Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It (2020) is an uplifting and enlightening account of one man’s journey to reclaim his life and destiny. It shares hard-won wisdom and unwavering commitment to self-love through a powerful combination of personal stories, practical advice, and an accessible meditation practice.
Introduction: Learn how to love yourself – and keep loving yourself.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Learn how to love yourself – and keep loving yourself.
- Subconscious love can create magic.
- Self-forgiveness leads to joy.
- Make a vow – and take charge of your life.
- Create a ritual to establish a powerful new habit.
- Love eliminates doubt and opens doors.
- About the author
- Table of Contents
Throughout our lives, we experience love in many forms. We love our parents, children, spouses, and pets. We love our friends, and sometimes we love strangers. But how often do we love ourselves? Too often, when looking inward, we only focus on our flaws. We compare ourselves to others and feel like we’re lacking. We put ourselves last – and then wonder why we’re not happy.
But what if we could learn to love ourselves as if our lives depended on it? What if we could treat ourselves with the same respect and compassion that we show to those we love?
Well, we can. It starts with a choice – a choice to forgive yourself for your mistakes, and to see yourself in a new light. Because when you learn to love yourself, everything else falls into place.
If you think that sounds difficult, you’re right. It takes effort. Kamal Ravikant, the author of Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, understands the struggle because he has lived it himself. Nevertheless, his message is clear: life-changing shifts are possible if you commit.
This summary will teach you how to begin loving yourself – and give you the tools to persevere. It only takes a few special daily exercises to see that self-love is as natural as brushing your teeth. So let’s get started!
Subconscious love can create magic.
People typically view self-love as a selfish act. We are taught from a very young age that it’s more important to put the needs of others before our own. But what if we looked at this from another angle? What if we assumed self-love to be an act of self-care?
Love is one of the most powerful emotions we can experience. It can make us feel happy, content, and safe. So why don’t we love ourselves? For starters, it’s because of years of negative thinking – thoughts that keep repeating themselves until we become trapped in a mental loop.
Our thoughts are constantly changing, like rivers flowing through the landscape of our lives. And, like water, our thoughts can carve deep grooves over time. So if we want to change our lives, we must first change the shape of our thoughts. We can achieve this by flooding our “guilt groove” with rivers of self-love and oceans of compassion. Only then can we see the world – and ourselves – in a new light.
Self-love is an act of defiance against all of the negative messages surrounding us. It declares, “I am enough and worthy of love.” When we love ourselves, we make it easier for others to love us. We lay the groundwork for future happiness and fulfillment.
The first step to self-love is creating a new mental loop. When you repeat, “I love myself,” you start to see that you deserve happiness. As you do so, light enters your life. The more light you have in your life, the more you’ll realize how valuable you are. Be kind to yourself, and be patient as you go; you’ll notice your mind becoming more peaceful, clear, and connected to who you truly are. Keep repeating, “I love myself” until self-love becomes a single-minded obsession.
The mind and the body will respond automatically – they have no choice. It’s a beautiful cycle: The more you love yourself, the more your thoughts will reflect that praise. The more love you give to yourself, the more you’ll have to give.
Easier said than done, though, right? Don’t worry. In the next few sections, we’ll explore how to love yourself, step by step. First, you need to build a strong foundation. This means forgiving yourself for any past mistakes.
Self-forgiveness leads to joy.
Everyone makes mistakes – it’s part of being human. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful is what they do next. Do they wallow in self-pity? Or do they forgive themselves, learn from their mistakes, and move on? The latter is a far more productive approach.
A big part of loving yourself is accepting yourself for who you are. You can move on by learning to forgive yourself for your mistakes. So stop comparing yourself to others, and start appreciating your unique talents and qualities. Stop berating yourself for perceived failures, and start praising yourself for your accomplishments. When you let go of the guilt and shame that comes with your mistakes, you open yourselves up to happiness. If you’re in this downward spiral, it’s time to forgive – and free yourself from the past.
But how exactly? First, find somewhere quiet, where you can be alone without interruption; you need to give your full attention to the task at hand. Next, write down everything you hold against yourself on a piece of paper. Get it all out, no holds barred. Let go of any pent-up emotions that are weighing you down.
After you’ve unburdened your soul, take a step back and look at your mistakes with fresh eyes. Recognize your mistakes for what they are: mistakes. They don’t define you. Then, when you’re ready, release them. Burn the paper or rip it into tiny pieces, and toss it away. You’ll feel lighter and more liberated, eager to start afresh. You’re now ready to commit to long-term change.
Make a vow – and take charge of your life.
When someone says they’re making a vow, they’re not messing around. They’re willing to put their money where their mouth is and see whatever it is they’ve promised through to the end. You see, making a vow is like branding your soul – it’s a powerful statement that shows you’re serious about taking ownership of your journey and making positive changes. Whether it’s working out three times a week or never smoking again, each commitment can improve your life. And when you keep those commitments, your self-confidence soars.
Once you’ve forgiven yourself and are ready to take a step toward change, make a vow to love yourself. Then make it again and again. Take a pen and paper, and write down this solemn oath to love yourself unconditionally. Read your pledge aloud several times, and let the words sink in.
Keep the paper where you can see it, or take a snapshot with your phone. Then, say your vows aloud daily – ideally while taking ten deep breaths. Doing so will help you get into a rhythm of self-love. As you practice, you’ll notice that you naturally shift from a place of self-judgment to one of self-love.
If you can forgive, you’re well on your way to becoming your best self. If you make a vow, there is no turning back. Now is the time to clear your mind and declutter your thoughts. So let’s move on to the next section: meditation.
Create a ritual to establish a powerful new habit.
You don’t think about tying your shoelaces or brushing your teeth. You just do it. That’s the power of rituals: they create habits. Over time, those habits become part of who you are – of your identity.
No matter how much we might wish it weren’t the case, our old patterns have a powerful hold on us. They’re like Velcro, clinging to us even when we try to tear them off. The good news is that with a little focus and effort, we can replace bad habits with new, healthier rituals.
When it comes to self-love, there are no hard and fast rules. The key is to figure out what works for you and stick to it. However, meditation and making time for a regular self-love ritual can be life-changing. The more you practice, the more it’ll become second nature and enable you to develop a new, healthier identity.
Try starting your day with a 7-minute meditation. Find a piece of music that puts you in a good mood, and close your eyes. With each inhale, imagine light entering from above – and really feel it. Then, release with the exhale. Continue doing this until the music ends. That’s all there is to it.
Well, nearly. You’ve almost got the hang of this life-changing magic. The last step is to show gratitude. After all, if we’re experiencing such positive changes, the least we can do is show some appreciation!
A great way to do this is by saying “I love myself” with an in-breath and “Thank you” with an out-breath. This will spread positive energy throughout your body and allow you to appreciate all the good in your life. Thanking yourself opens up even more magical possibilities. It’s like saying to the universe, “I’m open and receptive to all the good that’s coming my way.”
Make meditation a daily habit by listening to the same piece of music every morning. Allow it to be an anchor around which your life revolves. If possible, avoid listening to the same music outside of meditation to keep it unique and sacred to the practice.
As time passes, it’s easy to become complacent and let rituals slide. To keep going, track your progress and hold yourself accountable. At the end of each day, check off the parts of the self-love ritual you’ve completed – and don’t forget to show gratitude toward your commitment.
Love eliminates doubt and opens doors.
The eyes, as the old saying goes, are the window to the soul. Do you see a beautiful and powerful person, or one who is flawed and undeserving? Everybody has days when they don’t feel good about themselves. It can be tough to see yourself objectively. But it only takes a few minutes in front of the mirror to help you see things differently.
It sounds strange, but it’s tried and true tactic. So go stand in front of a mirror, and look directly into your eyes. Notice your own beauty and power.
Now stare at yourself in the mirror for five minutes and mentally say your affirmation, “I love myself.” It may feel awkward or embarrassing at first, but stick with it. Look right into your eyes – don’t let your gaze wander away or go straight through the mirror. After a few repetitions, add emotion by saying the phrase aloud; you can whisper if it feels like too much. For these five minutes, the goal is to focus on loving yourself physically and viscerally. And if feelings of self-doubt arise, let them go and refocus on the task at hand.
Love shrinks and disappears when we criticize ourselves. But when we love ourselves, we grow stronger. So stand in front of a mirror today and say, “I love myself.” If you do this daily, your negative thoughts will give way to love.
It sounds simple, and it is – but it’s also very powerful. When you say those words aloud with your gaze, you anchor your love to your physical self. You’re telling yourself that no matter what, you’re still worthy of love and respect. As a result, you’ll begin to see yourself in a more positive light and create a new mental loop.
Now take ten deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Repeat the mantra: “I love myself.” Picture yourself surrounded by people who love and support you. Now, repeat it again, with even more feeling: “I love myself.” Good. Now do it ten more times.
You might be thinking, “This is ridiculous. I don’t need to love myself. I know that I’m great just as I am.” But do it anyway! Focus builds momentum. When we dwell on our fears and doubts, they grow. When we concentrate on our capacity to love and be loved, we open up a whole new world of possibilities.
So, spend a few minutes looking into your eyes in the mirror every day. It doesn’t have to be a big production. Just ten deep breaths and a simple affirmation can make all the difference.
Learning to love yourself is a worthwhile journey. Take each step one at a time – with love, not fear. Speak to yourself as you would to a loved one, and this new habit will become second nature.
Remember that your most important relationship in life is with yourself. You are a magical being who deserves everything good. Life loves you. It’s time to forgive yourself, make your vow, and perform your ritual.
Kamal Ravikant is the author of the bestselling books Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It and Live Your Truth, among others. He has been a US Army Infantry soldier, has held the hands of dying patients, climbed in the Himalayas, spoken to audiences around the globe, walked 550 miles across Spain, meditated with Tibetan monks, and worked with some of the best people in Silicon Valley. But more than anything, he is passionate about writing books that improve lives.
Motivation, Inspiration, Mindfulness, Happiness, Affirmations, Self-Esteem, Self Help, Psychology, Personal Development, Philosophy, Spirituality, Mental Health, Death and Grief
Table of Contents
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