Learning how to love yourself is a personal and intimate journey that leads right from self-awareness to self-appreciation. I have used this four (4) level method (thanks to Jason Connell!) I’m about to take you through and I hope it helps you like it helped me.
Before we I teach you this highly effective method, let’s talk about why you find it hard to love yourself.
Negativity bias and Attentional Filters
Our minds are not very good at processing reality.First, our mind is much more likely to pay attention to what’s wrong, than what’s right- This is the negativity bias. Second, our mind is forced to filter out almost all of the stimulation (what you hear, see, feel) in any given situation This is called attentional filters.
Because of this two facts, our minds have a tendency to view us as being far less intelligent, capable, good looking, charming, and ultimately, worthy of love than we actually are.
This is further exacerbated when we do things that others consider bad or terrible. Even if these same actions are things we easily forgive friends and family for, we find it harder to forgive ourselves for them.
Fortunately, loving yourself is a skill that can be learned and mastered. The first step is realizing the truth about your importance.
Four Levels to Self Love
Level 1: the day-to-day. Do you treat yourself like an important person who deserves love and respect, or are you subtly placing unreasonable expectations on yourself? What do your behaviors say about your relationship to yourself?
If you do not treat yourself as you would treat someone you love, you’ll never feel the love that flows from your core.
Level 2: embrace your dark side. Do you accept and acknowledge your dark side when it surfaces? Do you embrace the part of you that is pessimistic, lazy, depressed, violent, crude and offensive? Or do you pretend that everything is rainbows, gumdrops, and unicorn shits. Do you pretend that every day is a good day?
To be human is to be stormy and tempestuous one day (or moment), and then calm and sunny the next. To pretend otherwise is to deny who you truly are, and denying your truth is an act of self-loathing.
Level 3: the deep work. Have you truly seen yourself for who you are? Can you grasp that your imperfections are what make you perfect? Have you owned the reality that life was inflicted upon you without asking and with it came trauma, abuse, disappointment and eventually death? Do you acknowledge that these struggles will forever shape your life until you confront them and begin the healing process?
You can begin healing, growing, and flourishing now. Doing so requires the courage and clarity to see yourself, so that you may begin the process of tearing down the walls that protect your heart.
As you do this you will open to the flow of love and life around you.
Level 4: the highest form of love. Every single person was born with unique gifts. The gifts can be anything from athletic performance, to empathy, to humor, to spirituality, to business acumen, and everything in between.
The real work of learning to love yourself is learning to see who you truly are and accepting it all. Along the path, you’ll discover deep gifts that you were born with.
The highest expression of love for yourself and the world is sharing those gifts freely and abundantly.
The most important think to take away from this is self -love, self, appreciation, self-awareness requires constant practice. Remember our mind is trained to hold on to negativity and filter out the good stuff. To maintain a positive relationship with yourself, you need to constantly watch what the little voice in your head says about you.