Journey to Self-appreciation and Self-love

Stop being so hard on yourself, plain and simple.

 Stop comparing yourself to others and give yourself the time to love yourself for all of your flaws and imperfections. No one is perfect; I could repeat that over and over and you will probably still roll your eyes because you think you should be this picture perfect person. 

Well guess what, you need to get over it. You need to be strong for yourself and realize you’re not superman or superwoman, but a kick-ass person who recognizes their flaws and uses them for good. 

I have a friend in recovery who attends AA meetings and I can’t tell you how jealous I am of all of the positive changes she has had the opportunity to make in her life because of AA. Honestly, the steps of AA are things we all need to go through. Someone please come up with a program for us non-AA members where we can learn how to face our troubles and come out stronger than ever!

I thank God every day for her being in my life and introducing me to a whole new mindset. Because of her, I’ve learned so many things about the way to turn my thoughts around into more positive thinking and learn to love and appreciate myself little by little.

Things I have learned and you should start doing in order to start accepting/loving you and your life:

1. Start each and every morning with a positive

Wake up and in your groggy head, choose three things you love about yourself. For me, I find it more beneficial to actually write these attributes down rather then just think about it so I can see a visual of them. 

Sometimes it actually helps to start a group chat with you and some close friends that is meant solely for this. I know it sounds super cheesy and like more of an annoyance, but it actually helps you build a very strong support system and creates a closer bond with those friends.

2. You need to see the positive in each situation

When all hell breaks loose, our first thought isn’t to look at the good, but rather wallow in self-pity, leading to distress. Honestly, that’s all fine and good BUT you can’t allow yourself to stay there. You have to be able to pick yourself up. How do we do this?

 I personally like to write down what I’m going through and then at the end when my thoughts are sorted out, I make sure I write down the positive side to the distress I’m facing. The positive could be that the situation has made you a stronger person or that you can now see things from a different light.

3. Stop being selfish

Sorry, but not everything is about you.

 For example, if your significant other isn’t texting you and you’re sitting there freaking out that you did something wrong (we’ve all been there), get over yourself and recognize it has nothing to do with you. They are busy, they have a life.

 Also, you begin to grow as a person when you give others something they can not return. Everyday do at least one thing to help someone other than yourself. 

Don’t get caught up in your own world and go out and help someone in need. This doesn’t mean you have to start doing all of these huge mission trips or volunteer activities, but it does mean you should pay more attention to holding doors for others, or surprising someone with coffee. 

You can start to love yourself by feeling good about helping others.

4. Challenge your irrational thoughts

When I’m facing a crisis, or rather, what I think is a crisis, my friend always makes sure I challenge my thoughts and shows me why they are irrational. 

She was taught to lay out all of her fears and then write down why they were all irrational and where they stemmed from. In my moments of “crisis” it’s not always easy to look at things from a rational perspective and so I usually go off on a tangent until I begin to write down the situation, my feelings about it, and why I am being crazy. 

Challenging my thoughts helps me see the good in things like I mentioned before.

5. Understand your motives

A person would be lying if they said they didn’t have underlying motives to certain behaviors or actions. 

These motives may be things you are proud of, or things you don’t want to admit. The important thing is that you recognize these motives, good and bad, and why you do the things you do in order to better improve yourself.

 Once you realize why you do the things you do, you can begin to change your actions and take part in more beneficial behaviors that help you grow.

6. Find faith

A crucial contributor to AA is the need to find a faith. 

This doesn’t mean you have to believe in God, but it means you have to find some kind of faith in something; whether it be a spirit or even a wizard as a higher power, you have to believe in it and roll with it. 

Having a faith in something bigger than yourself creates a sense of security and actually lifts a weight off of your shoulders. When you have faith in something outside yourself you begin to believe that everything happens for a reason. 

Believing everything happens for a reason usually reduces anxiety in moments of “crisis” because you tend to put less pressure on yourself. 

7. Reflect on the day

At the end of the day sit down and reflect on your experiences and feelings. 

What I do with my group chat of friends is name three things we did good in the day and three negative things we did in the day. This helps us separate the good from the bad and recognize it’s okay to have some not-so-good things happen throughout the day, but that they are not the only things to focus on. 

Overall, it brings a sense of appreciation for the life we live.

The journey to self-love and self-appreciation isn’t something that happens quickly, it takes time. The good news is that it is a journey and not a destination. Enjoy the journey of beginning to find and love yourself. Appreciate the good things you experience and learn from the bad. Accept that you are not perfect, but you are a good person who does your best. Accept yourself for your flaws and keep working every day to take steps in the right direction!