Throughout my time as a therapist, I’ve heard time and time again the dreaded sentiment “I’m unloveable” or other ideas that are along those lines. Whether they’ve said it explicitly or indirectly, most of my cases at one point or another have circled to the being unlovable topic. As ridiculous of a notion as it is, it’s relatively common for people to deem themselves unlovable.
Why do Some Many of us Feel this Way?
There’s no straightforward answer to why people think they’re unloveable. However, my theory based on personal and professional experiences is that people deem themselves unloveable for two reasons: one being, they’ve received consistent feedback from others they perceive as unfavorable, belittling, and downright hurtful. The other reason is that they don’t love themselves. And they look for other people to affirm their self-worth, and when that doesn’t happen, it confirms the negative beliefs they have about themselves. This is the ultimate catch-22. Because when you’re looking for people to show you your worth and they don’t, it leads you to think you didn’t have any in the first place. And that is what makes self-love so damn hard.
A lack of self-love is a symptom of low self-awareness. When your unaware of who you are at your core, what you want out of life, and why you want it, you become easily influenced. Not easy influenced in the literal sense (although that may be true also) but as in allowing people or circumstances to dictate your overall self-perception. Your emotions are basically like water; they move in what ever direction they’re pushed.
People who don’t love themselves didn’t start that way. It typically starts at a young age. In youth, we are impressionable. Why? Because we don’t have an adequate frame of reference to compare current experiences with prior ones. So, we tend to take our earliest encounters, whether good or bad, at face value. That person who thinks they’re ugly was most likely called that by someone early in life before they got a chance to hear otherwise. That person who thinks they’re stupid probably was made to feel that way early on. These unfortunate, albeit highly subjective encounters, set the basis for the way we see ourselves.
Most people, that early in life, don’t have the emotional intelligence, resilience, or self-awareness to separate the cruelty and ignorance of others from reality; the way others see us, begins to shape the way we see ourselves.
Self-Love is Always an Inside Job.
If you’re waiting on other people to affirm your worth, you’re in trouble. Self-love cannot be accomplished trough external circumstances. No amount of validation, no career accomplishments, and no amount of success can bring you to self-love.
You can’t improve your way to self-love. Self-love comes from accepting who you are by validating your own God-given worth as a human being. Trying to succeed your way into self-love doesn’t work. We’ve all seen super-successful people who still don’t love themselves. Successes are superficial. You need to accept that you are worthy of love, just for being YOU, as you are, flaws and all. When you attach success to how you feel about yourself, you subconsciously tie external circumstances to how you value yourself. Essentially you say that my accomplishments or the validation I get from others make me worthy. Which is untrue, you were worthy before the accomplishments. You were worthy before someone told you were. You’re worthy, just because you are.
Self-love is not supposed to be conditional, it’s set in stone. No one can take it from you, and no one can give it to you; it’s a birthright. No matter what your past or present circumstances are you deserve a first class future, and your thoughts should reflect that thought.
Starting today, decide to love yourself. Accept the FACT that you are magnificent. You’re divine, one of the rarest masterpieces to ever exist. There hasn’t ever been a YOU, and there will ever be another YOU. And remember this: most of the things you want out of life start internally, and manifest outwardly. If you want more love from others, it starts with self-love. When you love yourself, you give better love. The love you give others is honest, with no conditions, which facilitates you getting the same in return.