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Life can be hard. So hard that sometimes it’s difficult to see why you need to love yourself and feel comfortable with who you are. Weight loss coaches and diet programs tell you, ‘you are too fat’, your eating habit is responsible for shortening your lifespan’, while beauty companies say, ‘you can improve your looks to look a million bucks,’ even when you have no source of income. Even society says, ‘you can’t get a job without a degree’, you are not a success without fame,’ or ‘you are not entirely accomplished when you are still single at 40.’ Thereby putting pressure on you to become a different version of yourself. What many people fail to realize is that life is a process. With each stage comes new challenges to overcome. It’s not wrong to have an ideal body weight, to work towards or have an elevated look for specific reasons, but you must know who you are and what your values are in life in other to become your definition of success.

 Steps to Loving Yourself While Striving For Self Actualization:

    1. Avoid comparison:

Nothing wears at your confidence like self-doubt or fears, borne out of comparing yourself to people who you believe are in your class. We all run different races in life, so stay on your lane ‘biko’. Don’t let social media define you or make you feel the need to be at a certain level, before you are considered a success. No need to do ‘pepper dem gang’. What you should be comparing instead, are your personal goals at each stage of your life. Your motive for achieving them should be deeply yours, not because you feel you are in competition with anyone.

    2. Do what makes you happy:

Give yourself a treat. If working out gives you a burst of energy you need, or allows you wear that dress you love, then, by all means, do it. If you are a plus size, don’t try to squeeze into a size ten outfit. Wear your actual size while working on becoming a size 10. Eat healthily and celebrate your 1 or 2 kg loss. If you fall off the wagon, get back up. If you love watching films/TV series, have a structured lifestyle that will allow you do so without becoming lazy. Bottom line, create time for those things that make you happy.

    3. Create a support system:

There are people in your life that understand you and what you want for yourself. They’ll push you till you activate your latent potential and turn it into the real deal. You need to keep those people close and spend time with them. The more they challenge you, the sooner you can get off your bum and get to work on your dreams, or, take on those things that weigh you down. They know when to praise you, when to tell you the hard truths and when to assist you. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and what you are capable of, and soon you’ll see yourself pushing to be all you can be.

    4. Positive affirmations work:

You can only go as far as you believe you can. So speak to yourself words of life and encouragement and have faith in the words you speak. Don’t have a defeatist mindset; that negates your brain’s ability to find solutions to the problems around you. Find your sense of self-worth and completion from within, rather than be tied to external factors you can’t control. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. So think on things that are of good report, praiseworthy, mentally uplifting, and soon your thoughts will become your actions, and you’ll form the right habits to get you to your goals. You cannot give what you don’t have, and ‘boy, this world needs a lot of love!’ There is only ‘one you’ with your DNA sequencing in the whole world, and you only have one life to live. Make the most of it by loving yourself.

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This article was first published on 6th July 2017


Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at You can reach her at

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