I have yet to meet a person who would not want to be loved and respected by others. Unfortunately, I’ve met too many people who can easily find a thousand and one reasons not to love themselves.

What is wrong with us? We tend to spend too much time punishing ourselves for making mistakes and not following the definition of perfection set up by mainstream media. We simply fail to realize that there is no such thing as perfection, as each of us is perfect in our own way. You must love yourself the way you are. 

Ever since I was a little girl, my mom told me that if I did not love myself, no one would ever love me, as others tend to gravitate towards confident people. If you don't love yourself, it is very likely that you are not self-confident and miss out on a lot of great opportunities in life. Therefore, I decided to write how I fell in love with myslef.

Step 1: Accept yourself the way you are.

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Each and everyone of us is different. Therefore, it makes no sense to say that one person is better than the other, because all people walking this Earth are different. You might try to reach “perfection”, which simply does not exist, so love every small detail about yourself. You are perfect the way you are.

Step 2: Allow yourself to make mistake.

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We are all human and being a human means learning from your bad experiences and making mistakes. It is completely normal to do something that you might think of as "stupid" or "embarrassing" as everyone does that from time to time. Think of your mistakes as of a tool that can help you learn and grow, and not as something that drags you down and makes you less perfect.

Step 3: You are talented.

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Don't even try to argue with me on this one. You are talented. Even if you can't think of your talent off the top of your head, you surely have one. 

You might be talented in something that can easily be spotted by others, like sports for instance. However, you might be exceptionally gifted in something that might not be noticeable at the first sight, like connecting with people, giving amazing advice or just being a wonderful friend. Love yourself for all the talents you have, because you are special in so many ways.

Step 4: It's just not your fault.

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We are all programmed to think that if something bad happens, it is automatically our fault. The great amount of self-guilt slowly destroys our self-esteem and deteriorates our self-confidence. However, we must stop blaming ourselves for every "misfortune" that happens, because many situations in life are just out of our control.

Step 5: Realize that you matter.

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You have a huge impact on the people around you, and your small actions can make a big difference. Remember the time when you cheered someone up and made them feel better with a simple sentence and a kind smile? You might not even realize how important your simple gestures of kindness can be to other people. You truly matter, and this is another reason to love yourself.

Love yourself for all your strengths and weaknesses and always respect yourself even if you mess up badly. Nobody is perfect, but you are amazing the way you are. Your imperfections can often help you see the world in different colours and allow you to become a stronger person. 

As someone who used to badly stutter in childhood, I know that it might often be difficult to accept yourself the way you are. However, the moment you accept your imperfections, they stop bothering you and you will be able to fall deeply in love with yourself. I battled stuttering and started to speak fluently by accepting and loving myself for all my strengths and weaknesses.  If you do the same thing, the sun will start shining in brighter colours.