I was pleased to help out on this terrific post about self love, its pitfalls, and its importance.
Everyone’s heard the clichéd advice: love yourself. Given how self-obsessed all of us are, it shouldn’t be terribly difficult to follow it. Yet that isn’t the case. “It isn’t hard to love ourselves, or anyone else, when things are going well,” says Washington, DC-based licensed psychologist Alicia Clark. “What’s a much taller order is to love ourselves when things aren’t going well, and when we need love most.”
One of the reasons mental health experts wax eloquent about loving yourself is because the practice has a direct impact on your relationships. “Loving yourself has to do with the capacity to direct compassion toward yourself, and ultimately toward others,” explains Clark. “If you love yourself conditionally, you will always be looking for someone to act in ways to win your love, and will likely be often disappointed.”
Surround yourself with love. Having affectionate and caring people around you will help advance your goal of loving yourself. “People are important to this—make sure you surround yourself with people that love you for who you are, and not only for what you do,” says Clark. “Make no mistake, how we treat others is foundational to forging loving relationships. But it’s not the only thing. Having people around us who love us can help us remember how to love ourselves when we sometimes forget.”
Take it easy. It’s too easy to get caught up in the rat race. In the process of achieving your professional ambitions, you can sometimes be harsh on yourself. “Catch yourself when you are driving yourself toward a goal, and ask yourself if you are being gentle enough,” says Clark. “Practicing gentleness and compassion can be a powerful strategy of building self-love.”
January 2016 Update:
Some of my comments were further excerpted into an article on how to unconditionally love yourself, especially around resolutions for odysseyonline.com.