It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t love myself, and once I made that realization, so many things became clearer. It’s impossible to love someone else fully if you don’t love yourself, no matter how hard you try. This also causes you to settle for less than you deserve.

I know so many women, including myself, who have settled for mediocrity in relationships due to their lack of self love. You don’t know your worth and therefore, you allow partners, whether temporary or serious, to come along and treat you any old way. I know, I’ve been there.

I’ve mentioned before that your relationships are just a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself. If you don’t value you, no one else will. When you start to fall in love with yourself, you’ll notice a shift, in your attitude, your posture—everything, and those around you will notice it too.

Sometimes, we don’t even realize that our relationships with ourselves are toxic, so how will you ever know?

Here are some questions to consider:

  • When you look in the mirror, what do you see? How do you feel?
  • When/if you are mistreated by those around you, particularly a lover or significant other, what do you do?
  • How do you feel when asked to talk about yourself. What do say?

These aren’t things that we consider on a daily, so your answers to these questions will easily help you determine how you feel about yourself. What you allow says a lot about you, especially when it comes to intimate relationships and friendships. (Really, any relationship for that matter.)  If you find yourself constantly being walked over, taken advantage of, verbally abused, etc., you have some work to do.

Loving yourself starts with you. It starts within, and is then projected externally to where those around you will feel it. Loving yourself not only means embracing your physical appearance but also understanding that you are amazing just the way you are, nothing excluded. Maybe you don’t feel the prettiest or the smartest. Maybe you feel stuck or lost. Maybe you feel like you’re not good enough. The list goes on.

I’m here to tell you that you are phenomenal. You’re beautiful. You’re intelligent. You’re strong. You’re capable. Now you need to understand this for yourself. Believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. You can do whatever you put your mind to, all you have to do is take that first step. Falling in love with yourself doesn’t happen over night and it may not be the easiest, but once you become determined to do so, it will slowly but surely happen.

Your focus in life should not be to break yourself down. Yes, be your biggest critic, but also cheer yourself on. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you can and you will. The only person stopping you is you.

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