When we talk about self-love, we usually confuse it with self-esteem. Although they have a lot of relationship, the main difference is that self-esteem is the perception that one has of oneself, implies a more mental or rational aspect, while self-love focuses on the deepest, it is the valuation that we have of ourselves, and as a result influences the different attitudes and behaviors that we perform.
It would be interesting if the importance of self-love, and how to practice it, were to be teach in schools and cultivated in families from a young age. This would result in happier, safer and more independent children. Although self-esteem is formed from the first years with personal, family and social experiences, throughout our lives it can suffer ups and downs and be modified in this way. While self-love, once achieved, is consolidated and helps to achieve personal goals, goals and achievements, regardless of those negative or positive experiences that we may experience.
But how do you achieve this self-love?
Below, we give you seven habits that can help develop and enhance it.
- Surround yourself with healthy bonds: in this aspect we mean being with people who make us feel good and have a good time. Many times, without realizing it, we maintain ties for years with people who are harmful to us or with whom we do not enjoy their company. This is something that does not help the development of self-love.
- Learn to say no: we usually see with a negative connotation the “say no”, and as a result we end up accepting many things that we do not want, such as invitations, companies, mistreatment, activities, etc., for fear that the other will think badly of us, be offended or angry. If we want to have self-love, it’s important to learn to say “No!” without fear.
- Give yourself small whims: self-love also involves pampering ourselves. Sometimes, we are so rushed or focused on others that we forget about ourselves; this is something as simple as being able to take a break, have a coffee, buy that book or accessory that we want so much, make a hobby, learn something that we have been postponing, etc. We must start to be high on our routine list.
- Accept ourselves as we are: it is easy to talk about acceptance, but it is difficult to apply it. Many times, we say that we like a certain part of our body but that we hate another, or we highlight and show certain traits of our personality, but we hide or deny others; it is important to accept ourselves as we are both physically and psychologically and spiritually. Accepting our lights and shadows implies an integration as people, and helps us to improve our imperfections and enhance our virtues.
- Set limits: this is closely related to knowing how to say no, but covers more aspects. Setting boundaries refers to those situations, people, activities, attitudes, thoughts, feelings, habits that make us bad and we can’t cut. For example, when we are in a job that we do not like, but we remain in it for fear of change, when we are in a romantic relationship in which we are not happy, when we have unhealthy habits and recognize that they are not good for our health, but still we do not stop doing them, when we have negative thoughts and feelings both towards ourselves and towards other people. It is important to set limits to avoid harming ourselves.
- Assertive communication: being able to say what one feels and thinks is a very important characteristic of self-love. Many times we do not do it for fear of rejection, for shame, for shyness, and we are left with that feeling of anger, discontent or discomfort. Learning to say things at the right time, respectfully and assertively helps our personal appreciation.
- Self-knowledge: being able to know ourselves fully helps to have resources to face different situations of our life and thus feel safer. To do this, it is important to listen to and observe each other: this will help us to recognize our lights and shadows, to set limits and say no when we do not like something, to pamper ourselves and surround ourselves with healthy bonds, etc.
Start practicing these habits that will help you develop your self-love and you can feel fuller, safer and more authentic. You will notice how you change your life, generate new projects and start to meet many of your goals.