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Self Love: Understand what it is, why it’s important, and find our 7 tips to boost yours! ❤️

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Fitness Editor
Dominic is a sports journalist and personal trainer and writes fitness articles for our magazine. He also makes free workout plans for our site.

Practicing self love is the key to feeling better and more confident overall! Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” Here, we give you the keys to show yourself more love, no matter the circumstances.

What is self love?

Self love is a healthy and caring way to perceive oneself. You are aware of both your skills and faults and appreciate them for making them who you are. It can help you feel comfortable and content in your skin at all times, and it’s often considered a prerequisite for a happy and healthy life. 

Your personality, your character, and the way you accept yourself are what define you as an individual. It’s these three things that make it possible for your life and dreams to come true, without pretending to be someone else or fulfilling a dream that isn’t yours. 

The difference between self love, self-centeredness, and narcissism

It’s easy to confuse self love with narcissism, self esteem, and egocentrism, but the differences between all three of these terms are quite big!

Self love has nothing to do with being narcissistic. It’s not about spending hours admiring yourself in front of the mirror and being obsessed with yourself. Self love is a positive thing: You feel happy enough in your life to feel good about yourself.

It also has nothing to do with self-centeredness, which is when you tend to care more about yourself than others. Self love is simply about being able to recognize your own qualities (both positive and negative) and be at peace with them. It’s also about being as respectful to others as you are to yourself. 

Self love has nothing to do with self esteem either: In the Discourse on Inequality Among Men, Jean-Jacques Rousseau explains that the difference between the two is simple. The latter can be a negative feeling because it can lead you to compare yourself with others, whereas the former is a positive and benevolent feeling that isn’t driven by jealousy or competition. 

A woman with medium skin tone and curly dark hair blows herself a kiss in the mirror to show self love

The difficulty of loving oneself

Most people are unaware of the subtle difference between all these terms, which can cause many people to equate loving yourself with negative behavior, like being conceited or self-centered. But loving yourself is absolutely essential as it can improve both self-confidence and quality of life.

The media and people in show business often convey a more-than-perfect image of their looks and the ideals to which everyone should aspire. But this is by no means the reality you should strive for! Nobody is perfect — even the celebs. We all have our faults, but the key to succeeding loving yourself is learning to accept those faults (as well as all of your other fabulous qualities). This is also a great way to feel more confident in general.

Self love: Our 7 tips to boost yours!

How can you boost your self love without falling into narcissism? How can you recognize and appreciate your best qualities without appearing self-centered? We’ve listed 7 tips and tricks to help give you the supportive boost whenever you need it!

Tip 1: Assert yourself in a positive way

If you’re not used to loving yourself or aren’t sure where to start, it can be interesting to start by being assertive. Practicing just a couple of minutes a day is all it takes to improve your ability to assert yourself in a positive way. 

Start by asking yourself what makes you a person you can be proud of? What goals have you achieved? What are the things that make you unique? What do others like about you and what do they often tell you? Finding answers to these questions will enable you to reconsider the image you had of yourself and open your eyes to who you actually are.

If you thought you were worthless, just answering all these questions will make you feel better! And if you can’t find qualities in yourself that you like, then encourage yourself to try new things that you do and that better represent you as a person. When all else fails, try talking to yourself in the mirror—it really is one of the best ways to give yourself a quick boost! 

A white man in a suit adjusts his tie, while checking his reflection in a window which is acting as a mirror

Tip 2: Stop self-criticizing

Is there a little voice in your head that’s always saying negative things about you? That same little voice telling you that you’ll never make it or that you’re not worth it? In reality, this little voice is coming from you, and you alone. Change your perspective and start saying nice things to yourself. Instead of constantly criticizing yourself, try to compliment yourself more often. Since it’s all in your head, it’s easy. You’re the one who has the power to change your mentality!

Don’t let yourself be influenced by negative thoughts. When you hear your inner voice say something negative, ask yourself where this feeling is coming from? The sooner you find the source of your discomfort, the sooner you will be able to resolve this inner conflict and start thinking positively. Of course, this process isn’t always a speedy one, so be patient and forgiving to yourself — you’re trying your hardest and getting better every day! Forgiveness and compassion are two of the biggest aspects of loving yourself and maintaining your mental health.

Tip 3: Become your own best ally

If one of your friends was in distress, how would you react to them? You’d probably be there to support and cheer them up and listen to their troubles — right? Ask yourself why you don’t do the same thing for yourself in times of need. Instead of shooting yourself down, talk to yourself as you would your best friend. You’ll find yourself getting back on your feet much faster. 

Tip 4: Treat yourself to happiness

Are you always bending over backwards for other people? It’s true that it’s important to take care of the people you love. But taking time for yourself is vital! Don’t hesitate to treat yourself once in a while. Treat yourself to a day, evening, or afternoon where you do only what you like without anyone. Read the books on your bookshelf, have a spa session at home, enjoy a nice dinner, go to the movies, buy yourself a bouquet of flowers — any activity or purchase that brings you pleasure.

A white woman lies in a bathtub with white headphones on, practicing self love and self care
©Guido Mieth

Our tip: Why not treat yourself to a gourmet dessert? Our recipe for Protein Ice Cream Cups has everything you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Go on, treat yourself

Tip 5: Learn to trust yourself

When you learn to love yourself, you must also learn to trust and believe in yourself. Trusting yourself is about being able to follow your intuitions and know that what you do or say every day is a conscious and autonomous act, not something you do for others.

Tip 6: Accept yourself as you are

You can’t love yourself if you’re not able to accept yourself for who you are. Your best qualities and faults and shortcomings alike are all the little things that make you unique. 

Accepting yourself is one of the most crucial steps to loving yourself. With our previous tips, you already have the tools to unlock this phase of the process. By being aware of what makes you great as well as your imperfections, you’ll be able to appreciate yourself as you are, without feeling narcissistic or self-centered. 

Tip 7: Get to know yourself

You may think you know everything about yourself, but there’s always more to learn. And the more you learn about yourself, the more you’ll be able to love yourself in return. Our advice will help you establish a better awareness of yourself and your desires and ambitions

To dig a little deeper, try practicing positive thinking. Ask yourself what kind of situation makes you happy? Or Sad? What are the things or activities in your life that make you happy? Which ones have a negative impact? Once you’ve analyzed the answers to these questions, you’ll be ready to take action, and do everything you can to be happy with a clear conscience.

How to boost your self love: Our conclusion

  • Loving yourself has nothing to do with self-centeredness or narcissism.
  • Loving yourself is something difficult to do because we’re not used to it.
  • Encourage yourself regularly to give yourself courage and good vibes.
  • Don’t listen to your little voice that regularly criticizes you.
  • Take care of yourself as you’d take care of a friend.
  • Treat yourself to moments when you only do what you like to do.
  • Trust yourself and follow your own intuition.
  • Practicing positive thinking will enable positive action.
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