If you have a history of bad relationships then the root problem is that somewhere down the line you lost your sense of self-respect.
While admitting this is the first step to getting back what you lost, there’s more to the process than just seeing the problem. You have to spend some time repairing the damaged relationship – yes, the damage done to your own self-respect.
In this discussion, we’re going to list 6 ways you can start to love yourself again and why these techniques do mend your self-esteem.
- Objectively analyze your own thoughts, as you have them.
Not just thoughts but follow-up thoughts, desires based on those thoughts, and actions or inactions you’re drawn to because of these thoughts. Are they always negative or of the half-empty variety?
Now you’re beginning to understand how troubled relationships develop – they start as thoughts. What you think about, what you think you deserve, what you are instinctively drawn to.
- Learn to follow your instincts, not your fears.
If you have a negative outlook, fear (and catastrophizing about worst-case scenarios) can overpower your true intuitive voice. Remember that intuition is more about you finding what you want the most, whereas fear simply pushes you towards a decision so you can evade a threat.
Fear is about fight or flight. If you have been severely hurt in the past you may even suffer from trauma, as if your brain is trying to protect you from the past.
But intuition involves using your smarts, as well as your heart. Intuition doesn’t rush you into impulsive decisions, but it reminds you of what you want. Your intuitive voice reminds you of where you want to be five, ten, or twenty years into the future.
Listen to the long-term voice, the long-term plan, rather than only paying attention to the short-term emergency alarm.
- You must get away from the past.
Stewing about the past is much easier when you are surrounded by old memories. Photos, memorabilia, even notifications (thanks, Facebook!) can keep walls around you, discouraging you from moving forward.
You might have to take drastic action, such as closeting old memorabilia of a past relationship or even giving it away. You may have to block or remove someone that always takes you to a dark place.
Even some discussion groups can bring you down (like say, trashing your ex conversations) rather than keeping you looking to the future. Don’t dwell on what makes you unhappy. It might feel cathartic, but at some point it has to end!
- Break out of the usual routine with a vengeance.
What keeps us miserable and looking to the past? Staying in the same place. That’s why the best thing you can do after surviving a bad relationship is to go outside your comfort zone and completely reinvent yourself.
Avoid routines. In fact, try to do the opposite of what you usually do, even in relationships. If every thought and action you take seems to bring you the same type of guy, and the same dysfunctional relationship, it’s time to change “the formula.”
Patterns are what eventually create the relationship. These comfort zones have never helped you get what you want, or attract the man you deserve.
It’s time for a new recipe because the adage is true – you have nothing to lose by trying something new if you’re already unhappy where you’re at.
- Spend less time letting other people influence your life.
When we don’t have a plan, we inadvertently let other people guide our lives. This is what we call a reactive vs. proactive mind.
When you react to other people and then remain stagnant until they do something else, they are the ones who wield the power over you. The fact that you are waiting idly for them, means you are not taking charge of your life. You are not being proactive and making plans about what you want to do, and how to take the next step to get what you want.
Over time, you will create an “autopilot” version of yourself, always reacting in a predictable way. But you rarely ever make decisions, because you get out of the habit of being proactive. You become comfortable with letting other people think for you.
Instead, decrease “reaction actions” by 90% and increase proactive work by 100%. You don’t have to ignore the world, but you need to spend far more time creating your own!
- Stop regretting the past.
It’s time to stop thinking of the past as a mistake, a regret, or anything negative. True, it was not a good experience. But the more important issue is what did you learn from it? If you learned something about yourself, or even about the type of man you don’t want to get involved with, then it wasn’t a waste of your time.
It was a learning experience. A chapter in your life that taught you something valuable. Take that positive thought with you and be proud of what you’ve learned, and the better person you’ve become because of these learning experiences.
Loving yourself also means accepting that the past happened for a reason. It made you wise and helped you to broaden your perspective.
As we’ve learned self love is about taking the CONTROL of your life back. It’s not just about the ex and removing him from your life. It’s also about flushing your mind of the toxicity and the pain of that old relationship.
It’s about reprogramming your mind for growth and opportunity. It’s about learning to not give up on yourself and finding your own silver lining in all of this. Embrace self-love and be kind to yourself. Give yourself the gift of starting a new life anew.