Living in a negative world can make it really hard to respect, accept, and love yourself, what with a constant diet of bad news and challenging information. You can turn that situation around and start to show more love for yourself - let's get started:
Turnaround #1: Consider the daily cost of disliking yourself
Every day of our perfectly imperfect human lives contains 24 hours. You need to sleep at least six of those hours, so that leaves another eighteen hours for you to love yourself...or not.
If you spend that much time disliking yourself, putting yourself down, thinking and speaking ill of yourself, you've wasted the majority of your day and you've set yourself up for a negative emotional backlash.
If you decided instead to use that time to express respect, acceptance and love for yourself, you'd be adding to your strength, emotional stability, and capacity to show those same positive emotions to others.
No comparison - use your time wisely.
Turnaround #2: Showing yourself love encourages others to love you too.
One of the strongest positive emotions known to mankind is love - and when you project it, it returns to you. The same is true of negativity - if you project that, it will return to you as well.
Given a choice, why not try expressing positivity for yourself first, and then extend it to others. If you are showing yourself love, others will join in and perhaps you can even inspire them to show love for themselves as well.
Turnaround #3: Limit your exposure to negative people.
Negative people can drain your positive energy to the point where you start acting and sounding just like them. Think back in time to someone you knew who presented a negative persona. Were there any benefits to associating with them? You probably can't think of any - their "wet blanket" attitude could zap the sunshine out of the day and make even a warm wind in the winter feel bad.
These are people you'd do well to limit your exposure to, lest you "catch" their negativity.
Turnaround #4: Focus most of your time and energy on the present.
No matter how long you chew on your memories of the past, the events of your past are NOT going to change. Why keep reliving a negative event over and over again? Take the lesson or the information from it and let it go.
The future hasn't happened yet - and while you can try to prepare for it, you really can't affect it in a significant way until is becomes the present. Dwelling on the past and the future too long can cause you to lose sight of living your Right Now life - the one you DO have some control over.
Turnaround #5: Put yourself first in line for your own love.
You family and good friends love you - but at the same time, they have their own lives to live and their own self-love to cultivate. They want to support you and be there when needed, but they can't be with you 24 / 7.
You have to be ready, willing, and able to express love for yourself when they aren't around. Living your busy life doesn't mean you have to let go of expressing respect, acceptance and love for yourself - in all the ways that matter.
Buy your favorite foods - the ones that give you energy and help you keep your promises to work for better health. Keep your body moving so you can enjoy that freedom of movement. Even when your family is not close by, intentionally show yourself love.
Turnaround #6: New opportunities can come from loving yourself.
If you're walking around with your head held down and refusing to meet the gazes of others, the message you're sending is "Don't look at me, I'm not worth it."
Your body language and expressions along with the tone and volume of your voice can speak volumes about the way you feel about yourself. It may not be conscious, but subconsciously, other people notice. They may not state it aloud, but you'll be out of consideration for promotions and plum assignments because of your lack of respect and love for yourself shows.
Give yourself permission to love yourself just as you are RIGHT NOW. You don't have to change anything about yourself, but if YOU feel changes are needed, then by all means, go ahead.
You can commit to change when YOU are ready - and you are the final decision-maker where changing aspects of who you are concerned.
Finally - use the affirmations below to help increase your respect, acceptance and love for yourself. Read them out loud, and choose one that feels easy; then choose another one that feels a little harder or creates resistance and use them both.
Write your chosen affirmation(s) in your journal and take some time to explore the feelings and thoughts they bring up for you. If you're just getting started with a journaling practice, click this link for a special offer.
Affirmations to Increase your Respect, Acceptance, and Love for Yourself
I accept myself just as I am.
I am a perfectly imperfect human being – beautiful, flawed, and amazing.
Every day, I work on loving myself totally and unconditionally.
I am not defined by mistakes; I am defined by my courage to learn from them.
I respect myself, and I teach others to treat me with respect when I show that I respect myself.
I am not afraid of failure because from each failure come blessings and lessons.
I am a miracle, born to face any hardships with grace, confidence, and strength.
My feelings matter, my thoughts matter, and I matter.
I accept myself with respect, acceptance, and love.