A successful relationship starts with one thing: learning how to love yourself.
Dating, marriage, sustaining any type of relationship — romantic, platonic, familial, or business — it all takes confidence, confidence in your partner, confidence in others, but, most importantly, confidence in yourself. In fact, not knowing how to love yourself can, alone, cause a relationship to resemble something out of reality TV — it causes insecurity, jealously, and baseless accusations. Often, it is a lack of confidence that results in things just not working out.
But, how does one learn how to love who they are? For some people, it's easy: they're lucky, they just happen to like who they are. For others, loving oneself is a skill that needs to be taught...and then carefully refined.
It's not rocket science, that's the good news — you don't need to be a member of Mensa to accomplish this. It also doesn't require conceit or arrogance — there's no need to be a direct descendant of the God Narcissus. But, it does take a commitment, an agreement with yourself to work on changing your inner perceptions.
Be realistic: The first step in learning how to love yourself involves the art of being realistic. Typically, most people view themselves in one of two ways — they either think they're greater or lesser than they actually are. When it comes to the latter, inflated expectations are often the cause. So, while you should shoot for the stars, you should also be grounded in realism. If you aim too high, you'll be disappointed that you missed.
Cherish your gifts: You have gifts, you might not think you have them, but you do. Your gifts might not translate into millions of dollars — you might not be able to dunk a basketball or develop a computer app that everyone wants — but that doesn't mean your gifts can't be used to your benefit. So, realize them, and use them any chance you get. Most of all, share them with the people you love.
Stop being negative: Negativity has the ability to diminish self-worth, deflating it like a balloon that is released before the rubber's tied shut. This is because negativity does the opposite of rose-colored glasses — it causes you to see the world through bleak shades. It also causes you to overblow your personal flaws: a minor scape becomes a gaping wound, so to speak. With negativity, a cat looks in the mirror and sees a pussy; with positivity, it sees a roaring lion.
Forgive yourself: You're human and you will make mistakes. We all are and we all will. Being too hard on yourself when you err can make learning how to love yourself difficult. So, take it easy. Chances are you give others a break every single day — offer the same courtesy to yourself.
Don't compare yourself to others: One of the biggest reasons people fail to know how to love oneself is because of the great comparison; they are constantly comparing themselves to others. This, however, is just begging for trouble — you are an original, comparing yourself to others isn't like comparing apples to oranges. It's like comparing apples to a cumulus cloud. So, refrain from it. But, if you must compare yourself to people like Angelina Jolie or Mark Zuckerberg or the other celebrities and billionaires of the world, be sure you compare yourself to the less successful as well...such as the guy who was just arrested for making love to a pool raft, for the second time.
To learn more about how to love yourself, click here.