some thoughts on self-love

On my journey of personal development, I stumbled upon the concept of self-love. It’s been 2-4 months now since I’ve been thinking about this after watching a bunch of videos on it.

Truth is, I don’t really get it yet. But I thought I should give the matter some importance as I saw a number of people speak about this topic. Especially people who have gone through very difficult and painful things in life.


One of the parts of self-love is self-acceptance. I’m struggling to understand how you can improve yourself if you just accept the things you don’t like about yourself.

I tried telling myself I accepted myself the way I was right now. But to be honest, I felt a lot better when I decided I didn’t want to settle for the current version of myself and take active steps towards improving myself. It felt a lot better to finally see that I made progress in my goals. But I had to be discontented with my current state to make those changes.

For example, I started exercising out of spite. I was sick of things not changing already. And when I started doing that and consistently challenged myself, I got a boost of confidence as a side effect.

So I’m trying to understand this self-acceptance thing. There are some ways in which this does work. For example, I don’t always get mad at myself if I’m having a more depressing day. I know now that it’s a feature of my life. It’ll come and go and that’s fine. But I do get concerned that this self-acceptance thing might be getting in the way of actual self-improvement, taking me farther away from things that will actually be good for me.

💞Kind treatment of oneself

Another part of self-love is to treat yourself kindly. Again, I struggle with understanding where the boundary of coddling yourself vs. pushing yourself lies when it comes to self-love. If a parent loves their child, it’s part of their love that they also challenge them to become stronger instead of being very soft with them all the time.

The thing that I took away from this, however, is to stop calling myself names if I’m already struggling with something. I wouldn’t want to call other people stupid, lazy, failure, obnoxious or other more creative names if they weren’t up to the task. That would be considered verbal and emotional abuse. So I try to catch myself and not do it to myself either. It just makes your relationship with yourself more pleasant.

🔍An observation on self-love and the superiority complex

When I tried to understand that my basic self-worth was not tied to other people’s approval of me, how much work experience or education I had, or how many goals I was working on, I started to see a link between self-love and the superiority complex.

When I think back to the days when I was in school, I realize that my mind was very stuck on being smart and capable. That was because everyone praised and appreciated the kids who would come top in their classes, and it was the most convenient way for me to get that approval. Teachers and parents didn’t always speak kindly about the kids who didn’t do as well. So it became very important for me to keep pushing myself to stay ahead and be considered “good”.

However, I also ended up developing a little superiority complex. In fact, that was the thing that pushed me to keep getting good grades. Deep down, I believed that the other kids were probably not good enough in some way.

You see, a superiority complex is really an inferiority complex. If I didn’t have my self-worth attached to my grades, if I knew that we should (and would) be accepted and loved regardless of grades, then it wouldn’t feel as good as when I got good grades, and it wouldn’t feel as bad if I didn’t get good grades. I would also not have a separation of smart and good kids and not smart and not good kids in my head. I would know to think well of all of them as human beings and accept them regardless.

❤️Love for others, and humility

So, self-love really helps out with developing this humility and appreciation for others. Humans are not just their work. If you zoom out you can see their beautiful qualities that no grades or work can capture. People don’t get awards for being good friends and lending others their shoulder to cry on. Or for maintaining their integrity in moments when they’re alone. All these things still make us who we are. But they’re not always measured or recognized.

So when you understand your worth is not tied to these external measures, and you can try to love yourself regardless, that judgemental voice in your head dies down. The love, patience, and kindness that you start to develop for yourself, you can easily extend to others. When I think of my old classmates now, I can’t help but see that they were really awesome people, and I was lucky that I got to grow up with them 🙂

🌻Becoming more honest with yourself

Because this need to always get approval from others dies down, I can see some of my actions becoming more authentic. Back then, I didn’t realize I was saying certain things or doing small things so people would still be impressed with me, or accept me. But once you start to accept yourself, it becomes easier to break through the sneaky veil of dishonesty and push yourself to do the things you want to do, knowing others might not like you for it in the end and being okay with it anyway.

To conclude, I’m still developing my understanding of self-love, self-worth, and self-compassion, though I’ve already begun making a few positive changes in my life because of it 🌻


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