We often hear about the importance of self-love. Have you heard of bad habits that kill self-love? It is rare to find people who would not like to love themselves. However, few people know what self-love really is. Quite often, we fail to notice how our own thoughts and actions bring harm to ourselves and worsen our mental health. What attitudes prevent us from living, developing and loving ourselves?
What is self-love and why is it important?
In psychology, self-love most often means a positive attitude towards one’s own person. A person, who loves himself, is confident in his abilities, respects and knows how to satisfy his needs, and realizes and accepts his own characteristics. He considers himself important and necessary.
Psychological research shows that self-assessment affects almost every area of life. It determines our mood, our relationships with loved ones, and our ability to achieve. The more we love ourselves, the happier and more successful we are.
This is why the idea of self-care is so common. However, despite the popularity of the idea of self-love, many people still regularly make mistakes by killing this feeling. Here are the most popular ones.
You constantly scold yourself and look for flaws in yourself
We often focus on our own weaknesses and look for faults in our behavior. Thinking like this takes a lot of time and effort. Even if we think that thanks to such an analysis, we become wiser and more successful, in fact, it turns living life into an unpleasant occupation.
Why does a person tend to behave like this? It’s all about evolution. The human brain was formed in the conditions of the struggle for survival. It learned to quickly react to possible danger and focus on mistakes in order to increase the chances of survival.
This behavior is really useful when something threatens our lives. Most people in today’s world do not face such situations. Today, it is important for a person to be flexible, sociable, and reasonable. It has become more useful for us to focus on the positive, not the negative things.
Instead of criticizing yourself, focus on your strengths. Research shows that, relying on our strengths, we increase productivity, purposefulness, energy, and build relationships with others.
The qualities that we blame ourselves for are actually good and help us achieve our goals. Straightforwardness and rigor will help you succeed in business, and anxiety will help you solve the problem with minimal risks.
Do not rush to radically change yourself. You’d better learn to be flexible and demonstrate your qualities where they will lead to the best effect. Remember that your “flaws” are often your main strength.
You view your mistakes and failure as a disaster
This usually happens with people who place their value only on achievements. This is an unreliable strategy. Achievements can bring temporary satisfaction but not happiness, which is why successful “achievers” often suffer from depression.
Not everything in the world depends on us, and sometimes our efforts may not lead to the expected results. We all make mistakes and do stupid things. It is an essential part of life. If we fall into despondency after each mistake, it will be difficult to maintain a prosperous mental state.
It is much more effective to treat your mistakes as an experience that will help you understand something important about yourself. Learn to accept your feelings of failure and analyze your mistakes without self-flagellation.
There is no need to suppress feelings of guilt, fear, shame and disappointment. Millions of people around the world can have these experiences. First of all, ask yourself: “Is this feeling justified now?” If the answer is yes, it is better to spend energy on changing the situation than on self-flagellation.
We often blame ourselves for nothing. Pathological guilt significantly affects self-esteem and self-acceptance, making us feel helpless.
You are highly dependent on the approval and recognition of others
Shaping an opinion about yourself only through the prism of the opinions of others is dangerous. The fact that we are pleased with someone else’s approval is normal. Problems arise when your respect for yourself depends entirely on other people. In this case, your self-esteem is unstable. It needs to be “fed” with admiration all the time. Self-love quickly fades away without it.
If you find yourself overly dependent on the approval of others, start small. In certain situations – at first simple and understandable – act without regard to others. Objectively assess your merits, do not forget to praise yourself for achievements and victories. Compare your accomplishments to your past successes.
You think you can only love yourself for your looks, talent, or success
Unfortunately, dazzling beauty and world fame do not guarantee self-love. It is dangerous when the main goal for a person is to preserve only their beautiful image. In this case, self-esteem ceases to reflect real life and can distort the world around.
This path leads to a dead end, requires endless control, the suppression of fears, and takes a lot of energy. Positive self-esteem is based on self-confidence and self-respect, relying on your abilities and potential, understanding your own limitations and accepting your weaknesses.
You demand from yourself unbearable changes here and now
We change all the time, constantly and inevitably. We can begin to change the way we feel about ourselves at any age, even if we have lived with negative and unstable self-esteem for many years. The human brain is arranged amazingly, which is proved by studies of the neuroplasticity of neural structures.
Trouble happens when we try to change ourselves drastically in one day. The idea that we can change quickly leads to self-disappointment and burnout. Start changing with preparation and self-examination.
This will help us understand what is happening to us and where to go next. Decide what you want to change in yourself, and what habits and attitudes to get rid of. Analyze what you lack for stable positive self-esteem, what is useful to learn, and what should appear in your life.
To begin with, come up with the simplest actions and a small feasible step. Move slowly as these steps increase your self-love. Take your time. It is important that in the course of the changes you feel content, happy, without heaviness and congestion.
Maintain patience and perseverance. Think about revealing your personality, your needs and desires, not how to impress others.