- Feelings of inadequacy are common among a lot of us, but can be overcome through self-love.
- Happiness and good health can also be achieved by harnessing self-love. The 5 tips below offer some suggestions.
- Taking concrete steps will help you to kick-start your journey of self-love — take up Made Real’s 14-day challenge for some inspiration.
Whether you are tasked to meet a hectic deadline, or are presented with a new challenge… Face it: every one of us, including the world’s greatest athletes and the world’s leading politicians, must have experienced litost — a state of torment upon by the realization of one’s inadequacy or misery.1)A Czech word introduced into the popular imagination by Milan Kundera, in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. As the word has no equal in English, the description referenced here is given by Kundera. This very human feeling of inadequacy stems from comparing ourselves with others, or not meeting expectations we have set for ourselves. Both may deflate our sense of self-worth, and make us dislike ourselves.
Loving oneself is crucial to overcoming this feeling of inadequacy. Yet, it is a lengthy journey for many of us. Recent studies have shown the overwhelming benefits of self-love. Loving yourself is closely associated with emotions and behaviors that encourage health, such as exercising, eating well, and managing stress.2)Self-Compassion, Affect, and Health-Promoting Behaviors. By Sirois, Fuschia M.; Kitner, Ryan; Hirsch, Jameson K. Health Psychology, 22 September 2014. Self-acceptance and an active lifestyle also have a huge impact on one’s happiness. 3)University of Hertfordshire. “Self-acceptance could be the key to a happier life, yet it’s the happy habit many people practice the least.” ScienceDaily, 7 March 2014.
Even if we know the importance of loving ourselves, it may be difficult not to beat ourselves up for our perceived flaws, or even little mistakes — especially in our high-pressure schools or workplaces. How, then, do we emerge from this agonising pit hole and be happy with ourselves?
1) Acknowledge our inadequacies: When an uncomfortable feeling of inferiority arises, stop yourself and think. Why do I feel this way? Do not dwell upon it and let it replay in your head. Instead, accept it and treat it like an open wound. List down concrete steps to get past the causes of your discomfort. Know that it will take time but the pain will eventually go away some day.
2) Spend time with the people you love: You’d be surprised how quickly your sorrows disappear when you confide in or just enjoy the company of your loved ones. Know that there’s someone out there who loves you just because you’re you!
3) Show gratitude to the people and things around you: The people you love are, well, people too. Showing them your appreciation and concern regularly will not only spur them on in their daily lives, but reminds you to stay grounded as well. Constantly being grateful for the things you have, your environment, and your loved ones will help you achieve satisfaction in the present and set more realistic expectations for the future.
4) Focus on doing things larger than yourself: Commit to something that you enjoy. It may be something as simple as a volunteering for a social cause, or dedicating time to a sport like football. Do something that allows you to build on and exercise your skills. By committing yourself to a project larger than yourself, you will realise how much you can contribute to society.
5) Wake up and go to bed with positive thinking: When you wake up tomorrow morning, remind yourself “It’s going to be a great day!” Nothing beats having a positive mindset to set the day on a right note. Even better, while brushing your teeth, smile back at your reflection in the mirror and tell yourself how awesome you are. Right before you go to bed, think about the moments which have made you happy. In fact you can do it right now. Stop and think, what made you happy today?
|A Czech word introduced into the popular imagination by Milan Kundera, in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. As the word has no equal in English, the description referenced here is given by Kundera.
|Self-Compassion, Affect, and Health-Promoting Behaviors. By Sirois, Fuschia M.; Kitner, Ryan; Hirsch, Jameson K. Health Psychology, 22 September 2014.
|University of Hertfordshire. “Self-acceptance could be the key to a happier life, yet it’s the happy habit many people practice the least.” ScienceDaily, 7 March 2014.