You’ve probably heard the phrase (I think it’s in the bible, or at least ‘love thy neighbour’ is) but what does love thyself actually mean? That’s a good question and one that I’m hopelessly underqualified to answer but I’ll give it a shot.
Think of the most succesful person/people you know. Go on. Think about them. What do you admire about them? What are they good at? Presumably they’re good at something that makes them successful. What is it? I’m going to have a stab at guessing one thing that they’re really good at. They believe in their own abilities. We are all good at something. Maybe it’s talking to people. Maybe it’s writing. Painting a picture, painting a wall. Laying bricks. You are good at something. In fact, you’re probably good at least two things. But here comes the problem. You’re probably too bashful, nervous, uncertain, modest, self-conscious to admit that you’re good at it. It feels smug, boastful, egotistical to say “You know what, I’m really good at bird impressions and I’m proud of it and I’m going to start a YouTube channel.”
So, back to self-love. That’s what separates them. They love themselves enough to back themselves in the face of self-doubt, evidence to the contrary (despite most of this so-called ‘evidence’ being in the beholder’s head), or the ridicule and judgement of others (also often imagined). Don’t believe me? Ok, put the shoe on the other foot – do you think that someone who has absolutely no self-belief can do anything? Of course not. Someone who believes that they can do literally nothing will not be able to do anything. Ergo, someone who believes that they can indeed do almost anything is likely to be able to almost anything (flap their arms and fly like a bird defies the laws of physics and even self-belief has its limits).
The world can be a cold, unforgiving place. If you don’t believe in your own abilities and accept who you are without judgement, no-one else is going to. So start today. What are you good at? What abilities do you have? If you’re not sure, ask a friend. Make a list, don’t make a list. Just know that you’re good at things and believe, truly believe it is so.