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You’ve probably heard sayings before like “you are your own worst enemy” or even your own worst critic. Unfortunately, if you have a hard time loving yourself, those old stereotypes and sayings can seem very true. 

To someone who doesn’t have a problem with self-love, the idea of not loving yourself can seem unfathomable. But, if you struggle to give yourself the same compassion and kindness you give others, you know just how difficult and overwhelming it feels. 

The good news? You don’t have to feel that way forever. 

If you struggle to love yourself, there are ways to overcome it. You can learn to see yourself as others do and show yourself the love you truly deserve. 

Let’s cover a few strategies you can put into place right away if you’re struggling to love yourself. 

Take it Slowly

You can’t expect to go from thinking you’re inadequate to loving everything about yourself overnight. There’s no “quick fix” method. There are times when it’ll be easier to love yourself and times when it might seem impossible. By trying to force it, you’ll end up making things harder on yourself, especially during those darker times in life when you’re already stressed. 

The best thing you can do when you’re struggling with self-love is to take it one day at a time. Focus on taking baby steps in the right direction each day. Some days will be easier than others, depending on what you’re going through. But, by taking things slowly, your setbacks won’t feel as overwhelming. 

Start With Acceptance

Most people have an idea of what they think self-love is. But, have you ever really thought about what that might look like for you? Your version of self-love could be different from someone else’s, and that’s okay. There isn’t one “right” way to love yourself. Focusing too much on that kind of perfection will cause you to set unrealistic expectations for yourself. 

Instead, focus on acceptance. 

When you accept yourself for who you are, you’ll find that it’s easier to transition into self-love. 

If that’s hard to understand, think about it this way—who are the people you love most? Why do you love them? Would you ever ask them to change a core part of their personalities or beliefs so you could somehow love them more? 

Chances are, you think the people you love are great just the way they are. That doesn’t mean they’re perfect—but that’s the point! You don’t have to be perfect to love yourself, either. 

Instead, accept your imperfections. Get in touch with your true personality, likes, dislikes, and beliefs. If you try to change yourself to fit in or you think you need to jump through hoops to love yourself, you’ll end up falling short. 

Lean On Others

Sometimes, loving yourself starts with leaning on others for support. When you surround yourself with people who love you already, it can be easier to share in that love and realize that you are enough. You are worthy. 

It’s just as important to avoid spending too much time with people who bring you down or make you feel bad about yourself. Your circle of friends and family members can make a big difference in how you see yourself, so make sure you’re spending your time with the right people. 

If you’re still struggling to love yourself, know you’re not alone. Feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment. Together, we’ll work through more strategies you can use to make self-love a priority and to recognize that you’re worthy of love just the way you are. 

Click to learn more about Self-Esteem Counseling.