5 Steps to Putting Yourself First Without Feeling Bad About It

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The extent to which you love yourself affects everything in your life from how well you look after yourself, to how you allow other people to treat you. Self-love is sometimes confused with selfishness, however it is not selfish at all. You can absolutely prioritise your needs, whilst still caring about others and their needs. Self-love is deeply personal but includes regarding yourself positively, taking care of your needs and accepting only respectful, good treatment from others. If you have poor self-love, you are more likely to look for external sources of love, as well as receive and accept poor treatment.

What You'll Need

  • Yourself
  • Input from a close friend or family member (optional)

What You'll Do

  • Pay attention to your internal voice. We each have a voice inside our head that can be negative at times. Tune in to your internal voice. Is it mostly positive and encouraging or negative and critical? If you find it is more of the latter, use the next step to develop a more positive internal dialogue.
  • Develop positive affirmations. Create your own affirmations that are personal to you. Tell yourself the things you wish someone else would say. Practice saying only good things to yourself for a week. Anytime you have a negative thought about yourself, replace it with a positive affirmation, such as "I am good enough". If a week feels difficult, start with a day at a time.
  • Practice good self-care. Whether it’s exercising three times a week, taking a long bath before bedtime, or spending time with loved ones / alone; take time to do things that make you feel good physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
  • Identify your positive qualities. What are the things that make you proud to be you? Make a list of your personal qualities and achievements. When you've written as many as you can, challenge yourself to think of another five things! Consider asking someone close to you for their input. Sometimes those around us see things in us that we are unable to see (or too humble to acknowledge). Use your list as a tool to build a positive self-image.
  • Set boundaries. This can be very difficult, particularly if you are a people pleaser but boundaries are a very important part of self-love. Decide what you are willing and unwilling to accept in your life and say no to anything that goes against the limits you set.

Tips & Warnings

  • The more you practice self-love, the more loved you will feel and the less you will rely on external sources. Conversely you will likely attract more love from others! Above all, know that you deserve love and that you are enough just the way you are.
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