Self-esteem and self-acceptance can encompass everything. When low, it can mean we feel bad about ourselves, from our achievements, to our looks, to our behaviour, to our deeds. It can make the most easiest actions seem like a mission, it can mean that we don’t give ourselves enough credit when doing something challenging and a negative view of ourselves can consume us.

Some would say that loving yourself has become increasingly superficial and loving yourself is all about the physical you (although that is an important part of it). When focusing on our self-esteem, it is important not to just concentrate on the way we look. As a society we are very image focused – even in the Muslim community with the rise of fashion or gym bloggers. Whilst it is important to be physically healthy, it is just as, if not more, important to be mentally and emotionally healthy, and to be our best selves on the inside rather than the outside. On the other hand, some would say that loving and accepting yourself means that you take on an unapologetic, and resistance stance of who you are but also being willing to grow.

Which is why it is important to establish that it’s not arrogant to love and accept yourself and to think positively about yourself. Rather, it is optimistic and can ensure we are taking proper care of ourselves. It means both being content with yourself but also continually trying to be the best version of yourself. Having self-confidence means to know your weak points as well as your strong points and to be confident in your ability to improve on your weaknesses – growth, rather than change.

Here are 5, very simple ways to accept and love yourself:

  1. It’s important not to speak negatively about yourself – you’ll only increase the belief of what you’re saying. Try to give yourself positive affirmations – as weird as it might sound, it can work, there’s something about saying good things out loud that will resonate more with yourself than simply saying it in your head.
  2. Make sure you have good people around you. Ones who will praise you but also guide you to follow a better path; ones who will “encourage the good and forbid the evil” (Quran 3:104). Companions that also accept you for who you really are not the person that you put on display.
  3. Do not to dwell on your past mistakes. Yes, it is important to seek repentance from Allah, but constantly thinking about past difficulties and failures can stop feelings of achievement and will distract ourselves from getting better. Everyone makes mistakes, and some mistakes are huge and can be life-changing, but don’t let those mistakes define you. You are more than your mistakes. Read this post for an extra boost: (featured article link)
  4. Remember to always ask Allah (swt) for help to grow and become a better person as it is only with His permission will our circumstances change. Never forget that it is He who has willed for you to be going through the tests you are facing and He accepts and loves you despite your wrongdoings, and despite you not loving yourself!
  5. Don’t forget that loving yourself, will in turn increase your love for Allah. You are the closest person to yourself – and Allah is even closer than that.

Each of us is created with a purpose, and we should try and remember this when we are beating ourselves up and refuse ourselves the help we really need. We should know that we each of us have a special role to play in this world and in this thing we call life, and each have a purpose in life which will make a difference. Whether that is to ourselves, our friends, or the ummah in some way.

“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?”
~ Quran 23:115

What would you add to the list of how to love and accept yourself?

Jamilla Hekmoun

Jamilla Hekmoun

Jamilla is a final year undergraduate studying Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and Vice President of the Islamic Society at the University of Exeter. After being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, she is keen on improving the understanding of mental health conditions within Muslim communities. Follow her on Twitter @JamillaTweets.

2 Comments

  • Shabbir says:

    Salam

    i just read your article and mashallah it was a delight to read “Allah is closer to you, than you”.

    it iss very true about having a positive outlook on life. :)

  • Meanha says:

    Wa’slaam, JazakAllah Khair for your support, do keep reading!

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