By Katie & Gay Hendricks
Why is it that even when, on the surface, it looks as if we have everything we need to feel happy, we often don’t feel happy?
There’s always something nagging us in the background. For example:
You’re in a committed relationship, but you want your partner to show his love more. You wish he’d open up about his feelings or be more romantic and affectionate. You decide to inspire him by cooking his favorite meal and treating him to a shoulder massage.
You had a fun first date but you aren’t particularly excited about this new prospect. When your date calls to ask you out again, you say yes, because she or he seemed like a nice person and you want to give this prospect a chance. Pretty soon, you find yourself worried sick over having to break up with someone you weren’t all that interested in anyway.
You go shopping on a whim, spend hundreds of dollars on new clothes, which end up still in the store bag at the back of your closet days or weeks later.
You just landed a new job and spent a big chunk of your savings relocating to a new town. But already, you’re worried that it’s not what you want to be doing or where you want to live for the long-term.
You’re looking to fill an emptiness inside, and you think that the answer to your ultimate happiness lies in changing your external circumstances – the partner, the job, the house, even your body.
We’re here to tell you that in order to fill that void, you must first learn to do the very thing that will change how you feel about everything.
You must learn to love yourself.
When you love yourself, you’ll be able to celebrate the inner peace and happiness you feel WITH the outside world, not THROUGH it.
When you love yourself, you enjoy the love you receive from others and don’t worry that they might lose interest or leave.
When you love yourself, you are unapologetic about living a life that speaks to you and who you really are. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
Learning to love yourself is powerful, but easier than you may think. Here's how to do it…
When most people hear the advice, “You have to love yourself,” they either tune it out or reject it outright. They think it’s too “out there,” or they don’t understand what it really means.
This dilemma is unfortunate, because loving yourself is the very thing that can make your life better in every way.
In our experience, there are three misguided approaches people take in order to feel better about themselves and about their lives. These approaches don’t work because they are a way to seek love and approval elsewhere instead of from within, where it really matters.
Have you ever done any of these things?
Loving yourself doesn’t mean buying nice things or treating yourself to massages, vacations, a nice car, or an expensive restaurant meal.
In fact, we see people constantly looking for the next big “fix” that will allow them to feel momentarily better about their life or relationship. The fixes never do, because underneath all those treats and expenses, you still don’t love yourself and who you really are, at the core.
This is classic people-pleasing behavior. You say “yes” to doing things for others when you really don’t have the time or the desire, because you don’t want to disappoint them.
You don’t dare disagree with a friend for fear they’ll be angry with you. You often wonder how you got yourself into commitments that turn out to be giant headaches.
If you’re seeking approval from others in order to feel like a good, hard-working, loving person, you’ll forever run yourself ragged. That’s because no matter what compliments others bestow upon you, you’ll never feel like enough.
You keep thinking that someday, life will be so much better when you find the right partner and fall in love. You’ll finally feel as though you belong, or that you’re understood and appreciated for who you are.
Looking to another person to make you feel whole is a losing strategy. That’s because…
If you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to feel loved by anyone else.
You’ll criticize, blame, and lash out, because deep down, you can’t accept anyone for who they are because you can’t accept who YOU are.
The good news is that loving yourself doesn’t require nearly as much effort as it takes to try to make someone love you. And it certainly doesn’t require maxing out your credit card buying the things you think will make you happy.
Loving yourself is a much simpler process than you think, and it’s WAY more powerful than hearing praise from a loved one or the momentary thrill of spending money on an experience or object.
It can change everything for you, because loving yourself is at the core of living a happy life and experiencing close and loving relationships that thrive.
When you learn how to love yourself, everything changes.
Your relationships will improve because you’ll no longer be hiding your true self from others. You’ll face challenges with honesty and integrity, which will allow you to feel confident and calm around friends and loved ones.
Your career and life purpose will be transformed, because you’ll get clear about what you love to do and how you want to contribute to the world – unapologetically.
Your health and well-being will blossom as you tap into what you need to be healthy and to perform better on a day-to-day basis, and you’ll have the self-respect to actually do it.
Loving yourself can be one of the most transformative things you do that will improve all aspects of your life.
But it’s a process that has to start from within you, not from outside of you.
As long as you look to other people or things to make you feel accepted and happy, whatever you do will never quite feel like enough.
Only loving yourself can bring you the sense of inner peace and contentment you’ve been longing for all this time.
To learn our step-by-step process for learning to love yourself – and to give up the self-judgement and criticism that has kept you from fully experiencing love with others – subscribe to our free relationship e-newsletter, Hearts In Harmony. You’ll learn:
We’re pretty certain we would not be married for over 30 years – or talking to you here today – if we hadn’t learned the immense value of loving yourself. To learn how to create the most fulfilling relationships – including the one you have with yourself – subscribe for free today.