It is a normal impulse to seek external validation, but until we learn how to give ourselves the love and assurance we need, we will always be dependent on others for approval. Our self-esteem will forever be wrapped up in what others think of us.
By practicing self-compassion on a daily basis, we will begin to stop craving external validation, feel more grounded and safe inside our own skin, and feel fully complete without needing someone or something else to fulfill us. Here are a few ways to practice self-compassion every day.
Write down a list of daily affirmations and practice gratitude
When the negative self-talk tape begins to play in your head, it’s important to drown it out and replace that tape with affirmations such as:
- I am enough.
- I am not responsible for other emotions, I am only responsible for my impact on others and its consequences.
- I am worthy of love.
- (If you were hurt as a child) It was not my fault.
- I am honest.
- I am brave.
- I am doing my best.
- I am kind.
- I am allowed to take up space.
- I am allowed to have boundaries and they are good for me.
By repeating and adding to this list of affirmations every day, you will rewire your brain and replace old, untrue things you have either been told by others or that you believe about yourself. This practice will also keep you grounded in the present moment.
Appreciate all the good you have in your life and stop focusing on all the things you don’t have by practicing gratitude. Begin by starting on the little things, for example “my pillow is so soft”, “my blanket is so warm”; until you are ready to accept and be grateful for the big things without allowing guilt to enter into the equation.
Treat yourself the way you wish to be treated
Practice self-forgiveness and know that you are truly worthy of love. Become fully aware that your constant companion in this life is yourself. The way to true inner peace is to have a relationship with yourself that is compassionate, supportive, loving and accepting. Be mindful of what you tell yourself and how you talk to yourself. Give yourself the love and care you are so desperately seeking from others.
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha.
Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you
While your love and acceptance should ultimately come from within to be truly fulfilled, it is important to realise that you deserve to be surrounded by people who honour your boundaries, care about you and your wellbeing and give you love without terms and conditions. Surround yourself with people who are kind and compassionate with you and treat them with the same kindness and compassion in return.
Fully accept yourself without comparing yourself to others
Know that you are enough, as you are. It’s okay to make mistakes; you are human. Learn from them and try to do better every day, but don’t be so hard on yourself. One of the key steps to true self-compassion is to be gentle with yourself.
It is important to realise that you are completely unique and there is divine beauty in that. You don’t need to look or act like someone else to feel acceptance. That acceptance first needs to come from within and those that truly matter will be drawn to you for exactly who you are.
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” – Rupi Kaur
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