You often feel stuck between the everyday routine of waking up, studying, eating, traveling, meeting deadlines, and many other little things, you forget to cater to the needs of one person – YOU. The one thing missing from your life and the answer to many problems is Self-love.
Many of you confuse self-love with being selfish. But there is a very big difference between the two where one is elevating and the other causes your downfall. The definition of Self-love is having feelings of self-respect and self- worth whereas, selfish is having excess pride and self-obsession. A selfish person is someone who is obsessed with themselves, crave for attention and appreciation and keeps unrealistically high views about themselves.
So, is self-love the same as being selfish?
Self-love = Self-care
We live in a society that places a lot of importance and meaning on physical appearance and wealth, thus, it‘s easy to mistake self-love for being selfish. I will give you an excerpt from my own life.
Growing up, I was always a shy and introvert girl. Getting compliments was something I disliked and never acknowledged it, thinking people were saying for the sake of it. I would douse myself with negative comments and never spoke highly of myself. The self-negative talk became my favorite thing to do. This is also when body-shaming came into the open and that made me dislike myself even more. Until one day I realized that I was being too harsh on myself and it affects no one but me. Pushing all my frustration and anger on others would not make things any better or help me love myself. The true meaning of self-love was when I accepted myself the way I was and loved the body I was in.
Self-care and self-love go hand in hand. The moment I decided to say “No” to the things I did not want to do, that I was obliged to do in the first place, gave me a sense of peace and satisfaction from within. Be it saying no to going to a party or to a relative’s house. This made a lot of people upset but I did it for the peace of my mind. My journey of self-love is still an ongoing process. It is difficult to learn to love myself, yet satisfying but I feel confident and respect myself a lot more.
How to Know what you Feel is Self-Love or Selfish??
I. Love and Respect yourself truly
We often concentrate on loving our families, friends, partner or kids. I am not saying that it is wrong to love others but if you can’t love yourself completely, how can you love someone else completely?
You will see a lot of people are judgemental? They are mean and say things that hurt you. It is mainly because they do not love themselves. Remember, it is their way of taking out what they feel for themselves on others.
Love Yourself First:
To live a selfless life first start loving yourself. Because the more you love and respect yourself the more your cup is brimming and you have the capacity to love and respect others. How can you love or respect others from the source of an empty cup? Therefore, love yourself so that you have a cup overflowing to spread love on others. Loving and respecting yourself selflessly and unconditionally leads you to love and have respect for others.
Thus, love yourself deeply with all your flaws and imperfections, and you will be happier. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Once you start loving yourself most, only then you can give your love to someone else truly and selflessly.
Learn to say No
If you do not feel like going out for a party or movie with friends or even with family, then say No. Instead, you want to lie on the bed watching your favorite TV show, binge on some popcorn and lemonade, then do it. Not in the mood to talk or take out the clothes for laundry, then say No.
You do not owe any kind of explanation to anyone for saying no. It is your life and live it on your terms. Does this make you selfish? No, it doesn’t. It only means that you are not in the mood to do any of those things. Never feel obliged to do something that you don’t feel like. If it does not make you comfortable then don’t force yourself.
For instance, a job is mentally draining you and you see no growth in the company. Then, find a new one before you quit your job. Do not go through unnecessary mental stress.
“I choose to feel good about myself each day.
Every morning I remind myself that I can make the choice to feel good. This is a new habit for me to cultivate.” – Louise Hay
II. Be Positive about Yourself and harbor a Positive Attitude for Others
The moment you pay attention and focus more on the negatives about yourself – you tend to find mistakes in others around. Start valuing and celebrating the positive aspects of ‘YOU’. Be happy with how you are and what you do, by understanding who you are. This can be tough for those who indulge in negative self-talk. However, habits can be changed if you ‘really’ want to do so.
You are Special:
Remember all of us are unique and have special positive qualities hidden in our inner core. Our soul naturally likes to be in a state of feeling good and happiness that comes with a positive mindset. The idea is to become aware and realize that you may be focusing on negativity and consciously shift the focus. It takes time to break out of this habit and sometimes you may even have to seek the help of Life Coaches or Gurus who are trained to help you identify the goodness in YOU to be in a state of self-love.
Celebrate the – You:
The shift towards feeling good about yourself will automatically help you find fewer faults with others. The more you celebrate yourself for the uniqueness in you by accepting yourself the way you are – the more you will be able to acknowledge the goodness in others.
Look for habits that you get most compliments for and start loving yourself for them. These habits may not necessarily be big life achievements. For instance, it could be a habit of cleanliness, or being an expert at photoshop, or having sound knowledge about cars, or cooking ability. Small everyday habits that make you feel proud of yourself are good enough reasons to make you love and appreciate yourself and others at the same time. End of the day, it helps give birth to self-love.
Soon, you will start noticing, appreciating and complimenting people around you to make the world a better place to live in.
“Mostly the world sees you the way you see yourself”
– Lisa Nichols co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul
III. Take care of yourself first
Putting your needs and happiness above anything else might seem incorrect. However, it is one of the best manners to start making yourself and others happy. You could love yourself by following the tricks to self-love:
- Stop caring about how you look
- Let go of failed relationships or experiences – Forgive and Move on
- Pamper and Nurture yourself
- Life’s not a race – stop comparing
- Invest in building strong friendships
- Become healthy – to feel good
- Work Hard – Party Harder
- You deserve the Best
Learning to love yourself and taking care of yourself is the first step. Having done that you feel energized and happy. You have the emotional space to love others – because you are not spending your energy on self-doubt or self-hate. Therefore, you are in a better space to take care of others around you.
“You don’t have to defend or explain your decisions to anyone. It’s your life. Live it without apologies.” – Mandy Hale.
IV. Believe in Yourself
Self-belief is one of the biggest strengths to aid self-love. By sheer self-belief, you can shed procrastination. You are able to pursue your passions and be an exemplar for others. This only happens when you focus on your positive qualities.
You start doing what you love and soon time flies. You follow your heart and are able to share the passion in you with the world outside. Your life starts becoming meaningful – since you start to share and open up with others. You soon find what you share and do inspires others and makes you believe in yourself all the more.
For instance, new-age bloggers and influencers on social media have helped a lot of young crowds to follow their passion and achieve their goals without being competitive.
“Never let the competition define you. Instead, you have to define yourself based on a point of view you care deeply about.” – Tom Chappel
V. Self-Love makes you more Compassionate and a Happier Person
By self-love yourself you become a more compassionate, positive and happier person. Love for yourself – makes you a happy person – happy people are compassionate and nice to others. You start enjoying the joys of life and are willing to trust in the flow of life. You lookout for good in yourself and in others. As a result, it improves your relationship with yourself and the close ones around you.
Tips on Becoming a Happier Person – by choosing Happiness and Love over Fear:
- Go for a jog or yoga with a friend
- Babysit a pet
- Praise someone or tell them you are proud of them
- Eat what you love the most
- Be in the company of Happy People
- Do random acts of kindness
- Have a glass of wine
- Bake Something
- Plan your dream vacation
Once you decide to be happy – all it takes is small everyday things to bring that smile on your face. The best way to start self-love is to watch your thoughts – think happy feeling thoughts. Positivity brings in optimism and longevity to life. It soon becomes an attitude where you are not angry or upset – instead remain calm and happy in your own space.
Remember to let go of the days’ accumulated tension before you actually go to sleep. There are a lot of ways to de-stress and practice self-love. Read our article on stress management techniques. You could try listening to some soothing music, take a warm bath, light an incense lamp, or just pray to release your worries to a higher power.
Praise your own self:
We often praise our partner or friends when they achieve something. However, we forget self-love and to do the same with ourselves. Keep telling yourself how brilliant you are – how much you have accomplished. Enjoy the moment!
Take out some “me” time:
One of the most beautiful moments of self-love is giving yourself the time to reflect. It rejuvenates you, gives you fresh energy and clears your head.
Be Gentle with Yourself:
You can be your own enemy by constantly being unkind to yourself for the mistakes you may have committed in the past. Make the mistakes stepping stones to help you rise to the top. Rather than focusing on why you failed – shift your perspective and start valuing yourself for becoming stronger and wiser because of obstacles you could overcome.
VI. Attract Positive Energy for Self-Love
Our life is made of energy, so everything we do and say attracts the same energy. I am sure you have heard about or read the book called ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne. This book talks about the law of attraction. Whatever you think or do, you attract the same energy from the others or the universe.
For instance, if you talk negatively about yourself, you will always attract negative energy from others. But if you are more kind towards yourself, others will reciprocate the same kind energy towards you. That is why affirmations are a powerful source of self-love because they help you to love yourself and attract more love around you. You become more open, less judgmental, and kinder. There is literally and perpetually loving energy flowing through you.
Some Self -Love affirmations that you should say to yourself every day or every time you doubt yourself.
“I am worthy of love.”
“I believe in myself.”
“My life is a gift and I am grateful for everything I have.”
Even though some of you may disagree – I strongly believe that to love yourself is not selfish because it brings out the positive side of you. It’s good to do kind acts of love for others however, always remember that self-love is totally worth it. Each one of us can love ourselves provided we decide to do so. Therefore, after having read this article keep any doubts on self-love being selfish away. I hope that you now understand and believe that self-love is not being selfish.
Do you think self-love is selfish? Write to us your opinions in the comment section below.