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9 Ways You Can Truly Love Yourself (True Self-Love!)

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Love is unfailing. Do you believe it?

I definitely do.

The most profound definition of love, for me, comes from none other than 1 Corinthians in the Bible.

“Love is patient, love is kind, not boastful, and doesn’t keep a records of wrongs…”

I’m not trying to be preachy, but over the years, it has set remarkable benchmarks for love, guided me when I strayed, and humbled me from my moments of pride and ego.

It’s so amazing how these definitions don’t only apply to romance, family, and relationships but also to loving ourselves.

What Is True Self-love?

Some people think self-love means always putting yourself first, no matter what.

But that’s not it.

Self-love isn’t about being selfish. It’s not about bulldozing others to get what you want.

Loving yourself isn’t about demanding what you think you deserve and dissing people when they don’t meet your expectations. It’s not about being all high and mighty.

Instead, self-love is about breaking free from all the negativity society throws at you—criticisms, fears, self-doubt—and rediscovering who you really are.

When your heart is full of love—patience, kindness, truth, trust, hope—you naturally spread that goodness to others.

When you’re brimming with love, you shine brightly without burning out. You move forward fearlessly.

So now, how do you truly love yourself? 

In this post, I’ll list down 9 Ways to rediscover yourself and exercise real self-love.

Here we go!

9 Ways You Can Truly Love Yourself

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1. You’re patient with yourself

Imagine a close friend struggling—would you rush them to change and fix the problem, or would you offer them understanding and time?

I bet it’s the latter.

In the same way, the same should apply to how you treat yourself. Be patient with yourself.

Accept your shortcomings, and recognize that you are not lacking but learning.

You won’t have to batter yourself with self-deprecating thoughts, bombarding your mind with how “worthless” or “left behind” you are.

Na-ah.

Negative self-talk becomes your reality in the grand scheme of things, so you better reorganize how you see yourself. And that’s love.

Be kind to yourself – forgive your mistakes, acknowledge your little steps, treat yourself with the same respect and love you’d give to someone you care about.

Examples:

  • You give yourself time to practice a new skill – an instrument, a sport, or a language – without harsh self-criticisms.
  • A time to self-reflect after a failure rather than falling on a downward spiral of self-pity
  • You appreciate slow but consistent growth.
  • You understand that getting fit takes effort and time.
  • Cultivating discipline as you cut bad habits
  • You don’t force yourself to heal, but gently take one step at a time.

2. You live in truth

We may have difficult pasts that are hard to accept. You might even deny hearing about it, or bury it to hide the pain.

But if you truly love yourself, you would work on acceptance and forgiveness rather than masking the truth with lies just to make yourself better.

Living in truth is a powerful expression of self-love. It means being honest with yourself about your past, your present, and your feelings.

You face realities head-on.

This doesn’t mean excusing any wrongs done to you or by you, but rather acknowledging what happened, understanding it, and letting go of any lingering resentment or shame.

The truth eventually sets you free. Meanwhile, lies only bind and entangle you into more problems.

Lies require constant maintenance and can lead to more lies. On the other hand, the truth, while sometimes painful, is liberating.

Examples:

  • You prefer to hear the painful truth rather than live in a lie
  • Upholding integrity in every aspect of your life
  • Dropping the pride to apologize for a mistake you made
  • Owning up to your mistake, and taking action to solve it
  • You don’t lie with your partner, especially when it’s about your feelings and thoughts
  • You don’t conform if the situation doesn’t sit right with you
  • Resentment and shame no longer take room in your heart

3. You gather wisdom

Life doesn’t get easier, but as we gather wisdom, we get stronger and start riding on the waves.

A wise person doesn’t get bogged down by setbacks; instead, they look for the lesson in every situation and use it as a stepping stone to move forward with courage and determination.

Sooner or later, they’re continuously making the right choices.

Experiences are one of the best contributors to wisdom.

And another one, not trying to sound preachy (again), but the wisdom in the Bible has stood its ground in my life. The more I experience life, the more it makes sense.

If you find other paths and sources that are wiser and more appealing, you can try them out, too.

Examples:

  • Read a variety of subjects from books, documentaries, news, history, and even biographies
  • Sit alone in a room and contemplate your life decisions
  • Engage with people to hear differing perspectives
  • Experiencing more and adapting to your circumstances
  • Teaching people and deepening your knowledge of the subject matter
  • Spend time with nature and understand the beauty and triumph as life gets its cycle.

4. You stop being a people pleaser

It’s natural to want to be liked and accepted by others, but when this desire overrides your own needs and true calling, it becomes a problem.

This time, take the journey to know yourself. As you understand who you truly are and your strengths, maximizing your talents and recognizing your purpose naturally follow.

When you are clear about your own goals and values, you are less likely to be swayed by the opinions and expectations of those around you.

Examples:

  • You start telling a situation as it is and not what others want to hear
  • Writing down your goals and setting them as priorities instead of asking people what to do
  • Learning to politely say no when you’re not up for a plan
  • Acting on your plans despite the lack of people’s validation
  • You voice out your opinions

5. Express your emotions

I was pretty private since childhood.

I feared letting people know my plans for fear of them hindering and talking me out of it.

Only in my mid-20s did I learn how freeing it is to be verbal about my intentions and follow through with my plans despite people furrowing their eyebrows.

And as I stand firm in expressing myself, I’ve become less angry and resentful.

Before, I would suck up the pain and resentment. But after learning how to express myself, my problems were actually not that big of a deal and it can get solved only if people understand me better.

The inner me feels strengthened as I learn to express what I truly want, my plans, and thoughts.

Examples:

  • Writing a journal to organize your thoughts and express emotions
  • Openly share your stories with trusted people
  • You’ve overcome extreme self-consciousness
  • Finding the right words to describe your emotions so you express them better

6. Feed your passion and interest

Life is not all about the mundane job.

I believe you have the right and responsibility to exercise your creativity and hobbies, especially because these things make you fulfilled and passionate.

It’s good for your heart and mind, and whatever your hobby is, deep down, it brings you happiness and purpose.

Sometimes, your hobbies derive from your core gift. These are activities that you not only enjoy but also excel at. You might want to explore your innate talents as something you’d start a job or business with.

Is this self-love? Of course!

Finding your true strengths and capabilities gives you a vision of where you’re meant to be, leading you to a fruitful purpose. 

Examples:

  • A dedicated time for your hobbies (weekends, every night, twice a week)
  • Creating a dedicated “hobby sanctuary” for your crafts!
  • Joining memberships or teams
  • Class workshops are a good idea
  • Embracing the progress, not just the outcome
  • Creating a business out of your hobbies

Related Post: 37 Best Hobbies for Women

7. Be more in the moment

I consider myself intuitive. And due to that, I tend to lean back inside my mind rather than focus on what’s in front of me.

I used to detach and overthink the reality of the present, which caused me anxiety.

I haven’t even mentioned the sleepless nights and panic attacks I get every night and morning.

Living inside my head wasn’t healthy at all.

But if we truly love ourselves, we must find a balance between nurturing the knowledge and experiencing life as it happens.

Ground yourself with the physical reality, and you’ll realize how many of the problems created by our own minds are actually nonexistent.

Engage with people to learn; don’t just craft responses the person you’re talking to wants to hear.

Be in the moment.

Examples:

  • Participate in sports or activities that use physical movements
  • You unplug from your phone
  • Focus on active listening, and don’t let your mind wander
  • Use grounding techniques like naming 5 white objects around you, or naming 3 sounds you can hear at the moment

Related Post: How To Find your Passion-based Career (And Find Your Core Gift!)

8. Take care of your body

Prioritizing your health is one of the best forms of self-love. You acknowledge your most basic needs and that we can do nearly nothing with an unhealthy body.

I learned this lesson in a hard way.

I work from home and didn’t take exercise into account at all.

After three years, my body now struggles with weak knees, and since then, my fear of immobility has pushed me to care for my health. Dislocated kneecaps weren’t a great experience!

Here’s how you can care for your body:

  • Eating healthy foods
  • Proper hygiene
  • Cleaning your room
  • Taking breaks
  • Regular Exercise
  • Cutting off bad habits
  • Establishing discipline in your lifestyle
  • Going out to nature to reset
  • Quiet time
  • Giving time to your hobbies

9. Connect with people

I know you want to know about self-love. However, true love isn’t selfish and not always about being alone.

As a Filipino, our culture teaches a strong sense of community, as seen in our family ties and neighborhood.

I admit that being introverted and not talking much, I used to be annoyed by the nosy people in my life.

But life is hard, you see.

As I grew older, I started to appreciate my “annoying” family and neighborhood, which kept me sane despite all the struggles. Their compassion keeps me grounded.

Just imagine getting items like a nice, working refrigerator, free food, and free tonkatsu sauce (which is pricey here) that I got from a friend. It’s amazing!

Self-love includes surrounding yourself with people that got your back.

Love is shared, and as humans, nurturing relationships help you stay connected to the present and provide a sense of belonging and support.

No man is an island. Heal and love yourself, and when you’re complete, let that love overflow and share it with the others, too.

Examples:

  • Inviting your friends for coffee
  • Deep talks with friends
  • Being unafraid to seek their advice
  • Visiting your parents on the weekend
  • Taking your partner on special dates once in a while
  • Participating in group activities
  • Sharing your stories and listening to them, too

 

That’s it! Here are the 9 ways we love ourselves. I hope this helps your journey!

Thanks for reading! 🙂


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