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Home / Relationships

Confessions: I am successful yet I don’t love myself, what’s wrong with me?

Relationships
By Chris Hart | 5 months ago | 3 min read

 How important is self-love? (Photo: Courtesy)

Hi Chris,

My life has been pretty good. There has been plenty of ups and quite a few downs, but on the whole, I would say I have been happy.

However, over a drink the other day, a friend challenged me. She said that I cannot really be happy, because I do not love myself. That set me thinking.

Is it possible to be successful, or to have good relationships, no matter how you feel about yourself? And if my friend is right, what should I be doing differently?

Loving Myself

Chris says,

Hi Loving Myself!

What really seems to matter is this. Unless you totally accept the way you are, you can never really be happy.

Wealthy people are often miserable, for example, so just being rich is not enough. Having a loving partner is not enough either. Because there are people who love their partners and are loved in return, but who are not truly comfortable in their own skin. So it is possible to love and be loved, without being happy.

Think of the celebrities who seemed to have it all, and then committed suicide or destroyed their lives with drugs, overwhelmed by their bad feelings about themselves.

Often, that starts in childhood. If your parents were encouraging, affectionate and firm, you will have grown up confident and self-assured. But perhaps your parents were self-absorbed and endlessly negative? Then you may end up feeling inadequate, and never really believe that you will be good enough to succeed.

It is worth fixing those feelings because once you do you will feel a lot happier. It will also improve your relationships because you won’t feel you have to hide or fake anything, anymore. And you will be emotionally closer and more open with your partner.

But if you do not love yourself already, how can you start now? After all, you cannot re-live your childhood. But you can decide to accept everything about yourself, just the way you are. Work on improving yourself, of course, but first, be comfortable with who you are.

Think about the other people in your life, and also accept their flaws. Like the father, you have always resented, or the ex you dream of ‘murdering’.

Stop dwelling on past events. Accept whatever happened, and start to think about it all in a different way. Because making mistakes does not make you a failure. It also does not mean that you are never going to succeed. So stop being so self-critical when things go wrong.

Instead, cut yourself some slack, and remember the times you got things right. Gradually, you will come to realise that you are just as good as everyone else. Different certainly. But in those differences lie the seeds of what will make you successful. And happy.

All the best,

Chris

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