Why Don’t We Love Ourselves? (And What You Can Do About it!)
Struggling to smile at your own reflection in the mirror?
I’ve walked in your shoes before. Self-love doesn’t always come natural – actually, it’s a skill you acquire with time. The more you practice it, the better you become at it.
And if you feel like you’re harsh to yourself for no reason, you’re on the right page.
Re-learning how to love yourself – yes, I say re-learn because you’ve been taught wrong! – is very much possible, no matter your age.
It won’t only improve the relationship you have with yourself but it’ll also improve the relationships you form with others. After all, we receive the love we think we deserve, don’t we?
1. We haven’t been taught
As I said, learning how to love yourself isn’t something you’re born with. It’s a skill you have to master.
Actually, your brain is programmed to look at most situations as dangerous and negative to ensure your survival. On top of that, our educational system teaches everything – math, history, science, languages – but doesn’t teach self-love.
And if parents fail to show their kids the art of loving themselves, it’s easy to see why so many adults struggle – we’re left to our own devices.
But there comes a point in life when you realize there’s no other way to move forward but to learn how to love yourself more.
Things like saying good morning, beautiful to yourself. Watching the way you talk to yourself. Taking care of your mind & body. Choosing the people you surround yourself with.
It’s all about starting small – and then building up on that. It’s not easy but it’s very much worth it in the end.
2. We can’t let go of the past
Is the past holding you back from living?
Everyone has skeletons in the closet. But nothing good comes out of letting those skeletons become ghosts of the past.
What you have to remember is this: you’re not the same person you used to be.
Your past actions do not define the person you are today. The past actions of other people do not define you either.
Make peace with your past. The present is the only thing that matters. Forgive whomever you have to forgive in order to heal – and yes, forgive yourself first – before moving on.
3. We don’t accept ourselves as we are
Let me ask you this.
Can you tell me 10 good things about yourself? Like, right now? Without thinking much? The sad truth is that most of us – including me! – would struggle. It’d take you a while to finish that list.
On the other side, if you were supposed to say 10 negative things about yourself – phew, most of us would have a list of 20 WITHIN seconds!
See where I’m going with this? No one’s perfect but it’s so easy to focus only on the negative.
Accept your flaws – stop resisting to yourself. Be proud of the person you are. Think about imperfections as just another part of life. The less you focus on them, the less they’ll have an impact on you!
4. We don’t think we’re worthy of love
Don’t determine the amount of love you give to yourself by the amount of love you receive from others.
I used to be convinced I’m unworthy of love.
What good do I have to offer anyway? Why would anyone love me? Even my own father doesn’t love me. Actually, I went as far as avoiding to look at myself in the mirror – nothing good to see there.
It took me a while to see how wrong I’ve been.
The first step? Admitting that I don’t love myself as much as I should – and then committing to fix that. You can do the same.
Work on your self-confidence. Polish that image in your head – let your self-esteem rise. Smile whenever you see yourself in the mirror. And start loving yourself unconditionally.
5. We’re not happy with our lives
Having too many high expectations is one sure way to crush your self-love.
Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not telling you to let go of everything you’ve ever hoped and dreamed for. I’m just saying, real life isn’t a Hallmark movie.
Sometimes, things go the way you’ve imagined them to – and sometimes, they don’t. And that’s okay. Real life’s like that.
You’re not always responsible for all the things happening to you – but you’re always responsible for the way you react to them.
Don’t do any self-sabotage. No good can come out of that.
Be gentle with yourself. Practice patience. Remember, sometimes, you don’t get what you want simply because something better is waiting around the corner!
How do you love yourself? Do you think it’s possible to learn how to love yourself more?