This post is extracted from my best-selling book ‘ Winning The Game Of Life”

I am sure that there are many people in your life whom you love and care for deeply. These are the special people in your life. It may be your wife, husband, lover, sibling, children or parents.

But let me ask you a question that you may have not thought about much “Do you love yourself just as much?” “Do you love that person you see in the mirror every day?” It may seem like a strange question but an extremely important one. How you feel about yourself determines how you treat yourself and, ultimately, it impacts on your level of success and happiness.

It may surprise you to know that not everybody loves himself or herself. In fact, there are many people in life who don’t like who they are, wishing they were somebody else. A handful of people go so far as to detest themselves.

So, give this question some serious thought. How do you feel about yourself? How much do you love yourself?

Learning to Love Yourself…Is the Greatest Love of All

Many people think that they must first become successful before they can start loving themselves and their life. In fact, the opposite is true. You must first love yourself before you can become successful. People who love and feel good abut themselves have what is called a high level of self-esteem and self-worth. This gives them the confidence and drive to excel in life.

The Power of Loving Yourself

So, how does loving yourself equate with success in life? Think about this. When you really love somebody, what do you usually want for that person? You would want the very best for him or her, right?

The same thing goes when you love yourself. When you love yourself, you will want the very best for yourself. You would set high standards for yourself, believing that you deserve only the best in life. You would demand the best: the best career, the best relationships and the best lifestyle. You would not allow yourself to accept mediocrity.

At the same time, when you love yourself, you will be willing to work hard and make sacrifices. People who love themselves will take good care of their bodies and their mind. They will not allow themselves to stay ignorant, to waste time or to harm their bodies with drugs or alcohol. They are willing to sacrifice short-term pleasures for future benefits. They will constantly focus on learning, upgrading their skills, watching their diet and keeping themselves in good shape.

The Consequence Of Not Loving Yourself

On the contrary, what are the consequences of not loving yourself? Well, it can destroy any chance you have for success and happiness.

When you don’t like yourself, you tend to put yourself down constantly and set low personal expectations. You will think that success is reserved for only ‘other people’. If you don’t think you deserve the great things life has to offer, you will never dare to go for it.

When you don’t love yourself, you will criticize and put yourself down, just as you constantly find fault with others you don’t like. You will not be willing to make sacrifices for your self-benefit, instead taking actions without consideration about the consequences to that person you see in the mirror. Haven’t you seen some people who don’t seem to take care of themselves? They overeat till they gain excessive weight, they don’t bother to dress appropriately and may get themselves into a financial mess by making irresponsible financial decisions or gambling recklessly.

Accept Yourself for Who You Are

No matter how you feel about yourself right now, you can learn to love yourself much more and develop the self-esteem and confidence you need to achieve an extraordinary quality of life.

The most important thing is to ‘Accept Yourself for Who You Are’. Before you can love yourself, you have to first accept the unique person that you are. Accept the way you look and your physical body. Accept your unique personality and character.

Accept your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Don’t wish you were perfect. Nobody is perfect.

Aim instead for excellence, which is doing the very best with what God has given you. If you have made mistakes in the past, know that we all make mistakes. Instead of hating yourself for it, forgive yourself and learn from those mistakes to become better today.

Do you know that out of the billions of snowflakes that fall on earth, no two are ever identical? Similarly, out of the billions of people born, nobody will ever be exactly like the way you are (not even twins are exactly alike). You are specially designed by God with a unique set of interests, strengths and weaknesses to be successful in your very own way.

So start loving yourself today.