusing on yourself.

Eat healthier, laugh more and take care of your mental health because nobody will do it for you. Everyone is focused on their patch of grass to care about yours.

You already have your power, you just need to use it.

Stop getting offended

If someone hurts you, that person is probably hurting too. Things that other people do are not a reflection of you, it’s a reflection of who they are. Fulfilled people don’t go around hurting others, even if they are hurting themselves.

When you reach higher levels in your life, you begin to see people from a level of understanding and not take their actions as an attack on you.

I used to drive myself crazy wondering why certain people treated me the way they did, even after all the time I’ve given them. When I changed my mindset, I understood that those people were going through their own struggles and didn’t notice their actions.

I stopped expecting people to treat me the way I treated them and it made a huge difference. I flipped the switch and stopped tolerating shitty behavior.

Instead of getting offended, walk away and protect your peace.

Create goals

Set some goals that make you happy and work towards it. It doesn’t have to be financial goals, it could be anything. It might be getting out of the job you hate or moving to a better place.

Setting goals and working towards what makes you happy puts you in a state of happiness. Those little wins that take you one step closer to your goal is the motivation you need to keep pushing forward.

Create a vision board or make a list of things you want to do and start working on that list. You will soon begin to shift your focus from your problems to solutions.

Don’t settle

Stop settling! Value yourself enough to know when you’re being mistreated. You don’t have to settle for a bad job just because it pays the bills and you don’t have to be with the person who treats you bad just because you’re afraid of being alone.

When you stop settling in life and value yourself, others will value you too. The conversations you have and the people you attract into your life will be different.

When people show you who they are, believe them

How many times have we made excuses for the actions of other people? It’s time to see people for who they are.

Did all those excuses you made for accepting poor treatment help your life? When people show you who they are, why are you trying to change them into someone they are not?

I allowed myself to be mistreated by making excuses for people. My number one excuse was that they were good people with bad traits. I just needed to overlook the bad traits to get to the good.

I was wrong. I stopped chasing people and giving them the power to hurt me. If you have to keep chasing people, those are not your people. Those that want to be in your life will be, you don’t have to beg or ask, they will show up for you.

Try not to make permanent decisions for temporary situations. Things change, people change and we also change. Just because you accepted certain things to happen in the past, does not mean that you have to keep accepting it.

As hard as it may seem, we still need to try our best to do better and be better, even if others don’t like it. The journey to self-love is challenging but when you genuinely begin to love yourself, situations and people don’t change you. You begin to change to situations and people because you realize just how awesome you are.