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 love for yourself.
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 okay.”
2. Realize that you are enough.
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 every day:I am enough.
3. Stop comparing and judging.
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 okay 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 personal quality time for yourself.
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.
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. 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 every day.