Turning 30 in the middle of a pandemic has been life-changing in many ways.
However, the number one thing that it’s taught me is self-reflection.
There’s just something about leaving your twenties behind that makes you assess where you are in life compared to where you were before.
(Maybe it’s because a lot of us have more time on our hands? Or perhaps it’s because our lives have become simpler?
After all, we’re staying at home as much as possible and advised not to do a lot of the things we usually would.)
Regardless, I want to reveal a secret to you: I only started to love myself at the end of my twenties.
And it’s been a revelation.
Why? Well, if you learn to love yourself first, these 7 things happen.
First things first, let’s just get one thing straight. At the beginning of my twenties, I was in turmoil.
I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted from life. And I always doubted myself — whatever I did.
It was an agonising time. I mean, I was essentially at war with myself on a daily basis.
Fast forward to the present day and I finally have confidence. I don’t question every single decision I make, whether it’s which jobs to apply for or what I should be having to eat that night.
I’ve learned to trust the universe that whatever happens will happen because it’s meant to. And, most importantly, I’ve learned to trust myself.
Because I no longer doubt myself and my decisions, I have the strength to pursue my goals.
I can do anything I want to do if I put my mind to it. The only person getting in my way of achieving great things is myself.
Likewise, I now know my worth.
Whether this is in romantic relationships or when it comes to setting rates for business projects, I know I deserve good things.
That’s why I won’t settle for anything mediocre. I want an extraordinary life — and I’ve realised that it’s mine for the taking.
Speaking of romantic relationships, you might find that your love life will be better than ever if you start to learn to love yourself first — like mine is.
(I’ve been engaged since Christmas Day 2019!)
This is because you no longer put all your focus and attention on them. The focus is on making yourself an even more amazing human being than you already are!
You also realise real quick that love is a bonus. You don’t need a partner to make you happy. And you can live a perfectly fulfilled life without one.
How come? Well, you won’t mind whether things work out or not because you’re already so content with yourself.
Alongside your romantic relationships, when you learn to love yourself first, you appreciate your friends and family members more than ever.
The time spent with them will be even more glorious because you won’t be secretly going over what you could have said or done better in your head afterwards.
(Me circa 2014. Damn you, anxiety!)
You’ll also learn that social media isn’t real and that comparisonitis only ends in sorrow — so there’s no point in doing it.
In fact, I now limit the amount of time I spend on social media as much as possible. If I don’t, it’s detrimental to my personal growth and happiness.
Full disclosure: I know some people really don’t like being alone, but I always didn’t mind my own company.
That said, I actively time with myself now as opposed to how I only used to spend time alone because everyone else in my life was busy.
I’ve taken some pressure off myself. I’ve realised that I don’t have to socialise if I don’t want to.
In fact, it’s needed every once in a while. It makes me take some time out to rest, look after myself and reflect on my life.
Lastly, if you truly love yourself, you’ll look forward to what’s to come.
You won’t be looking back at good times you had. You’ll appreciate them, for sure, but you won’t yearn for them.
Similarly, you’ll be able to stay present in the moment without worrying about the future.
It took a while for me, but I finally realised that I’m the author of my own life story. And I can write the next chapter however I see fit.
Learning to love yourself doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes years for it to take hold.
And do you know what? Even when you think you’ve cracked it, you’ll still have days where you doubt yourself or someone says something that doesn’t make you feel confident in your own skin.
It’s completely normal.
That said, it’s worth kickstarting the process.
After all, loving yourself means that you’ll be so much happier with yourself — and life in general.
When did you learn to love yourself first? If you don’t, comment below and tell me why.