I used to hate myself. In high school, I would spend math class inside my head focusing on all the things I felt were wrong with me and would become depressed. It was crippling.
What the Lord has done for me since then is nothing short of amazing. It is difficult to put into words, but I have grown so much in confidence and security in myself that my past mindset seems like something that happened to someone else. Now I truly love being me. I am thankful for my life, both the good and the bad.
I have since discovered I’m not the only one who has struggled with this self-loathing mindset. I have come to learn this type of thinking has been hurting a lot of people in society. The good news is, if you can relate, there is a way out! You can learn to love yourself and really enjoy your life!
There are some practical steps you can take to properly love yourself, but first, what is at the root of self-hatred? I believe in most cases people who struggle with self-loathing have a big issue with overvaluing the opinions of others.
If you struggle with self-esteem, odds are you care too much about what others think. You compare yourself to others and feel sorry for yourself because you don’t feel as if you measure up to others.
First, nothing can be further from the truth. You are a priceless treasure and have just as much value as anyone else. Other people might be different than you, they may have different talents and good qualities, but those talents and qualities do not take away from your own.
Second, caring too much about what others think and comparing ourselves is based on the same desire of every human heart: self-worth. Both involve finding the value of yourself in things other than God’s love for you. We mistakenly remove God from the picture and think that what others think of us determines how good we are and how meaningful our life is.
However, placing so much emphasis on how we measure up to others and what they think of us distracts us from the true source of our value, God. This is where our true value lies. God made us and loves us; therefore, we have tremendous value. However, when we put too much emphasis on the opinions of others or compare ourselves to them, we declare that our value comes from elsewhere.
When you base your self-worth on the thoughts of others, you fall into the trap of believing that you are only as good as what those people say you are. You tear down the limitless worth that God gave you and replace it with the judgmental, ever changing, and limited standards of humans.
Humans are not perfect and judge imperfectly. Without God’s assistance, we can only measure according to the sense, what we see, hear, and feel. There is something deeper at work within humans and our lives than simply what can be seen, heard, and felt. Furthermore, if God loves us, and His love is perfect, given only to what is worthy of it, then we must have tremendous value to be worthy of His love.
It’s easy to know all this intellectually. The trick is to believe it with your heart. Here are some tips to follow to help yourself get back on track with loving yourself again.
- Cut yourself some slack on your negative qualities. The funny thing about negative traits and weaknesses is everyone has them. No one is perfect. Others might thrive where you struggle, but you have places where you thrive as well. It is okay to work on yourself and improve on these things, but do not be so hyper focused on them that it causes you to tear yourself down and be mean to yourself. So, you struggle with something. That struggle is just a piece, not the whole you. Accept it as part of who you are and move on. Having bad qualities doesn’t make you a bad person.
- Encourage yourself. How you think and what you say about yourself matters. If you are constantly thinking and saying negative things about yourself in your mind, it will be harder to love yourself. Next time you catch yourself doing this, stop yourself. Then, truly think about what you feel about yourself. If it’s not true, think the opposite thought immediately. If the negative thing happens to be true, remind yourself that it is only one piece of you. It is just one piece that is joined to many, many other pieces and they are all not bad. Many are good or even great! Tell yourself this to help yourself remember who you really are— not simply a list of bad traits, but a human person with good qualities and some imperfections.
- Work on what you’re good at. To help with the last tip, make a list of all the good qualities and strengths you have. Everyday choose one or two of these to focus on. Encourage yourself by reminding yourself of these good parts of you. It is even beneficial to work on thesis things to get even better at them. For example, say you are a great conversationalist. Look up tips and tricks to get even better at carrying a conversation with others. This will help you shape yourself to become even better at the things you are good at and then it will become easier to overlook your negative qualities.
- Grow in your awareness of the Holy Spirit within you. This is really the best thing you can do. I can’t even find the words to accurately describe what the Holy Spirit has done for me in discovering my true self. Through gentle guidance over the years, He has slowly shaped me with a true understanding of who I am. It has been an amazing, joy-filled ride.
The truth is, as a baptized Christian in the state of grace, the Holy Spirit is within you. He can speak to you, help you, give you the strength you need to go on, and will fill you with the satisfaction only He can give. Start becoming more aware of God’s presence within you by taking the time to just sit with Him each day. Stay quiet and think about the Holy Spirit’s presence in you. It’s that simple. Do this for as long as you can and do it as often as you can.
- Surrender to God. Finally, we can say we all have these negative qualities and weaknesses for a reason. In a way, they are all reminders that we need God. With this understanding, we can see our negative aspects as absolute gifts from God. They remind us that we are not God and we need Him! This is what is best for us then and through this understanding we will become grateful for even the things we suck at.
Practice surrendering yourself to God every time you think about or experience your negative qualities and weaknesses. Realize you do not need to worry about the things you cannot control because God is taking care of you and bringing good out of all of these negative things because you love Him, and He loves you.
If you are still struggling with self-love, and think you need assistance, we can help! At Zenith Ministries, we have been running a successful one on one mentorship program where we offer insight, real life solutions, inner healing, and spiritual guidance to those who need it. Reach out today to receive a free consultation to see how we can help you overcome your struggles and enter the beautiful life you were meant for. You can email us at email@example.com or call/text at 404-333-8978. More info at www.zenithministries.com/mentorship.