3 Myths to Stop Believing About Self-Love

3 Myths to Stop Believing About Self-Love

Self-love is a big topic these days — not just in the yogi community, but everywhere. Now that social media is such a powerful tool that provides a platform for everyone voice their opinions, lots of people have been inspired enough to become self-love activists online.

To those who are pretty far from being completely and unconditionally loving toward themselves, however, the idea of being so self loving can seem ridiculous. Unfortunately for them, lack of experience in the self-love department coupled with first impressions of self-loving people can communicate the opposite of what self-love really is.

Here are just five of the most commonly believed myths about self-love.

Myth #1: Self-love is selfish

Self-love may have a lot to do with the “self,” but when practiced correctly, it’s anything but selfish. Think about self-love this way: If you can’t fill yourself up with love first, how will you be able to give any to others? When you love yourself, it positively affects your thoughts, feelings, and actions — meaning it also positively affects other people.

Surely, you can’t go around trying to be loved by everyone in hopes that it will make you love yourself. There’s nothing wrong with making yourself a priority while still being compassionate toward others. In fact, here are five ways self-love inspires selfless love.

“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.” — Karl Lagerfeld

Myth #2: Self-love means settling for less

Before you reach a state of unconditional self-love, you have to practice self-acceptance, and for many, this translates to giving up on working toward being better. It’s easy to assume that those who love themselves just as they are don’t care about improving themselves.

Believe it or not, you don't have to give up one for the other. You can still love yourself now and work on self-improvement. Self-love is about recognizing that life is a journey, and that it’s worth embracing every stage of yourself, regardless of where you are right now.

“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” — Brené Brown

Myth #3: Self-love means being happy with yourself all the time

Because self-love is obviously a positive state, some people assume that once you start loving yourself, you literally have to be loving yourself constantly, no matter what. It’s as if self-love is supposed to be the big cure for self-judgment and self-criticism and all sorts of other negative behaviors. And if it isn't, then people think they're doing it wrong.

The truth is that self-love is messy and imperfect. It means falling back into old ways of thinking even after years of practicing self-love. There is no requirement to be content with yourself at all times — only that you can be aware of how you feel, whatever you’re feeling, and that you are willing to be self-compassionate during those darker times.

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely” — C.G. Jung

Self-love is more than what it seems on the surface. Just know that nobody can tell you exactly how to love yourself, because you are the only one who can discover that for yourself.


5 Ways Self-Love Inspires Selfless Love

5 Ways Self-Love Inspires Selfless Love

Self-love is often misunderstood by many as selfishness in disguise. Those who have been taught to always put the needs and wants of others before their own needs and wants have a hard time seeing how loving themselves more could benefit anyone else other than of course themselves.

In reality, self-love sets the foundation for what we need to wholeheartedly connect with others. It puts us in touch with the reality of how we are all the same and yet all so different at the very same time, and that we are all worth of love.

Confused? That’s okay! Here are a few good ways to start thinking about self-love and how it actually inspires you to be a more caring, selfless person toward others.

Awareness vs. Ego

Self-love comes from a place of awareness rather than ego.

Here’s the difference between awareness and ego: Awareness involves complete acceptance of both the good and bad about ourselves. This is often uncomfortable to do. Ego, on the other hand, makes love conditional by only accepting the stuff we like about ourselves.

Awareness comes from quieting the mind, which is why yoga can be of such great help to develop greater self-love. The ego, however, relies entirely on the mind and reveals itself in the form of that little voice that never shuts up, because it’s constantly calculating what it needs to do to inflate the perceived “good” qualities about ourselves while seeking to suppress, criticize, or fix the perceived “bad” qualities.

Self-Responsibility

With greater self-love comes a greater capacity to take responsibility for how you influence others.

You can tell a narcissist apart from someone who truly loves themselves by what they do when they influence other people around them. Someone who has more narcissistic qualities might disregard other people’s negative reactions by either acting out, or considering it to be not their problem.

Self-loving people, however, know that they are responsible for regulating their actions and behaviors around others out of respect and empathy toward them. Even if they don’t like how another person reacts in response to what they themselves have said or done, a self-loving person will send them love and kindness anyway with complete awareness and acceptance of their differences.

Universal Compassion

Self-love requires self-compassion, which teaches you how to be more compassionate toward others too.

Self-compassion involves treating ourselves like our own best friend. To be compassionate toward ourselves, we have to be aware and accepting of all our emotions.

The more we become aware and accepting of all our emotions, the better we get at becoming aware and accepting of other people’s emotions as well. This is called emotional intelligence, and you can improve it in your very own yoga practice.

More Love to Give

When you truly love yourself, everyone you interact with benefits from the best version of you.

When you are happiest, and when you are embodying your most authentic self, the world gets to enjoy your gifts. Without filling yourself up first with enough love, you won’t have much to give.

This is why the types of people with more of a skewed view of selflessness are always running around trying to help everyone while they’re also always stressed out, anxious, drained, or even suffering from a number of physical ailments. They’re not aware of the love they need to give to themselves so that they can be their best versions first so they have more to share with everyone.

Embracing (Not Comparing) Our Differences

Loving your own uniqueness makes you appreciative of how unique everybody is.

People who are more concerned with their self-importance are blinded by their egos and are not really practicing true self-love. Self-love is an open-minded and fully accepting state not just of yourself, but of everyone else too.

When you realize how unique you are and that your uniqueness makes it impossible to compare yourself to any other person, you start to become more aware of just how much every other person you interact with is unique as well.

When you think about self-love in this kind of way, it makes a lot of sense in benefiting everyone else too. Sign up for our free self-love ebook (by scrolling up and entering your email address) for useful hints on how to strengthen your relationship with yourself.