If you don't love and respect yourself, it's a sure bet that no one else will. Fortunately, with dedication and plenty of soul-searching, you can learn how to love yourself. Once you do this, you will see that love attracts love. By becoming a more positive, content individual, you will naturally attract others to you and develop more satisfying relationships. Here are some tips on how to accomplish this:

Stop Criticizing Yourself. Sometimes, you can be your own worst enemy in terms of tearing down your own self-esteem. No one knows your flaws like you do, and it can be very tempting to criticize yourself at every turn. However, you must try to be gentle with yourself. There is a difference between criticizing, which is purely negative, and correcting, which has a positive goal of setting yourself on the right track. Let's imagine that you don't love yourself because you think you are lazy. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating or engaging in other lazy behavior, you will probably be tempted to think, "I'm the worst! I'm a lazy loser who never accomplishes anything." Nip this critical thought in the bud and replace it with a gentle correction like, "I will not give in to laziness! I have the strength and intelligence to be productive and get things done right now."

Forgive Yourself. This can be difficult. Sometimes it seems like what you've done in the past is unforgivable, and will mark you forever as a person unworthy of love. However, you must let go of the past. What's past is past, and you cannot change it. What you can change is the decisions you make and the actions you take in the present moment. Don't base your actions on a false concept of yourself as an unforgivable miscreant. Instead, understand that you can make positive changes in your life. No matter what you've done in the past, you can express goodness, humility, and selflessness now. Often, helping others is a great way to help yourself with forgiveness issues. When you help others, you see their love and appreciation for you. You realize that you are capable of producing good in your life, and you then begin to let go of the bad you've done in the past.

Look Inward, Not Outward. Because human beings are social animals, we tend to place a lot of importance on how others think of us. However, when it comes to loving yourself, you need to recognize that the source of your feeling of self-worth is within your own heart, not in the thoughts and opinions of others. Stop seeking approval for your life choices from other people. As long as you are looking for another's approval, you are placing responsibility for your happiness outside of yourself. Ultimately, you must follow your own path and take charge of your own happiness.

By following these three steps, you will be well on your way towards a happier, more fulfilled life in which you can love and respect yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Jill Magso is a member of the Silva Team and contributes to spreading enlightened ideas and sharing teachings about meditation practices. The Silva Method encompasses a variety of powerful exercises that take you deep into Alpha and Theta levels of the mind so that you can work within your subconscious as well as your conscious mind.