Growing in self-love is an ever-important component to living a healthy, fulfilled life.

It is also something that can be a challenge for many of us, myself included. This month I have compiled four principles that have helped me enhance my self-concept.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others.  In the age of social media it easy to think every one else’s life is perfect and no one else has the insecurities or flaws you see in yourself. The truth is every human being has challenges and successes in life. No one is better or worse then you. It is through comparison that we suffer. Consider keeping a gratitude journal to focus on the abundance in your life, rather then the shortcomings.
  2. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. This sounds easy in concept but in reality, forgiveness can be one of the most difficult tasks a person undertakes in life. We often get confused and think that if we forgive others for their misdeeds that it excuses their behavior. This thinking keeps us stuck because we forgive to free ourselves. Offer this same gift of forgiveness to yourself, and work to release all guilt and shame you have stored up from your perceived past transgressions.
  3. Quiet your mind.  Our minds can sometimes take on a life of their own—running wild, telling us lies about ourselves, worrying about the past and future. Most of us could benefit greatly by simply becoming more aware of our thoughts. I recommend checking out a book by Eckhart Tolle called “A New Earth” which offers some incredible insight into how to quiet the mind so we can transcend our “ego-based state of consciousness” and learn to live more in the present. Beginning a meditation practice can also be very helpful.
  4. Practice radical self-acceptance.  You are perfect as you are! This is hard for many people to accept. We often create barriers to self-acceptance, telling ourselves “I’ll love myself when I lose the weight, get the job, find the partner, etc.  You must work to love and accept yourself now, without conditions. I recommend the books “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson or “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay to help you shift into a space of self-love and appreciation. Try getting their audio books so you can play them throughout the day.