Most people are familiar with the saying that if you can't love yourself, you won't love anyone else. I think it is very important to focus on self-love in periods of our lives' because most people lose sight of how valuable they are. In western society people have become so focused on being the best at what they do and working competitively. This can be advantageous in society, but individuals are now so used to comparing themselves to others that they forget about their uniqueness and personal qualities.
I too have been guilty of comparing myself to others. I have learned that doing so only makes me feel more discouraged and unmotivated. When one does this, their invasive thoughts, which are usually negative, can be potentially damaging to one's self-esteem. I may be able to help you if you have also experienced negative thoughts or people in your life that keep you from believing in yourself. Positive affirmations are what have gotten me through times where I was discouraged and unable to have confidence. For example, my positive affirmations are the sticky notes with writing on them in my bed room. I remember being very overwhelmed with stress from school and priorities in my day to day life. I began to believe I could not succeed in the things that are most important to me. I realized that that type of thinking was not going to benefit any aspect of my life so I went to the store and bought multicolored sticky notes. On these sticky notes I have wrote downs things like "today is a good day" or "you're doing great." As silly as that sounds, you may be surprised that it actually helped my situation. I began to realize that all the awful things I thought about myself weren't true and I began to love myself again. The more I appreciated myself, the more I succeeded in school, work, and relationships. You should try this method of positive affirmations on sticky notes or another type of medium.
Another way to use positive affirmation to achieve self-love is blocking out negative thinking. Instead of thinking something bad about yourself, replace those thoughts with something good about yourself. An example would be thinking that you are not good enough for a job's position, but then reassuring yourself that you are and that you fit the qualifications. People need to remind themselves they are worth more than what they think because in our society most people give up on their goals and dreams because they don't believe they won't ever achieve them. We live in a society where so many people are afraid to fail, leading them to never growing or learning to improve. Once people have this mindset, they trick themselves into believing they have yet to achieve anything because they aren't good enough, they're not worth it, or they don't deserve it. From then on comes negative thinking and a tarnished self-esteem.
National award-winning slam poet Caira Lee talks about this in TEDx Talks. She mentions that if you do not act on your self esteem you do not learn to love yourself. She also says if we treated ourselves the way we treat our friends, we would be treating ourselves better. I find that to be very true because in our culture loving yourself is not spoken about because it can be misconstrued as cocky or conceited. It is fine to love yourself because in the end you are the only person that you need to care about in this world. With self-love comes many positive outcomes in life and I hope more people remind themselves to love themselves.