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Nothing in your world will work easily or to your ultimate satisfaction until you love yourself first. Loving yourself first leads to happiness-not a selfish self -serving happiness but an, “”can do anything” way of being. These five tips will start you down the path to loving yourself first.

1. Recognize that loving yourself first is not selfish. It is mandatory. You cannot give what you do not have, right? You cannot love another until you know what love is. You only know what love is when you live it.

2. To really love yourself first you must know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is okay and acceptable to love yourself at all-never mind loving yourself first. In Western society, people (especially women) are socialized to put themselves last, to disregard their own needs. No wonder women suffer with so much stress. You can only give so much before you burn out. You are not here in this lifetime to serve everyone else and let them ignore you as a person with needs of your own.

3. You do not need to put aside your own belief and blindly accept what others tell you. You get to think for yourself. Regardless of the situation or topic of discussion, you say what you think. Your opinion matters. Do not allow anyone else to put ideas into your head until you examine those ideas and decide if they will work for you. Everyone holds their own opinion about everything. Yours is just as valid as what others think.

4. Realize that you run your head. You create your reality with your thoughts, See yourself doing what you love to do-and actually do those activities. Make the time and effort to do what you love and actually do it. Do something for you every day. The dishes can wait. So can the untidy house. If those matter to someone in your household then let them know they are free to clean and tidy up as they please.

5. You are in charge of your self image. You can change the parts of you that you do not like. Once you change your self image, then you can change your self esteem and raise your self confidence too.

Loving yourself first is easy when you remind yourself of that truth and take action steps that prove it every day.