10 Reasons Why You Can Forget to Love Yourself and How to Put Yourself First Again
At 24 years old, I finally began to love myself. It took me a long time to get to that point because I spent most of my childhood and teenage years hating who I was. I never felt valued or appreciated, and these feelings of inadequacy spread to all areas of my life. But I’ve come to understand that I had no control over my circumstances at the time, but I am in total control of who I am from this point on. All of us have life experiences that help shape who we are – but we need to find the strength to say, “These experiences won’t DEFINE who I am. I choose who I am.”
There are many reasons why we can forget to love ourselves. Maybe we felt unloved growing up and are trying not to let it define us now. Or, we’ve been hurt recently, but we’re trying to see the best in people. We may be surrounded by toxic individuals, but we know that they’re not good for us. Perhaps we’re used to caring about everyone else’s needs, but we’re starting to understand that we are important too. Our life may be busy, but we know we need to make more time for ourselves.
We may feel defined by our failures, but we want to get back up again. We’re not sure what to do with our life, but we’re determined to work it out. It’s possible to feel that we don’t feel ‘successful’ compared to everyone else, but we understand that we need to focus more on our uniqueness. Or we’ve lost a loved one, but are slowly getting there. Most importantly, we may not see self-love as a priority, but we realize it really needs to be one.
Here are some ways on how to put yourself first again:
1. Recognize your worth: You may have had mixed messages growing up and/or a lack of positive role models, but don’t let the pain of your past stop you from believing that you deserve love. You are a worthy human being, and your future is in your hands.
2. Let each relationship be a lesson learnt: Don’t let a painful friendship or relationship poison your spirit. Take each relationship as a lesson learnt and let it help you with future ones. Let these people teach you how better to treat yourself and to treat others.
3. Choose the people you surround yourself with: If you’re starting to realize that you’re better off without toxic individuals, then you’re learning to love yourself. You are doing what’s right for you by thinking about your own happiness and feelings.
4. Learn to say ‘no’: It’s vital to remember that your needs are important too. When you put yourself first, you’re telling yourself, “I love myself enough to care about what’s important to me.” You’re allowed to care about yourself.
5. Take time out for your emotional and mental health: All of us have responsibilities that can get in the way of caring about ourselves. By looking after your health, you will be more productive and feel more rested. Lie in bed at night with a good book, have a bath, go for a walk in the park, partake in one of your favorite hobbies – do something for you.
6. Don’t let failure define you: Failing does not mean you are a failure. Don’t let the negative experiences override the good ones.
7. Give yourself the time to work it all out: It’s okay if you’re feeling confused. We all do at one point or another. The fact that you’re trying to make sense of it all is what counts. Just because you don’t know exactly where your life is heading, doesn’t mean that you should love yourself any less. Be proud that you are finding out who and what makes you happy.
8. Focus on your uniqueness: Don’t let the comparisons get you down. You are equally important and equally deserving of love. Focus on your own talents and skills. Focus on your own accomplishments and achievements. Love yourself for who you are, and remember that you have your own uniqueness to add to the world.
9. Take care of yourself, even when you’re grieving: It does matter. As painful as your life is at the moment, you still need to take care of you. You’re not selfish for still wanting to move forward and be happy. If the person who you lost meant so much to you, then you most definitely meant a lot to them. And that person would have wanted you to love yourself and to continue to look after yourself.
10. Make self-love a priority: Loving yourself isn’t an inconvenience. It’s not about caring about you and only you. It’s about reminding yourself that no matter how busy or difficult life gets, that the love you have for yourself will give you strength no matter the challenge. By loving yourself, you are better able to make the best possible difference in this world.
In conclusion, no matter who you are, whether you were raised in a loving home or not – it can be easy to fall into the trap of forgetting to love yourself. Remember that you are important and you do matter. Take the steps necessary for self-love and start enjoying who you are. Love yourself for all that you are and all that you can be.