DO I REALLY HAVE TO LOVE MYSELF TO BE CONFIDENT?
Do I Really Have to Love Myself to Be Confident?
I remember thinking that while I was googling how to have more confidence. I was twenty-three at the time and about to embark on a personal development journey I fully couldn’t comprehend at the time. In every article I read one of the first things it said about being confident is to love yourself, the only thought that came to mind was “well I am out of luck then!”
Then I came across an article written by a girl who was saying that she didn’t have to love herself because her boyfriend loved her (RED FLAG ALERT!) That wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I couldn’t wait to find a man to love me, I had to start loving myself!
What Does Loving Yourself Even Look Like
What does loving myself even look like? That was my next question, I had no idea where to start. So being a millennial I googled it again. I found many lists filled with different ways to love myself, which have some amazing tips, but for me, it all came down to knowing my worth and respecting myself.
How I Found My Self Worth
I had been attending church on and off for a couple months at this point. Each time I would attend I would cry. I think I was releasing all the years of shame and guilt. One of the services the pastor started preaching about how much God loved me. At that moment it was as if something clicked. I have a Creator who loves me so much not only did he die for me, but He knows everything about me. Despite everything that I did in my past He is always there for me, and will always love me no matter what. And He feels that way about every single human on earth. That is the moment I realized I am worth loving, and I placed my worth on the foundation of unconditional love (God). That is also the moment I realized every human’s worth is the same. So in those moments that I think someone is better then I and I start to put myself down, I stop because we were all created to be unconditionally loved.
How Do I Respect Myself
This will take some time, and come in stages. This also is something I am still working on (especially when it comes to my eating habits.) The first thing I looked at was my behavior, am I behaving in a way that is respectful to myself. Well, that was a NO. I wasn’t going after any of the goals. I was not taking responsibility for my life. I would spend my weekends either feeling lonely or out drinking way too much.
Take a time out and look at how you are behaving compared to how you would like your life to look. Ask yourself if I was respecting myself how would I act? For me once I started to respect myself and my time more old behaviors started to naturally fall away. You cannot respect yourself and keep holding on to lowered standards.
Learn How to Be Compassionate
Through learning how to respect myself, I also needed to learn how to be compassionate when I made mistakes. We are human, we are always going to make mistakes, and we are always going to experience negative emotions. So the next time you start to be mean to yourself stop. Remind yourself that you are doing the best that you can with the tools you currently have. You are continuing to grow every day, and use the mistake as a launch pad for growth. You always have at least two options, let it tear you down, or use it as a stepping stone to becoming better. The easiest way to show yourself compassion is to talk to yourself as if you are your best friend.
Where the Self Love Comes In
When I started to respect myself, I started to appreciate myself more. I look myself on dates. I started to believe that my goals were possible, and started to accomplish them. I met a whole need group of friends that supported my new lifestyle. If things got hard, or an old behavior slipped up (because it will happen!) I knew I had a solid worth as my foundation. I stopped feeling like the rug was being pulled out from under me each time I made a mistake. Slowly but surely, day after day, I grew in love for myself.
Always remember, you are amazing, you can do this, and you are worth it!