14 small (but beautifully effective) ways to learn to love yourself

If only falling in love with yourself was as easy as falling in love with someone else.

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  • For many people it's a lot easier to see someone else's good attributes than it is to see their own. This makes it easier to love, forgive and praise others, but to really be happy, you need to learn to love yourself.

  • You need to love your perfections and imperfections, your strengths and your weaknesses. When you accept and love who you are, life will seem clearer and more focused.

  • So, how do you fall in love with yourself?

  • Write a journal and read it a year later

  • If you want to love yourself, start with writing about your day. Include your highs and lows and all the feelings that accompany them. You don't have to be fake in your journah; honestly write about the things in your life. In the future, not only will your memories be fun to revisit, but you will also see how much you have learned and improved.

  • Compliment yourself

  • Your inner critic is constantly talking, but it doesn't always need to be negative. Pat your back and compliment yourself once in a while. Write down or say these compliments out loud to overpower your doubts.

  • Volunteer for something you're passionate about

  • Helping other people will help you be more confident in yourself. Find a cause you're passionate about and then go out and support it. This will give you direction and purpose.

  • Make a vision board

  • These boards can always change, but they provide direction as you set short-term and long-term goals. Keep track of accomplishments as you push forward to achieve your vision.

  • Take a bath

  • Sometimes you just need to relax in a bath and have a good soak. To really treat yourself, go to a spa or get a massage. Let go of the stressful things and be at peace.

  • Travel

  • Go out and see something new. If you don't have time for a road trip, go on a hike. Use these quiet moments to think about who you are and what you want to become. Write down your reflections and be at peace with your mistakes and your achievements.

  • Splurge a little

  • A new outfit or some nice makeup can make all the difference in the world. Don't feel bad about occasionally treating yourself. It will give you confidence and strength to face the next day.

  • Define who you are, your likes and your desires

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  • Write down what makes you, you. Every person has good and bad habits. Accept the positive and negative aspects of yourself. Then write down what you want from your life. When you define who you are and what you want, you can accept yourself and love who you are.

  • Explore new interests, hobbies or talents

  • You will never know if you have a hidden talent in pottery or writing until you give it a chance. Take a random class at a local community college and try new things. Explore new field of study. As your knowledge grows, so will your confidence.

  • Trust yourself

  • Your gut instinct is incredibly trustworthy. When you make a decision, do your research and know you made the right choice under the circumstances. Yes, you will make mistakes, but those mistakes do not define you.

  • Do what you need to do, not what others want you to do

  • Be OK with saying no to other people's suggestions. You know what's best for yourself. Others may expect you to do one thing, but only you know your dreams and desires. Work toward them with your head held high.

  • Get an idea of how your friends and loved ones see you

  • Try to see yourself in the way that your loved ones see you. Trust their perception of you. When you look in the mirror, tell yourself the things your family said about you, out loud. Love who you see in the mirror like your friends do.

  • Stand up for yourself

  • Don't let others push you around. Defend your decisions and be confident. One way to practice this is to stand confidently. Pull your shoulders down and back. Walk with a purpose with your head held high. Others will see how confident you are, and you'll feel more confident with yourself.

  • Smile

  • Even when you don't feel like it, put a smile on your face. Sometimes smiling can make all the difference.

  • You should love who you are and what you stand for. Accept that you will always be striving to improve weaknesses, but don't let your weaknesses define who you are and how you act. When you fall in love with yourself, a calm confidence will surround you. You won't be doing things just because they need to get done; you will be doing them with a purpose.

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Stacie Simpson is a FamilyShare staff writer. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.

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