How to love yourself is perhaps the pinnacle achievement in your self-improvement journey. In fact, if someone were to ask me for one thing to focus on in his life and one thing only, I would say how to love yourself unconditionally.
The foundation for every long lasting effective change in your life starts first with loving yourself unconditionally as you are right now. It is the cornerstone of your magnificent palace. I didn’t come with that; the Beatles did.
“All you need is love”
So, do you love yourself? Be honest. Do you love yourself unconditionally, like you would love your own child? If you’re anything like me, you hesitated for a second. Now, why is that? Why does it feel uncomfortable to love the only person we can’t get away from – you? I won’t dwell on the reasons for the problem, but instead, later on, I will provide with the solution. Just keep reading.
Who likes magic?
Kamal Ravikant’s “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” has quickly become one of my favorite “self-help” books, and I’ve read many wonderful and insightful books (!). I like Kamal’s book because it is short (68 pages), concise and super practical. And, most importantly, I found his techniques, which I’ll describe later, to work!
Ravikant is a Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur, who hit rock bottom after facing a heartbreaking failure with one of his ventures. From the depths of despair, Ravikant emerged with incredible life lessons and a process.
“The truth is to love yourself with the same intensity
you would use to pull yourself up if you were hanging
of a cliff with your fingers. “ -Kamal Ravikant.
In his book, Kamal describes how he turned his life around with self-love: he healed his body, people and opportunities came into his life without effort, and overall he calls his experience as “magic”. I noticed significant benefits after following Kamal’s practice too. I was always a jealous person. I used to hate being around successful people because I would feel this consuming envy. With Kamal’s process, I noticed that I don’t get jealous as much (if any). Of course – self-love! Why didn’t I think of that sooner?
How to love yourself
Make no mistake, self-love is a practice. Like a good diet, you need to keep at it every day. Some days you might get lazy with it but keep at it.
So, let’s dive into Kamal’s process. These are all very simple steps that could easily be added to your daily schedule.
1. Mantra – Kamal almost obsessively repeated the phrase “I love myself” in his head. Over and over again. While he worked, ate, showered and brushed his teeth. The idea behind it is to create and enforce a new thought pattern. Like a catchy pop song, the more you play the mental loop “I love myself” the harder it will stick in “auto-mode”. When you repeat your mantra try, even for a split second, to attach an emotion to it. It might feel forced, but that’s how new grooves deepens in your mind. Try it out for two weeks and judge for yourself. What are two weeks in the scope of a lifetime, really?
2. Mirror Affirmations – Set a timer for 5 minutes. Stand a few inches away in front of a mirror. Breath. Relax. Look into your eyes. Bring your attention to the present moment as best you can. It might take a few tries, but you’ll get there. Now, repeat the mantra. If you believe it or not, is not important. Feel the feeling every time you say it. When the time is up, smile and continue your day.
3. Meditation – I love this one. Pick a piece of music you love, something gentle and relaxing – but most importantly – it stirs up positive emotions in you. Find a comfortable position and play the music. While it is playing, repeat the mantra “I love myself”. Let it float in your head as if the musical tunes carry it. If any fears, worries, memories or what not arises, just breathe them all out. Enjoy the music and the company (yourself) you share with it.
4. Gratitude – this one is my personal addition, and you can read more about it here. Read it!
I hope this post helped you realize the importance of self-love, and gave you some new habits to implement from now on.
Life is short. I hope it’s not news to you. The illusion of time is the belief we have enough of it. We assume we will live to see 100 candles on our birthday cake. But, in fact, there is absolutely no guarantee we will wake up tomorrow morning. With this in mind, why spend another minute on this planet not loving yourself?
Self-love is our life mission. Like Kamal said in his book, magic will appear in your life once you follow this practice. It can’t be explained, but it is so. When you think about it, when you love yourself unconditionally, your problems are not problems anymore. It doesn’t mean they are not there, but you will look at them from a loving place; that sounds magical to me.
I will leave you with an empowering quote I always go back to:
“A wonderful time happens to everyone eventually. Sooner the better. When you, in some quiet moment, with no one else around, look at your own self, and say to yourself: Me, the person I can never get away from , whoever I am, whatever I’ve done, whatever I would ever do in life, good or bad, the door to my own heart is open to ME. “ – Ajahn Brhan, Buddhist monk.
Also, check out Kamal’s talk about his experience which led him to write his book:
Peace and love 🙂