I’m feeling very thankful for my friends at the moment. I’ve had a rather tough week due to events in my personal life and they’ve been so caring and supportive, which reminded me of a lesson about self love that I heard a while ago.
Self love is something that is hard for people of all backgrounds to achieve and I certainly can’t provide the solution to embracing your true self. However, I hope that this newsletter can provide one extra reason for you to be kind to yourself!
I want you to start by thinking about your closest friend: What do you like/love about them?
Now, think about yourself: What do you like/love about yourself?
When I think of my close friends, I think of their qualities. I might like them because they are smart, empathetic and funny, among many other traits. I wouldn’t like them less if they didn’t gain a leadership position at school, or if they didn’t get an A+ on their maths test.
On the other hand, I often love myself for my achievements. I find pride in the fact that I was able to get into medical school, start a YouTube channel or write a newsletter.
The distinction that I want to make here is that we often love our friends because of who they are, whereas we often love ourselves because of what we do.
The problem with this is that the absence of achievements can sometimes create a lack of love for ourselves.
When we don’t get a good score on our test, or don’t gain a leadership position, we can start to feel less smart and less capable. Because who we are and what we do are inextricably linked, it’s easy to take failure as an indictment on our personal qualities.
I’ve personally found that a mindset shift here can be helpful. We should love ourselves for our personal qualities because they will stay with us permanently, while achievements can ebb and flow. We should also realise that our friends love us for the same reason that we love them: for who we are as people.
These realisations have assisted me to shift to a personally healthier form of thinking - loving myself for who I am, rather than for what I do. I try my best to understand that I am loved because of the person that I am, and that my achievements, or lack thereof, form no judgement on my personal qualities.
I’d encourage you to try to apply the same thinking to yourself, and I hope that this can help you shift the needle with loving yourself more ❤️