The Single Most Important Skill: Self-Love
For the longest time, I’ve cared too much about what other people thought of me.
Naturally, I’m a people pleaser. I like to make people feel good. I like to be inclusive, caring, and more than often will put others first. Even before myself and my needs.
Being a people pleaser also meant that I cared deeply about what others thought of me. How I acted, how I spoke, how I thought. Who I was, who I am, who I want to be. I cared about what people thought because I wanted to cater to those people. I didn’t spend time thinking about myself, spending time alone, taking care of myself or loving myself.
I’ve learned that with a gift like this, also comes a curse. The curse of never truly being myself — because of continuously catering to others, and never to myself.
I learned that at Facebook this summer, at Stanford, and in my travels, through my many conversations with new, old, and now close friends, through concerts, meetings, and events.
Self-love, in my opinion, is the single most important “skill” or “trait” you can acquire. Why? Because if you truly love yourself, you won’t lie to yourself. You won’t BS the work that you do. You won’t spend time doing shit you hate. You won’t complain as much. You will appreciate the things in your life — who you are, your culture, background, family, socioeconomic status, personality, etc. And you will be overall a happier human being.
I implore you to ask yourself this question: Do you love yourself? Really though? If you said yes, I want you to honestly take a look at your actions within the past week or month. If no, you should ask yourself these questions to better understand why.
How much from that time have you spent doing things you hate? How much time have you spent with the people you care about? Have you read a new book to educate yourself? Have you spent time alone? Reflecting and thinking? Have you built a strategy to help you land your dream job or internship? Have you meditated? Do you FEEL good when you wake up? Are you spending time with negative people, people that bring you down and constantly criticize you, with no good intent? Are you in a toxic relationship that you can’t let go?
Ask yourself those questions, and the key here, is to be TRUTHFUL. Seek happiness, love, positivity — and it will come to you. Similar to the popular saying “you are what you eat”, I believe, “you are what you put out”, in terms of energy, actions, and habits.
Self-love goes hand in hand with self-awareness. If you love yourself, you will audit yourself and continuously improve yourself.
You can’t be a high-achiever if you don’t love yourself. Take care of yourself and you will have more power and love to take care of others. You’ll be happier. You will be more effective, efficient, and overall better.
So, to wrap it up, I will leave you with a challenge. I dare you to prioritize yourself, for once in your life. Prioritize self-education, health, reflection, meditation. If you don’t prioritize yourself (being “selfish”), then you probably will not be happy and you won’t serve others as much as you can.
Let me know if you have some tips/insights on self-love and how you’ve done it effectively, or not. Sending lots of good vibes your way. ❤