By Ankita Purohit

What is self-love? What are the advantages of self-worth?

Like everyone else, we all need to be admired, appreciated and loved. We become so obsessed with getting the applause from the crowd that it literally turns out to be our drug to survive. Most individuals desperately develop a people-pleasing attitude and that is there until their last breath. Why does it become so important? Why do we need ‘others’ to value us? Shouldn’t we be our own constructive critics and cheerleaders?

We meet lots of people on daily basis. We like few of them and we dislike a few. Some individuals annoy us to the core of our heart and we cannot bear them in our surroundings. If we like somebody, he or she may not necessarily be liked by somebody or everybody else. If a fellow member annoys us, he or she could be loved by everyone. We could be one of those people who is liked or disliked by anyone, or perhaps everyone!

Mind that we certainly hold no control over others’ viewpoints, just like ‘others’ cannot control ours. Our belief system continues to grow till we reach the middle-age. After that, we become hard-core to our pre-determined principles that do not seem to re-adjust. Our methods of judgments vary because we all want to befriend those who we think are comfortable with our ‘domain’. In other cases, we are bound by relations. For example, a newly wedded bride wants same level of love and appreciation from her in-laws, just like a student would want from his faculty members, OR a child from her own parents. The sad news is, most often we won’t be liked by those potential persons because they are usually hateful creatures who need to resolve their internal matters on their own, rather than projecting onto their generous counterparts.

Here is where our expectations get shattered. The struggle is real especially in case of shy and introverts because they fail to exactly express what they really feel. And we all know this world is for those superficial beings who flaunt themselves really, really well! The disappointments are sure to be encountered.

self love

I would always ponder why my cousin, who also happened to be my classmate and a roommate during my graduation and post graduation days, was liked by most people, got friend requests in Facebook more often, and was always remembered wherever she would go. In my case, if someone even considered me to hang out with them was usually because they had no other option to hang out with, at that particular moment. Was being myself causing me this? My insecurities grew stronger with time, and I had been searching for answers for years.

We all spend a considerable amount of time in determining what the world wants from us and how much we have really accomplished that. Some succeed, others fail. Those who really thrive in this, learn that being an entertainer and (over) achiever is the solution. Others believe that only achievements would do them the favor. Their self-confidence lowers down because of continuous defeat. Now, the way they represent in front of the general public depends. Those who also fall under highly sensitive and straightforward persona would probably continue to piss off their fellows, and practically won’t be able to do much in pleasing. It may also bring depression, sooner or later.

So, what’s next? Do they always dwell in solitude? Probably yes, or probably no! A person has to figure out this mystery. This is where we need to decide, do we really want this kind of attitude of people towards us, OR something could be done to change this? Do we actually understand what is self-love? No, it is not self-obsession. It’s maturity. It is the way we send the subtle signals to this world that we do not need its approval to be valued. We cannot be loved by people if we fail to love ourselves first. Below are some of the advantages of self-worth that I personally discovered.

It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself.” – Abraham Lincoln

Advantages of Self-Worth

1. Elevated confidence – A person who knows that (s)he is much more than the society think of him or her automatically has an enhanced self-confidence. The way they behave in front of others becomes appealing to most because confidence is beautiful. This does not have to be misunderstood as being over-confident or arrogant because the latter implies to vulnerability and heightened self-esteem, only when they put others down in some way.

self confidence

2. Feeling contented – The feeling of contentment exists despite the current situation. The way these kinds of people perceive their life is no longer a trouble but a mystery to solve. Yes, these living beings do exist, though are not in plenty. Do you still wonder why some rich people remain dissatisfied, and those who face financial scarcity (say, a vegetable seller) rejoice even in small events?

3. Letting things go – This is an amazing feeling because we finally let go of things that somehow had been managing to make us feel less important. We accept whatever had happened, and the things that are about to happen. If few people used to bother us, we start low-contact or no-contact approach because they drain our energy. Stopping to communicate with the toxic people helps to heal faster.

4. Breaking the ‘cycle’ – This point would be understood by only those who were somehow physically and/or emotionally abused or neglected or abandoned by their ‘pals’. There is always some sort of endless loop, a feeling that these people notice in general, which is, they subconsciously invite toxic persons in their life. It could be their boyfriends/girlfriends, family member(s), childhood friends, neighbors, and so on.

They never realize what personal boundaries are, and how one is supposed to be treated. This leads to tolerating the abuses till (seemingly) eternity. Our life’s experiences during early years play a huge role how we are going to deal with the upcoming events. If we were not treated in the right manner, we will start believing that something is wrong with us instead, and we deserve to be treated like trash. Which is, my dear, not true! Once we start valuing ourselves, the ‘cycle’ does not exist anymore! The slight shift in the mindset is what is all needed.

break the toxic cycle

5. Choosing the right ones – We will always stay in contact with those who keep a positive attitude. And now, we no longer have to chase them, they will make it happen for us by communicating with us first. Since they initiated (or appreciated your initiation), the contact will last longer. Still surprised, why people never wanted to befriend you previously, and now they want you in their life?

6. Better focus on what’s important – If we stop thinking about what is happening in our surroundings and “who said what and why”, we channelize our focus on something more productive. For instance, you had been planning to learn playing a violin and never did that. Now, you will definitely plan its schedule and execute it more effectively. Guess what! More positivity would start pouring in.

7. Firm decision making – If self-confidence is there, decision making is no longer a burden. We are not entitled to others’ thinking patterns whatever kind of decision we make. Since we become free thinkers, we are more into rational thinking and emotions don’t control us anymore. We do not suspect that our decisions could go wrong. Nevertheless, even if it does, we learn from our past mistakes and move on very fast. Who needs people’s commentaries!

8. No inner critic – Most of us are self-critical. We die for perfection and we go to any extent to camouflage our perceived flaws. A person who loves herself understands that these so-called ‘flaws’ aren’t even real. Although, being analytical is crucial because it helps us move ahead in life. It provides us something to accomplish that we don’t have. Nevertheless, if we keep on criticizing ourselves, we are doing no good. It absorbs our happiness.

no inner critic

Whatever I have expressed here could also be taken in a different perspective. For instance, you might think that you won’t bother from now onwards why people dislike you because you clearly speak mean words right on their face. You might not intend to do that, nevertheless, years of social boycott and/or isolation might result into not understanding the formal protocols. You will then have to work harder to learn how to represent yourself by counseling sessions, socializing, talking to those who are close to you, and so on.

There are also a few who want to pursue negative traits in order to feel uplifted. Self-realization is the key to everything. We need to realize our own as well as others’ attitude. If you do not realize something is wrong, you will continue the kind of life you don’t want.

Last but not the least, be comfortable in your own skin. This world does not want to know why you do not look the way you are supposed to look; and what sufferings you have had been dealing with, for instance pregnancy, miscarriage, mental trauma, abandonment, poverty, abuses, chronic medical conditions, stress and depression, and the list goes on! We owe no explanation to anyone, period! Show them you have survived till date, and you WILL survive until your last breath. Love yourself, Embrace yourself!

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