I’ve tried it both ways, and I’ve found that self-improvement is a whole lot easier when I have respect for myself, rather than anger with myself. Improvement is a really kind and caring thing to do for yourself and improving yourself with love takes a lot of time, energy and effort.
If you were going to help another person improve their life, would you rather put forth all that effort for someone you like and respect, or someone you can’t stand? It’s no different when that person is your own self.
Improvement works best when it comes from a place of self-love and acceptance, not from self-loathing or hatred.
Review Your Past
It’s important to be sure you remember where you are coming from. This can be a nice reminder of how far you’ve come already.
Spend 30 minutes to an hour journaling about your past. Write about your childhood, high school, your early twenties. Maybe write about good and bad dating experiences, lost friendships and deep, long-lasting friendships.
Really reflect on your own reactions to all of these scenarios. Compare the way you reacted to them to the way you would now in a similar situation.
Accept Where You are in Your Journey
When you’re done journaling, take a look at the result. Read your journal entry over and over again.
Your experiences make you unique.
Look at all you have been through (good and bad!) and remind yourself that you made it!
Show yourself some compassion, and remember that all you have survived so far has made you who you are today. We all have things we wish we could change about ourselves, and it’s okay to feel that way!
Just be sure to accept yourself for who you are today before moving forward with your positive changes.
When I did this evaluation, I realized just how many of my past experiences had influenced the choices I’d made that had led to my weight gain. I could identify the choices I had made, why I had made them, and really appreciate how I had landed where I had.
I could accept my place in my journey through life.
Improving Yourself with Love
Once I had accepted my weight, and my lack of self-control with food, I needed to learn how to love the person I was.
It’s not easy for everyone (it certainly wasn’t easy for me!), but it is possible. Positive affirmations are a great way to start on the path to self-love.
It’s also important to remember to pamper yourself. Stop putting off that massage you’ve been needing. Get your nails done. Send your family to a movie so you can have some time alone at home to read a book, or do some crafts!
Do whatever you don’t normally allow yourself to because you’ve been so focused on putting everyone else first.
Just spend some time on your own. Become your own best friend. Then, you can work on improving yourself with love.
Improve Upon the Already-Wonderful YOU
Okay, so you’ve been journaling. You know where you are (and accept that!) and you totally think you’re great now.
But, you probably still aren’t perfect. I know once I had been through all these steps, I was more aware than ever that I wanted to get healthier still.
What changed, though, was that I wanted to give myself the gift of a healthier body. I didn’t hate the body I had.
Get Started Improving Yourself with Love
When you can look at your whole journey to this point and accept where you are now, finding the space in your heart to love and respect yourself becomes a little easier.
Once you are in a good place with yourself, it’s time to put in the work of improving yourself with love. You’re already wonderful, but it’s always okay to strive for better.
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