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Bliss Life

be bold. be brave. be remembered.

Learn to Love Yourself


by Craig Nielson M.A., CPC


Do you compare yourself to other women by looking at what they have, who they’re with, or how they look? Does your sense of self-worth come from within or do you routinely seek approval from others?  Are you a chronic people-pleaser always putting the needs of others above your own so you can maintain their approval?

14193564_s (1)These types of behaviors allow others to take advantage of you.  They also can put you in an endless cycle of seeking validation from others.  When you don't get it, insecurity, fear and isolation can set in.

When you see another woman who seems to have it all together, do you think she has something you don't?  You might be thinking "sure, if I looked like her, I would feel more confident and my life would be much easier."  If you have thoughts like this, it's time for a reality check.  What you’re buying into is an illusion.

The reality is that those women have it all as a result of stellar self-confidence, hard work, intense focus on their goals, and not relying on being emotionally dependent on anyone else.  They love who they are and what they do.  They get into relationships that compliment them but they could just as easily be self-confident and self-sufficient alone.

The truth is whatever they have you could develop too with regard to your self-confidence, health, body image, a great love life etc. with a shift in your attitude.  What you believe about yourself or your life…is true.  If you think she has it better or easier, she does.  If you think you are less than, you are.

Here are a few tips to get you out of the habit of seeking approval from others and to begin believing in yourself:

Learn to say no

If you're putting yourself out because you don't want to disappoint others, you're unconsciously seeking their approval.  Say no without feeling guilty.  If you get asked to do something that takes you away from something important to you, respectfully decline.  Explain why you can't, then offer an alternative time and date to reschedule when you are free.  This allows you to keep your attention on what is important to you and gives the other the sense that you genuinely care and aren't just blowing them off.

Alternatively, you just might not want to do something you’re asked to do by others.  Don’t be afraid to say so.  Graciously decline, and don’t get caught thinking “I don’t want to disappoint them.” Keep in mind that whatever the other feels as a result of your saying no is on them.  You are not responsible for how they feel.  You are just being honest with them...and yourself.

Graciously accept compliments

Never discount yourself when you are paid a compliment.  Let's say you get complimented on your appearance, don't respond by saying something like "Oh I really need to lose a few pounds" or "Yeah, but my butt is too big" or "This outfit is really old."  By uttering these little criticisms about yourself, you are subconsciously seeking approval from the person who gave you the compliment.  Simply say “thank you.” Now you may also think you don't want to seem conceited and that is why you do it.  Hey, they're the ones who said you look great.  Take that at face value.  Don't assume they didn't mean it.  After all, who are you to judge the sincerity of their compliment?  Allow your compliment to be the truth about you.  Most likely it is to the one who gave it to you.

Spend quality time alone

If you’re uncomfortable being alone, this is an indication you base your sense of self-worth on the opinion of others.  You are uncomfortable with who you are, thus being with others acts as a distraction.  It’s important to be good to yourself and to develop habits that promote loving yourself.  Take time to journal or read a good self-help book.  Exercise.  Pamper yourself by going to the spa or taking a bubble bath at home.  Spend time in nature.  Go watch a sunset or a sunrise.  Find activities that nurture your soul.  When you become fully in love with yourself alone, you will never be dependent on others for your affirmation.

Many women have reported to me that once they have grown to the point of complete self-acceptance and freed themselves from the opinions of others, making this transition has been an extremely liberating experience.  No longer being weighed down by being emotionally dependent on others, they now live life with more energy, success, and fun.  Begin your New Year with a commitment to loving yourself.  The truth is, the more loving you are of yourself, the more you're able to be loving to others.