What does loving and accepting yourself really mean? Some think it means putting yourself ahead of everyone else. Others feel it means being self-centered and selfish. Some even argue that it means lavishing gifts on yourself in order to feel good or to believe you are perfectly fine the way you are, denying any need for personal growth or development.

But let’s consider a different definition for loving and accepting oneself. To love yourself means to be OK with the unique, talented, flawed, complex person you are. To accept the entirety of your being, knowing you have strengths to draw on and weaknesses to address. To truly like the individual you have become, and to look forward to the person into whom you are actively developing. Loving yourself means caring for your mind, body, and soul so that you are equipped to do the same for others.

Learn how to love and accept yourself for who you are
Learn how to love and accept yourself for who you are

Here are some useful tips that can help you learn how to love and accept yourself.

  1. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Believe that you deserve to have good things, meaningful relationships, and to succeed. You are truly worthy of happiness.

    Belive in yourself to love and accept yourself
    Believing in yourself and your abilities can take you a long way in life
  2. Listen to your inner feelings. Sometimes we spend so much time worrying about how others feel that we neglect our own emotions. Take time to listen to your own emotions and thoughts. While other’s feelings are important, yours are equally as important.
  3. Be compassionate and open to your feelings. Avoid being judgmental of your inner feelings. Be kind, gentle, tender, understanding and accepting of your feelings.
  4. Deal with your false beliefs. Sometimes we think or believe things for the wrong reasons, or with little evidence. Examine negative beliefs about yourself and look for over-generalizations or absolute thinking.
  5. Be in sync with your intuitions. Pay attention to your “gut” feelings. They can often provide useful guidance. Check in with these feelings and decide if they match the available information.
  6. Evaluate what you are feeding your soul. Keep a close watch on what you are exposing yourself to. Everything you indulge in makes an impact on you. Whether it’s a television show, the websites you surf, your online interactions, or the people with whom you spend time. Inundate yourself with affirming and positive messages and interactions.
  7. Take pride in yourself. It’s OK to take pride in a job well done. Successes should be celebrated and learned from.

    Take pride in yourself to love and accept yourself
    Take pride in all of your accomplishments and achievements
  8. Honor your word. If you make a promise to yourself, keep it; whether it’s going for a vacation, practicing yoga or going to bed early.
  9. Respect your living environment. The way we treat our living environment can often be a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Does your bedroom or living area reflect self-love or self-respect? It’s amazing how tidying up your environment can improve your view of yourself.

    Respect your time and space to love love and accept yourself
    Respect your time and space to make yourself feel loved
  10. Surround yourself with loving people. Try to be around caring, supportive and accepting people, as they will make you feel loved. They can also be good models for how to be loving towards yourself.

    Be around loving people to love and accept yourself
    Being around loving people can you feel loved
  11. Stand up for yourself. When around unkind people, speak up for yourself. Let them know that you will not tolerate being ill-treated. If you allow yourself to be treated badly, you may be sending a message to your inner self that you are not worth loving.
  12. Stand up for something you believe in. Self-love is about having your own interests and passions and not feeling the need to defend them. You are entitled to your beliefs.
  13. Stop being a perfectionist. You will never be perfect, and holding perfection as the only sign of success will drag you down emotionally. Accept that you are merely a human being like the rest of us. In fact, letting go of the need for perfection can free up emotional energy which can then be used to grow and improve.
  14. Do not rely on the approval of others. There are certainly times to look for approval from others, but if you always NEED approval, then there is likely a problem. Consider why you feel you require their OK and practice making decisions on your own.
  15. Avoid comparing yourself with others. Often disappointments arise when you think others are doing better than you in life or are better placed. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Love yourself for whatever you have achieved so far. Be proud of it. The only person you need to compete with is yourself.
  16. Stop gossiping and complaining. A big step in loving yourself is practicing how you care for others. Gossiping and complaining breed negativity within you and negativity does not tend to yield love and acceptance. Think about how you talk about situations and peers and whether it is benefiting you.
  17. Have patience. Many things in life tax our patience. Some are monumentally frustrating, and some are quite small. Make sure your frustration level matches the severity of the situation.
  18. Forgive yourself for mistakes. It’s human to err. Good people sometimes make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes, make reparations if possible, and move on.
  19. Let go of the fear of failing. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from making decisions. We all fail once in a while, so don't worry.
  20. Nourish your body. Care about your physical health. Not because of how you appear to others, but because it pleases you. Eat healthy food, get exercise, and prioritize sleep.
  21. Show gratitude. Be grateful for what you have. You may not have everything you want, but you likely have things in your life that some others do not. Make sure to remember the important things you do have in your life.
  22. Start your day with love and conviction. As soon as you wake up, before getting out of your bed, remind yourself of how worthy you are and consider how you might make the day a meaningful one.
  23. Begin with meditation. Even if it is just for 5 minutes, start each morning with meditation or mindfulness activity. This can be quite centering and powerful.

    Meditate every morning to love and accept yourself
    Meditate every morning to love and accept yourself
  24. Write down your accomplishments. Create a record of your successes and accomplishments by writing it down every morning. You can re-read them when you are feeling down. It serves as a great motivator.
  25. Engage in positive self-talk. Most of us talk to ourselves now and then. Is your self-talk positive or do you put yourself down? Trying encouraging affirmations like “I love my life” or “I deserve the good things I have in my life.”
  26. Post important reminders about love and acceptance. Write a love note or reminder to yourself on your mirror or another place where you can see it every day. It could be something that you would like to read aloud every day. Make sure to write something real.
  27. Take advantage of moments of joy. Create moments of joy every day. It could be savoring your morning cup of coffee or enjoying the sunset during the commute home from work. Be mindful of those precious moments rather than letting them slip by unnoticed.
  28. Do something for someone else. Self-love is not just about you. It is also thinking about others, helping them and making them feel good. Contribute your time and skills on someone who needs them.
  29. Try something new. Do something that you haven’t done before. Try a new skill or a new language. Go to places you haven’t visited before. Part of loving and accepting oneself is pushing our boundaries and stretching our experiences.
  30. Capitalize on your strengths and interests. Do you have talents and interests that have been forgotten or neglected over the years? Why? Reinvigorate your life by investing in what brings you enjoyment!
  31. Find fulfilling work. Some of us live to work, and others work to live. Either is fine, as long as it matches your sensibilities. If you need your work to be personally fulfilling in order for you to feel whole, keep seeking until you find the right career path.
  32. Take time to relax. We all need a balance of work and relaxation. Explore what your correct balance looks like. If you are a workaholic, give yourself permission to rest.
  33. Spend some time with yourself. Switch off your phone, shut down your laptop and go for a walk, all by yourself. Spend some quality time with yourself. Go for a movie you always wanted to watch, dine at a place that your friends or family wouldn’t want to visit or go to a concert. Initially, you may feel awkward by the silence or loneliness, but gradually the discomfort will vanish, and you will be at ease with yourself. A large step in accepting yourself is being able to be with yourself.
  34. Look at the inner beauty. Focus on the kind of person you are becoming rather on your physical appearance. Are you kind? Are you making others happy? Are you respectful to yourself and others? Focusing on these qualities will help to keep your priorities straight and foster self-love.