10 Easy Ways To Show Yourself The Unconditional Love You DESERVE

love yourself
Love, Self

It all starts with loving YOU.

We've all heard it: in order to truly love others, you must first love yourself. And it's true. Unless you show unconditional love to yourself, you won't allow others to truly love you either.

I spent most of my life seeking love from others, but I later realized that I just needed to look in the mirror. When I started to love myself first, everything changed. 

The challenge is that, these days, our lifestyles are incredibly focused on achievement, comparing ourselves to others and a desire to constantly do MORE. 

The result? We've become our own biggest critics—focusing on our mistakes and where we 'could've done better' more than on our successes. 

So when we hear that the true love lies in first loving ourselves, we wonder how on earth we're supposed to move from constant self-criticism to unconditional love. And it seems impossible!

When I began this journey, I didn't even like myself very much. The thought of loving myself was almost laughable.

Moving from self-criticism to self-love in one step is challenging, so it's important not to expect a drastic change overnight. Your relationship with yourself is no different to any other in your life—it takes time, attention and effort to make a change towards unconditional love.

So give yourself time to build authentic self love, step by step. To make it as easy as possible for you, here are the 10 most important steps to creating unconditional (self) love:

1. Accept YOURSELF.
If freely loving yourself feels too far away, start with "acceptance".

Accept yourself. Notice the times where you would normally criticise yourself, and instead start saying, "That’s me, and that’s OK."

2. Realize that you are enough.
In a world where people's value is judged on how they look, how much they earn or what they've achieved in life, it often feels difficult to accept that simply being YOU gives you value. 

You don't need anything more. You don't need to do anything more or be anything more than you are right now.

You were enough the moment you were born, and you will be enough every second of your entire life. Remind yourself everyday: I am enough.

3. STOP the comparing and judging, already!
We're taught to compare ourselves to those around us at such a young age. But when you start comparing yourself to others, you get sucked into conforming, competition and not feeling like you're enough (see #2).

The truth is, your value is immeasurable and has nothing to do somebody else's value.

Judgment is just another form of comparing, and our judgment of others reflects the judgment we put on ourselves. So when you notice yourself judging someone, find ways to show them compassion instead. In offering to others, you'll likely find it much easier to extend compassion and understanding to yourself.

4. Respect yourself and set boundaries.
Any quality relationship involves respect and healthy (enforced) boundaries. So respect yourself enough to compassionately let the people around you know what is and isn't OK with you. Don't be afraid to say, "No" if you do actually mean NO because that's how you set healthy boundaries!

5. Appreciate yourself (so you can appreciate others).
In order to build a loving relationship with anybody, you need to appreciate them. Everyone enjoys hearing about the qualities you admire in them and when you express gratitude to them.

First, take the time to acknowledge what you appreciate and love about yourself so you can eventually do the same for someone else.

6. Make time for personal QT.
Quality time is important in any relationship—your relationship with yourself is no different!

Take time to enjoy things that really feel good to you. Spend time learning to feel happy in your own company. Take yourself to the movies, spend time doing yoga, cook your favorite meal or simply curl up on the sofa with your favourite book. The point is: make time for YOU.

7. Trust yourself.
It's important to trust yourself to look after your best interests—don’t sacrifice your needs for the needs of those around you. Honor and PRIORITIZE commitment you make to yourself. commitment to yourself. Enforce your boundaries in a healthy way, and if someone fails to treat you well, be sure to step in and look after yourself.

8. Become a master communicator.
Every great relationship relies on positive communication, so take the time to check in with yourself. When you do this be, sure to listen to yourself and pay attention to what you really want and need. 

Remember: ALWAYS speak to yourself in a loving way. How would you speak to someone you love? How can you speak to yourself in a more loving way?

9. Meet your own needs.
Everyone has needs. And if you're going to love yourself unconditionally, you must make sure your needs get met. How? By meeting them yourself. Get really honest. Do you need time to yourself? Are you feeling the need for more security and stability in your life? Do you need more adventure? Do you need to take some time to just 'be'? 

How can you give yourself what you need?

10. Be kind and gentle with yourself.
We give the people we love space to make mistakes. We're compassionate of their challenges and appreciative of their efforts. So remember to give yourself a little understanding while you learn how to truly love yourself. Since kindness is one of the keys to love, try to extend kindness to yourself EVERYDAY.

Ultimately, your relationship with yourself is like any other in life: it takes time and effort to build trust, learn to communicate and create a loving connection. 

And there's no better feeling than finally realizing you have a deeply loving, unconditional, mutually fulfilling relationship with yourself.


Explore YourTango