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Article: Learning to love yourself – tips & exercises

Self Love Selbstliebe Wandtattoo

Learning to love yourself – tips & exercises

Self-love – a big topic. Many of us have to learn what it means to love ourselves over the course of our lives. How I managed to cultivate self-love - and how loving myself changed my life.

Everyone always talks about self-love, but what does that actually mean?

I believe that every person has their own understanding of what exactly it means to love themselves. But there are also “official” definitions. According to Wikipedia , for example, self-love, or self-love, refers to "the all-encompassing acceptance of oneself in the form of an unrestricted love for oneself. The term is related, but not completely synonymous, with terms such as self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-care, self-confidence and self-worth."

Intuitively, I would also say that self-love has a lot to do with your own self-esteem, acceptance of yourself and also self-confidence.

Unfortunately, some people find it much easier to love others than themselves. Why is that? Maybe it's because we don't know anyone better than ourselves? That we spend every second of our lives in our own society and therefore know about both the good and bad sides of ourselves?

But why don't we love ourselves unconditionally from birth? Just like mothers and fathers do at best? I definitely think that even in childhood we love ourselves unconditionally. We do not yet have an explicit understanding of such a construct. Yet we don't question at all whether we are even worth loving. We know that we are. Only through learning experiences and critical situations do we develop beliefs and subjective “truths” that make us doubt ourselves and our worth. This often continues into adulthood.

By the way, self-love does not mean the same thing as self-love . Self-love is more about accepting who we are – with all our strengths and weaknesses. Self-infatuation, on the other hand, alludes more to an overestimation, idealization and glorification of oneself.

What happens if we don't (can't) love ourselves?

Low self-esteem, self-confidence or a lack of self-acceptance put a number of obstacles in our way. We are insecure, afraid and don't have much confidence in ourselves. We don't allow ourselves to live the life we ​​would actually like to live.

If we don't like ourselves, it can even lead to serious psychological problems such as depression or anxiety. We feel helpless, at the mercy and think that we ourselves cannot change anything about our own situation.

If you recognize yourself or a loved one in these descriptions, it may make sense to seek professional help, for example from a therapist. You can find further information on dealing with (acute) depression at the German Depression Aid, for example .

What we think about ourselves makes up a large part of our identity. Our self-image also plays an important role when dealing with other people. For example, we can value other people more if we also value ourselves.

Learning to love yourself is essential for a fully fulfilled life and long-term psychological well-being. As I said, it's not about always feeling perfect and super great - but about liking yourself the way you are.

How can I learn and develop self-love?

Over the last few years I have really taken big steps towards self-love. Today I can say: “I think I’m good the way I am.” About 5 years ago I would have frowned upon such a sentence and not even dared to think it. I was pretty dissatisfied with myself most of the time and thought I was an imposition on everyone around me. Those weren't good times, and I'm glad that some of those thoughts and feelings towards myself have changed.

I would like to share with you the things that have particularly helped me on my way to more self-love. So that you too (re)discover how great you actually are. ❤️

Woman puts a hand on her chest and listens to herself

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

1. Connect with your heart and your inner voice

It sounds so simple. But it's not that easy to listen to your own heart. On your own inner voice, your own intuition.

My entire life I have listened to what other people wanted from me. How society wanted me to be. I turned all the other voices up to full volume to fit in. To be a good person. To be loved. What fell completely by the wayside: my own voice. Whenever I had to make a decision, I always first asked everyone else what they would advise me. I always put other people's opinions above my own.

In my early 20s I realized that I couldn't base my entire life on other people. I asked myself who I actually was, who I wanted to be and what my opinions were. I didn't know the answer to any of these questions.
Still, I knew I had to start listening to my intuition again and find my own voice again. Because ultimately only I know what is right and best for me.

The voice of your heart and your intuition are almost never wrong. You just have to manage to perceive these inner voices. Turn it up a little. Because that's the only way you'll ultimately get to where you belong. If you only listen to the voices of others, you will never be able to be completely happy.

Practical tip:

Always pause in everyday life and try to notice what your heart is telling you. The inner voices don't always have to "speak" to you; sensations like a queasy stomach or a warm feeling around the heart also give you clues about what you actually feel and think. Especially when decisions have to be made.

It is not uncommon for it to take some time until you become aware of your own inner voice again. Journaling exercises and self-reflection questions can also help you find your inner voice.

2. Discover and promote your strengths, talents and skills

The second change that changed a lot in my life: I began to focus on my strengths, talents and resources. It's always easy for us to list things we're "bad" at or have problems with. But what about all the things we are really good at; with our talents and skills? We often don't even notice them or take them for granted.

Every person has strengths and their own personal toolbox of resources. What does that mean? Every time we overcome a challenging situation, we gain experience. We develop strategies for success and learn from them.

How do you get access to these very individual resources, strengths and skills?

First of all, you can consciously reflect on yourself, for example with questions like: What do other people value about me? How did I survive situation x? What did I do, how did I deal with it? What am I good at? What do I like to do? …

Then it can also be very helpful to ask other people about it. Ultimately, they see you in a different, often more appreciative light than you probably see yourself. What defines you? What do they value about you? What can you do especially good? What do other people see as your talents? What makes you unique?

Write down all of these things. And then follow these. Celebrate them, acknowledge them, be proud of yourself and your strengths! If you find something that you are good at and that brings you joy at the same time, then nothing will stand in the way of your happiness.

Loving yourself means appreciating yourself for what makes you who you are. For everything you're good at. Because every person on this earth has unique strengths, talents and abilities. Find yours.

Woman looks at herself in the mirror and smiles

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

3. Allow yourself to feel and give space to your emotions

This point was very essential for my personal development. I have changed the way I view my own emotions and how to deal with them.

I have to say that I am a very emotional and really sensitive person. I always saw this emotionality as a weakness. After all, you're taught (sadly) from a young age that tears are a sign of weakness. That emotionality (especially in women) means insecurity or incompetence. Today I know that's not true. I always see other people's open dealings with emotions as a strength. Being able to show yourself vulnerable is an incredible gift. So why shouldn’t I also acknowledge my emotionality?

Hiding, suppressing or swallowing your own emotions until they burst out can be very stressful. You feel bad; Thinks that you are overreacting to a situation or that you are weak. We also tend to identify with our emotions. We often think things like “I am a sad person”, “My life is a complete tragedy”, etc.

We forget that emotions are a natural part of the human experience. They come and go. We are not our emotions, we feel them. They may be a part of us, but they never make us complete.

Practical tip:

So instead of becoming one with our emotions, we should rather observe them, accept them, let them be there and then let them go again. Try to recognize your emotions as a natural, completely human experience. Say to yourself “I’m feeling sad right now because x happened.” / “X makes me sad.”, not: “I am sad.” Allow yourself to feel the emotion, let it be there. Whatever comes up, it's okay. It's human. But stop giving your emotions all the power over you. You are so much more than what you feel right now.

What can also help is processing your emotions in a physical way. Let her out. Dance, sing, scream, punch a pillow, write your heart out... Whatever helps you release the energies, do it. Just please make sure that no one else gets hurt. ;-)

A few words at the end

Now to bring the most important thing back to the point:

You are worth loving. Simply because you are a human being. That alone is enough.

You are more than your thoughts and your emotions.

You're fine the way you are.

– I hope that at some point you will be able to recognize all of this for yourself. ✨💕

If you would like to learn more about mindfulness, healthy eating, sustainability or family and pregnancy, check out more exciting blog articles on these topics here .

Woman and cat put their palms together

Photo by Jonas Vincent on Unsplash


Vielen Dank für Ihre schönen Gedankenanstöße zur Selbstliebe. Für uns war es ein harter Weg, bis wir es schafften, uns selbst zu lieben. Und manchmal ist es heute noch in manchen Situationen eine Herausforderung.

Aber die Eigenliebe ist unabdingbar um zu überleben. Das haben wir immer wieder erfahren. Es war für uns nicht leicht – für jeden Einzelnen von uns – es zu schaffen, uns selbst zu mögen. Besonders in unseren jüngeren Jahren und am Anfang unserer Beziehung.

Sich selbst zu mögen geht ja vielleicht noch. Aber sich selbst zu lieben ist nochmal eine Steigerung. Die Selbstliebe zu erringen gleicht einem Sieg bei einem Marathonlauf.

Wer jetzt denkt, Selbstliebe hätte etwas mit Egoismus oder Narzissmus zu tun, der liegt falsch. Für uns ging es darum, uns selbst mit allen Mängeln und Nachteilen zu aktzeptieren. Das ist heute besonders schwer, wenn dir von den Medien vorgegaukelt wird, wie du aussehen musst oder was du besitzen musst, um ein toller Typ zu sein.

Dabei geht es gar nicht darum. Wir haben die Erfahrung gemacht, dass es wichtig ist, mit sich selbst gut auszukommen. Uns gelang das immer besser, als wir im Laufe der Zeit lernten, mit uns selbst nicht zu streng zu sein. Je älter man wird, umso mehr lernt man sich kennen. Man weiß im Laufe der Zeit, was einem gut tut und was man lieber lassen sollte.

Natürlich schlägt man immer wieder gern einmal über die Strenge, trinkt ein Gläschen zu viel oder ist durch zuviel Arbeit viel zu gestresst. Aber im Großen und Ganzen haben wir heute gelernt, auf uns selbst zu schauen und rechtzeitig stop zu sagen, wenn wir einerseits über die Strenge schlagen oder andererseits zu streng zu uns selbst sind.

Es geht doch im Leben darum, sich selbst so gut kennenzulernen und sich mit sich selbst auch ein Stück zu versöhnen und sich so anzunehmen, wie man eben ist. Das bedeutet nicht, dass man noch Verbesserungsversuche machen kann. Aber sich daran aufarbeiten sollte man nicht.

Gerd und Christine Spranger

Wunderschöne Gedanken Sammlung.


Sehr schöner Text!

Barbara Herrmann-Trentepohl

Sehr schöner Blog!Dankeschön 😚Alles Liebe und Schöne 😇

Elisabeth Bernar

Nett, doch nur wer geliebt wird, kann auch wirklich lieben. Alles andere ist: ich bastelmit die Welt, wie sie mir gefällt.
Als Christ werde ich geliebt und brauche mir nichts einreden und zurecht legen. Ich brauche nicht aus dem Nlchts schöpfen.
Denn eines ist sicher, jeder Mensch sündigt. Deshalb kann er sich nicht wirklich selbst lieben, denn er weiß, dass Sünde verurteilungswürdig ist. Durch die Tat von Jesus Christus am Kreuz, haben wir aber die Vergebung dieser Sünden. Wer das annimmt, nimmt die Liebe Gottes an und kann weiter sich selbst und andere lieben.
Alles andere ist nett und auch nicht schlecht, hat aber kein Fundament mit echtem Bestand.

Sigrun Peters

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