The Importance of Self-Love: 6 Lessons

Loving yourself is important. If you don't, you can risk many things, from not giving freely of yourself to a loved one to failing at life's many tasks from sheer lack of confidence .

Here are some ways you can work to break this cycle.

1. Realize that you are not your siblings

“Every day, I kill the image of my poor brother. . . I assassinate him regularly, for the ‘Divine Dali’ cannot have anything in common with this former terrestrial being.” -Salvador Dali

At the age of five, Salvador Dali was taken to the grave of his brother and told by his parents that he was his 'reincarnation'. This would remain a theme in his paintings throughout his life.

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For some of us, it's not quite so dramatic, but family influence can do a lot to keep you down. Stop listening. Do as Dali did and force the world to see that you are not your siblings but a force in your own right.

2. Learn that an outward illusion can be a prison of your own making

“The trouble with a mask is it never changes” -Charles Bukowski

We all cultivate an image for the public. A certain amount of conformity can keep you off of the radar at work in a world that constantly reminds us that 'there is no 'I' in 'team'.

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Be careful, however, that you don't construct too elaborate a facade. Being caught in a role which you have created means not being able to draw on all of your resources. Who you are is important and useful. Don't limit your tools by falling too deeply inside a public-facing mask.

3. Don't look for the things you covet; find out why you covet them

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. “--Carl Gustav Jung

Understanding why you desire certain things is more important than obtaining them. Often the fiercest desires can boil down to something simple in childhood or in one's teens.

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Going after material things is fine but understand what it is about them that appeals to you. This can make the most obsessive of desires much more manageable.

4. Stop standing in your own way by overthinking things

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Over-analyzing and trying to predict the many ways you can fail can blind you to the ways you might actually succeed. Some planning is healthy, of course, but don't try to map out every possibility or you may find that the time for action has passed and you've been left with an exhaustive list of every reason as to why you didn't fail but the right one. That you didn't even TRY.

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5. Don't let the shame of previous failures eclipse your chances of a future success

“To feel shame for no cause is a waste. To feel shame for cause is also a waste; for you must rather spend time correcting that of which you are ashamed." -Master Po, Kung Fu 1972-1975'

Sometimes we don't like to look inside because of the inner critic. Memories of hard times which we consider as personal failures can cloud or completely skew judgment to a degree that we are afraid to even act.

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Is it not more constructive, then, to look at each of these perceived failures as a lesson? View the past as a lesson made strong-enough by NECESSITY to keep your attention. Honor that lesson by moving forward and avoiding the mistakes which shamed you in the first place.

6. Learn the real meaning of a promise to empower growth instead of harming the self

 

“A promise made is meant to be kept only until its purpose is fulfilled. Otherwise, honor becomes bondage, integrity.. a chain.” -Ningauble, 'Swords' series by Fritz Leiber

Perhaps you didn't keep your New Year's resolution. Maybe you have broken promises. Understanding a promise can help you to grow and to avoid making poorly-chosen promises in the first place. The quote above explains all that you need to know.

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Use this information well. Once you know your strengths and weaknesses then you will know where to strike and what to protect.

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