Self Love – Concept, self-esteem and how to reinforce it

We explain what self-love is and what its relationship with self-esteem is. Also, different techniques to have more self-esteem.

Self-love is the result of various processes of introspection and acceptance.

What is self-love?

When we speak of self-love, we mean degree of acceptance, respect and consideration that we feel towards ourselves. It is a concept very similar to that of self-esteem, considered essential for the emotional and psychological health of human beings.

In general, self-love is understood as the result of various processes of introspection and acceptance at deep levels, that is, as the result of knowing and loving yourself, without the need to change one’s nature to satisfy others; something that, on the other hand, cannot really be done either.

We must not, however, confuse self-love with the ego. Loving yourself does not imply denying your own limitations, or thinking more than others, but rather accepting your own way of being, knowing that our negative aspects will require work and our positive aspects consolidation, but that just as we are, simply , are.

A proud, envious, arrogant or self-centered person does not necessarily possess great self-esteem; The opposite is often the case: people with little capacity for self-acceptance take refuge in hostile attitudes towards others, since they consider that any outside role constitutes a threat to them.

Self love and self esteem

The difference between self-esteem and self-esteem is subtle, and too often overlooked. Both terms are often used synonymously.

However, for many specialists, self-love implies a deeper and more honest dynamic, and therefore difficult to achieve, while self-esteem is a more superficial sense of worth that we perceive with respect to ourselves, and which is influenced not only by our own considerations, but by the acceptance of others and “success” in their different conceptualizations.

In any case, this difference can be understood if we think that today there are many “express” ways to self-esteem, such as massive acceptance in social networks, or consumerist and materialistic satisfaction, which can artificially raise an individual‘s self-esteem, but not so his self-love.

Then, it is possible to have little self-esteem and a lot of self-esteem, but it is impossible for this to happen the other way around, because people with self-love also experience good self-esteem, being able to accept themselves as they are.

How to have more self-esteem?

There is no single and universal recipe to improve self-esteem, because like many other aspects of our personality, it depends on our upbringing and our emotional history. However, there is a certain consensus regarding methods and techniques that can help rebuild self-love, such as:

  • Self-knowledge. It is impossible to love and accept yourself if you don’t know yourself first. For this we can start a psychotherapeutic procedure (with a psychologist or psychoanalyst) or we can also undertake the practice of meditation and mindfulness (to be able to observe ourselves better).
  • Dedicate time. Personal care, whether it is about hygiene and body aesthetics, or the fulfillment of basic mental needs, is an important habit, both a symptom and a solution for self-esteem problems. Prioritizing our needs will make us value ourselves more and accept those things that we should do for ourselves.
  • Review our personal relationships. This may mean moving away from toxic or harmful relationships, which take away more than what they contribute, or on the contrary, going out of the house more and trying to meet more people, or diversifying our circle of friends. In any case, we must give interpersonal relationships the value they deserve as a source of acceptance and positive reinforcement.
  • Practice appreciation. Forgiving yourself and accepting what you have lived may sound like a self-help recipe, but it is a key practice to heal and overcome our stumbling blocks in life. What is the use of dragging guilt or regrets that prevent us from enjoying our present? The ideal is to learn our lessons – that is, learn how we are and what we should pay attention to in our character – and move on, knowing that we are neither better nor worse than anyone else.