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6 Reasons to Focus on Liking Yourself, and How to Do It
by Henrik Edberg
“Nobody will think you’re somebody if you don’t think so yourself.”
“Self-love is not opposed to the love of others.”
Dr. Karl Menninger
“Happiness is: Looking in a mirror and like what you see .”
People have a need for affection and being liked. But it’s very easy to make a mistake here and go about it the wrong way. Because while trying to get others to like you may seem like a simple and common solution there is an alternative. One that I find works better.
It is to focus on liking yourself more rather than trying to get people to like you.
Here are six reasons why I put my focus in that place. And after that a brief guide to how you can increase how much you like yourself.
1. Liking yourself gives you power and strength.
If you go for trying to get people to like you you’ll most likely come off as needy and desperate a lot of the time. This is a bad position to put yourself in. Because liking and respecting yourself goes hand in hand with people liking and respecting you.
If you bend to other people all the time then they may like what you do for them. But they may not like you on a deeper level because there is a weakness and lack of confidence and personal power there.
2. People like people who like themselves.
What is attractive to a friend, an employer or a potential partner? To me, it seems like a lot of this boils down to people liking people who like themselves. Someone who likes him/herself is positive, confident, takes care of his/her health and opportunities in school/at work/in life.
3. More inner stability, much less of an emotional rollercoaster.
Getting compliments and being liked is wonderful. The problem is just that if you rely too much on validation from others then you let the outside world, other people, control how you feel. And that can be a real rollercoaster.
Because if you really need the positive validation from people then it’s hard to avoid listening to their negative input. Or you may feel bad when there is a temporary lack in the validation. So what do you do? You let go of focusing on needing that input and replace it with focusing on validating and liking yourself instead.
4. Life becomes more fun and relaxing.
If you like yourself then it becomes natural to just be your best self and let people like the real you. Doing the opposite and trying to get people to like you leads to a lack of honesty in any kind of relationship and life becomes a like walking on egg shells while using different masks with different people.
5. What you think and feel about yourself flows over.
The more you like yourself, the easier it becomes to like, help and be kind to other people. How much you like or do not like yourself flows over into your world.
6. You minimize self sabotage.
If you don’t like yourself, if you deep down don’t really think you deserve what you go after then you will tend to sabotage for yourself. Perhaps in subtle ways. You may get a gut feeling that this success is wrong and so you start doing stuff that screws things up. If you like yourself there will be a lot less self made obstacles in your mind to overcome on your path to success.
How to like yourself more
So, the benefits sound pretty good. But how do you go about changing how you feel about yourself?
Here is a brief but in my experience very effective guide that works in real life.
Do the right thing.
I write about this a lot. That’s because it’s simple thing to keep in mind and if you live it then it can bring your awesome results.
When you do what you think is the right thing then your self esteem goes up. If you just coast then you tend to feel kinda lame about yourself. So do awesome stuff and you feel awesome about yourself. Do ok stuff and feel ok about yourself. This is not always an easy thing. But people who do the right thing get fine inner rewards (and often outer rewards too). What you do tends to correspond to what you get in the long run.
What is the right thing? Well, that’s up to you to decide and it can vary from life to life and situation to situation. Some of the things I think is the right thing to do is to keep my life in order and organized, to workout regularly and take care of my health, to be positive and open, to spend time doing things I really like doing, to get out of my comfort zone and face fears and to be a person of action.
When you do the right thing you like yourself more and so the self sabotage decreases. The standards you set for yourself flows over to your world too. What you accept or don’t accept from yourself is what you tend to accept or not accept from other people.
And what you think and do to the world around you – for example being judgmental or being open and kind – is how you tend to think about yourself and treat yourself too.
Don’t take yourself for granted or focus on the wrong things. Appreciate yourself.
What you do or do not do has a huge effect on how you view yourself and how much you like yourself. But what you focus on in your mind is also important. Because if you do good things but then focus on small faults or failures then that won’t help you.
So make a habit of focusing on appreciating the good things about yourself. Take two minutes right now to think about positive things about you or good things you have done and accomplished. Or take a few minutes tonight to write down five good things about yourself in a journal.
This extends to what you focus on in the world around you too. Because as I mentioned in the previous tip, what you focus on in the people around you tends to be how you see and treat yourself. So you may want to add five or ten things that you appreciate about the people around you to those journal entries and two minute appreciation sessions.
The more you do things like these, the more this kind of thinking will naturally pop up in your everyday life too. You are changing how you think about yourself and what you have a tendency to focus on.