Why is it that we are so hard on ourselves? We are often quick to forgive others yet we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. The truth is we can be our worst enemy. Instead, try to love yourself!

Self-love is not about thinking you look good in your new outfit or feeling good about yourself because you just got promoted. Self-love celebrates and supports your growth through good times and bad.

One of the most important things contributing to your overall happiness is meaningful and loving relationships. And you can’t have solid relationships without love. You have probably heard the old saying, “we cannot love others if we cannot love ourselves.” Loving yourself as you are is necessary in order to give your love to others.

“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.” – Buddha

Still need convincing? Here are 21 reasons to love yourself exactly as you are.

When you love yourself …

1. You are on a constant quest to learn new things. You develop and use your mind to continue your personal growth.

2. You are brave enough to ask for and give help freely. Your compassion towards people fuels your spirit and touches many lives.

3. You can forgive, forget and move on. You have learned your lessons and use those lessons to stay in the present.

4. You are passionate about the things you do. You move throughout your day with purpose and positive energy.

5. You are flexible and open to change. You are confident in your choices and realize change is necessary to keep living life to its fullest.

6. You are optimistic. You know your approach to problem-solving will give you the strength to move through life’s challenges.

7. You are playful and spontaneous. You make joy a priority in your life and share that joy with everyone around you.

8. You are proud of the work you do. You bring the best of your mind and spirit to every project.

9. You are forward-thinking but present living. You have a vision for your future so strong you can feel it but you know you will only get there with the actions you take today.

10. You are always looking for the silver lining. You know there is something positive that comes from every negative, you just have to keep looking until you find it.

11. You are strong and courageous and always stay on the side of right. You stand up for what you believe in and lend your voice to those less fortunate.

12. You are ready for challenges. You know life isn’t perfect, and there are plenty of tests along the way. Without a doubt, you are confident that you can handle it and that it will serve you in the end.

13. You are respectful and courteous to other people and yourself. You realize there is a story behind every person and honor the people that cross your path.

14. You are accepting of other people and their challenges. You realize that judging other people only casts a shadow on yourself.

15. You are willing to ask for forgiveness. You realize you aren’t perfect and that mistakes happen, and you are willing to accept responsibility for your part.

16. You are open to love. When you love yourself, you open the doors for love to come into your life freely and without reservation.

17. You are more creative. Nothing fuels the creative spirit more than loving and accepting yourself. It gives you the freedom to nurture a wide variety of talents that might not have surfaced otherwise.

18. You don’t gossip. You realize the destructive force behind gossiping. Not only do you refuse to engage in it, but you also stand up for the people being gossiped about in an attempt to change behaviors.

19. You are engaged in your community and in causes that are important to you. You know that one of the best ways to serve yourself is to serve others.

20. You attack your problems head-on. You avoid blaming others and explaining things away. Instead, you focus on correcting your course.

21. You are motivated, and you persevere. Furthermore, you believe without a doubt your next success is just around the corner, and that is enough to keep you going until you get there.

don't seek approval or feel ashamed
You are a better person when you accept who you are and the journey you are on.

Unconditional acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t change or improve, it is just the realization that you are a work in progress. And you love yourself no matter what.

Loving yourself as you are has both physical and emotional benefits too. According to Psychology Today, “Self-love is important to living well. It influences who you pick for a mate, the image you project at work, and how you cope with the problems in your life. It is so important to your welfare that it is important you know how to bring more of it into your life.”