Many of us are unhappy with ourselves to some degree, however for some the unhappiness may turn to self loathing which affects every aspect of ones' life. Self loathing limits our ability to better ourselves and our lives. It allows us to settle for less than what we deserve and it results in bad choices and bad relationships. Some of us may not even be aware that we are in self loathing mode, but if we are honest with ourselves we will be able to see that our lives are a direct reflection of what we believe we deserve. By reevaluating the way we live our lives and the people we choose to love, we can begin to understand the choices we have made and why.

The first step in self love is visual. Look in the mirror and see yourself as you really are. See the uniqueness of every feature and embrace them. See your perceived imperfections as a perfect picture of exactly what you were meant to be.

The second step is to make a list of your 10 most positive qualities, kindness, generosity etc. Look at each positive quality and scenarios where you exhibited these qualities. Visualize the gifts that you have given to others and know that they matter and that you matter.

The third step is to write a short letter to yourself and start with I value you because... Do not censor your thoughts but write freely. When you have finished put the letter in a spot where you can read it whenever you need a reminder.

The fourth step is to take inventory of the toxins in your life, whether it is your home environment, your work environment or the people in your life. Take a look at the things or people that are preventing you from achieving total self love. Anything or anyone that consistently produces bad feelings is taking away from your love of self which in essence is the very thing that can truly bring you happiness.

Without total self love we settle for less than we deserve. Without total self love we discount our value and in turn we look for validation from others and when we don't receive it, we tell ourselves we are unworthy.

Through total self love we invite positive elements into our life and we discard those that are not positive. Through total self love we tell ourselves and the world that we deserve the very best and that we refuse to settle for anything less.

Author's Bio: 

I'm a freelance writer from New York City with a background in sociology and mental health. I also have a strong interest in politics and publish articles regularly on our political climate. My primary interest continues to be in the area of self help and self realization. I firmly believe that in constant introspection we have the ability to discover new ways to find happiness and peace.