By: Yaritza Zayas MS, MFT, LPC, NCC
The greatest decision you will make in your life is to love and accept yourself. When you don’t all other areas your life are drastically affected. It’s hard for these other areas of your life ( relationships, career, health, etc) to grow until you are able to discover self love. Here are some important things to remember:
Do not compare. No two people are exactly alike, everyone has different opportunities, talents, achievements, etc. Someone else’s success does not mean that you’ve failed. You have to focus on your own goals and achievements, and know that they are your own and no one elses. Compete with and challenge yourself to reach your goals, not other people. The greatest reward is reaching a goal and knowing that you did it solely for yourself.
Patience. Learning to love yourself is not an overnight process, it takes time and effort. It’s an ongoing process, not a destination, and you will forever find new reasons and ways to appreciate your self worth as time goes on.
Do what you love. Don’t like your job? Quit. Don’t like where you’re living? Move. I know that it’s not always that simple, but if you really want to change these things, you can. It takes determination and hard work, but once you understand that you deserve to be happy, it won’t seem so unattainable.
Focus on the positive. Understand that you have the ability to make the best out of everything you’re dealt. I know it’s cliché, but when one door closes, another will open. It’s making way for a better opportunity. Once your able to see this, you’ll be a much happier person.
Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, the important thing is that we learn from them to better ourselves. We do many things for different reasons, and are forced to act impulsively sometimes. Always be willing to forgive yourself and move forward. The past is the past, so focus on the now.
Have fun. With all of our responsibilities in everyday life, it’s hard to fully disconnect and do something you enjoy. Find a hobby, relax, do something fun. You deserve to be happy.
Accept uncertainty. This was one of the hardest things for me to do. Understand that the future is unknown and don’t stress about trying to control it. Yes, you have the ability to control certain things, but overall, you don’t know where you’ll be in 20 years. Unexpected things happen, and they’re almost always out of your control. Learn to live in and appreciate the now, and let the future take care of itself. What happens will happen, just know that you are fully capable at handling whatever is thrown your way.
There’s a lot more I could write about but I think these are the most important points to make. Once you are able to understand and practice these principles, you’ll find it much easier to love and accept yourself as you are. When you find inner peace, you’ll see that it’s easier to maintain healthy relationships and enjoy each day. Always remember that you are worthy and deserving.