“If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” – Charles Bukowski

Let me ask you a question: when was the last time you felt true, authentic love for yourself? Looked yourself in the mirror and felt gratitude for all your imperfections, curves and parts of you that make you unique?

So often, we express our love for the people in our life through our words, our actions and the way we take care of them. We accept our loved ones for who they are, lift them up on their tough days and support them.

But, when it comes to showing this same love and attention to ourselves, we rarely do it. Can you relate?

8 Simple Ways To Start Loving Yourself

Self-love means simply that, loving yourself, flaws and all.

It is accepting yourself with no strings attached and asking for nothing in return. It is taking care of yourself, from the inside to the outside. It is paying attention to your needs and making sure they are met. Self-love is being our own best friend, especially when we deserve it the least.

One of the most difficult things we encounter in life is the struggle to accept, forgive and appreciate ourselves. To stop apologizing for the way they we feel, the things that we need and the life we choose to lead.

To let go of the idea of perfection and embrace every part of yourself.

You bring so much beauty into this world and it is time for you to honor that! Here are a few simple ways that you can start working toward loving yourself TODAY!!

1. Focus on the things you can change/control, let go of those you can’t.

Here’s the thing: no one is perfect. Absolutely no one. And one of the most amazing parts of the journey to loving yourself is realizing this fact. There will be things in your life that are in your control and there will be things that aren’t. You can’t control the actions of people around you but you CAN control how you react to them.

Learn to focus on the parts of your life that you can change or control and create peace with the parts that you can’t. When you begin to take control of yourself, you will see a shift inside of you that will begin the process of feeling true love for the person you are.

And the person you are becoming!

2. Spend a few minutes a day making sure your needs are met.

Check in with yourself daily. As women, we are so used to being the caretaker for everyone around us. Making sure our family is taken care of. But when it comes to doing the same for ourselves, we rarely do it.

Be honest with your needs and spend some time, each day, making sure they are met. This could mean the food you eat, movement of our bodies or sitting down and reading for 15 minutes. Invest some of your time in the things that make you feel fulfilled inside.

3. Celebrate your imperfections and your uniqueness.

Your imperfections are what make you, YOU. How boring would it be if we were all the same? It’s about time we started celebrating the parts of ourselves that make us unique and beautiful.

No, you might not be where you want to be or look the way you want to look. But, showing gratitude and celebrating the parts of you that you may not be comfortable with or wish you could change will be a huge step in loving yourself.

One thing I want you to always remember is that someone, somewhere, is wish they had the things you may not adore in your life. Use that as motivation to embrace who you are and love yourself for you! After all, there is only one of you!

4. Positive affirmations.

According to Mind Tools, positive affirmations are defined as “positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.”

Have you ever stopped and listened to the type of dialogue you have with yourself? I bet you would be surprised at just how negative and destructive we can be to ourselves. (I know I was!) When you use positive affirmations, you are completely altering the way you speak to yourself and the thoughts you have about yourself.

Here are a few examples of positive affirmations you can start today:

“I am worthy.”

“I can do this.”

“I am beautiful.”

“I have all the tools I need to be successful in my life.”

5. Realize your worth.

Have you ever heard the saying “you are what you tolerate?” This is something my husband first introduced me to awhile ago and it has stuck with me. If you don’t realize your worth and DEMAND more from you and your life, who else will?

You need to take the time to recognize your strengths, the things you are capable of and what you deserve in your life. When you are able to do this, you will begin to tolerate anything that is less than you know you deserve. Loving yourself is saying no to things that aren’t right for you and yes to things that bring something positive to your life.

6. Stop comparing yourself to others.

9 times out of 10, when we compare ourselves to others, we fall short. We see someone else’s life and we feel inadequate or less than. I know it may always seem like the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence but looks can be deceiving.

You have no idea what someone’s life is actually like. And the longer you compare yourself to others, the longer it will take to authentically accept and love yourself and your life. Learn to water your own grass and create the life of your dreams! Then, you will start to see radical self-love begin to form.

7. Journaling.

Journaling is one of the best ways to get in touch with your emotions, set goals for yourself and write down positive affirmations or things you’re grateful for. Getting thoughts out of your head and into a journal is an amazing way to get to know yourself and love yourself.

Each morning or each evening, add this to your routine. Pick some journal prompts or ideas to write about and make it a point to do this everyday. You will see such a difference in how connected you are to yourself!

8. Work on your goals.

When I first started working on loving myself, I thought that self-love and acceptance meant that I was content with where my life is and who I am and shouldn’t want more. However, I quickly learned that I was SO wrong!

In fact, loving and accepting yourself means that you DO have goals and you DO want more. That you are not okay settling. That you want the absolute best for yourself and your life. As you begin to work on and CRUSH your goals, you will feel so much motivation and peace come over you.

Sis, the most important love you will ever feel in your life is the love you have for yourself! Start taking steps TODAY to begin loving and accepting yourself!