The Benefits of Self-Love: How to Love Yourself First

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

You’ve probably heard about the importance of self-love. But what are the benefits of self-love? And how can you achieve it?

Self-love is the regard for one’s own well-being and happiness, and it’s a cornerstone of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. With The Secret, you can learn the benefits of self-love and how it helps you control your circumstances and your life.

How to Practice Self-Love

You must love yourself before you can bring good things to your life. If you don’t love yourself or your life, you will be stuck at a negative baseline. Nothing good can come into an unloved life. Once you learn to find self-love, you will be ready to harness the power of the Law of Attraction to its fullest benefit. This is one of the main benefits of self-love.

Showing love to everyone and everything is essential, but the most important feeling of love you can have is for yourself. You can’t feel good when you don’t love you.

Remember the Golden Rule to treat others the way you want to be treated? Self-love is the reverse of that. When you don’t treat yourself the way you want others to treat you, you are creating a powerful message: “I am not worthy. I am not deserving.”

  • If you don’t love yourself, it means you think you aren’t lovable or worthy of love. 
  • If you don’t treat yourself well, it means you think you don’t deserve to be treated well. 

You will broadcast those messages to the world, and more people, situations, or events will be attracted to emulate those thoughts. One of the benefits of self-love is that you’ll attract more confident, self-loving people.

When you feel bad about yourself, you’ve boxed yourself in with negativity. All the good waiting for you in the world is trapped on the outside.

  • Criticizing yourself or thinking bad thoughts about your life places you on a frequency with one option: attract more people, situations, and events that will continue to prove you right. 
  • If all you see is the bad, those are the only pictures the Law of Attraction can reflect back. 
  • If you can think of what you like about yourself and begin to focus on those things, the Law of Attraction will pick up that signal. You will be provided ways to see or find more good things to like about yourself. 

By beginning to treat yourself better and loving who you are, you are shifting to a frequency of feeling worthy of love. The Law of Attraction will move the entire universe to create experiences where you are loved and respected.

To truly love yourself, you must focus on the powerful presence inside you. Then you can harness the benefits of self-love.

  • Find a quiet place. Sit and relax. Put your focus on the life presence inside of you. (If this doesn’t make much sense, just try it for a few minutes. Focus on the good being within you.)
  • As you focus on your power within, you will begin to understand it, see it, and feel it more. 
  • Anytime you feel your critical eye scanning yourself or life, switch your thoughts to the power you hold within. Its perfection will become undeniable.
  • Imperfections in your life will disappear because they cannot exist when you feel the perfection of your power within. 

Barriers to Self-Love

People have three common barriers to learning how to practice self-love: their past, self-doubt, and sacrificing for other people. One of the benefits of loving yourself is you can work to overcome these things. Learning about these parts of you can also reiterate why you need to love yourself first.

The Past

To be able to find self-love, you must let go of regret, shame, and doubt. Holding those feelings inside taints your thoughts. If you can find a way to move past those feelings, you can find a way to be happy with who you are now.

Everyone has experienced difficult things in their pasts. There is a tendency to ruminate on the hard times in the present, focusing on hurt or disappointments. But when you bring that focus into your thoughts, you are inviting similar difficult circumstances to your life now. 

  • If you harbor a grudge or resentment for someone in your past, those negative feelings are only hurting you. 
  • The target of those feelings may not think the same things you do about the situation. They may be living a happy life, thinking happy thoughts.
  • Remember, your negativity about others can only bring forth negativity in your life.

One of the benefits of self-love is that you can change your future and leave the past behind by making the choice to either look at the past with love or not think of it at all.

  • No matter what has happened in the past, if you change your thoughts today, you have the ability to change your life experiences today. The benefits of self-love can always be accessible.
  • All of the power you need to change your life already exists as your thoughts. 
  • For example, if your sister was given opportunities you weren’t, instead of holding on to resentment, leave it in the past.
    • If you think, “If only I’d been given that chance, I could have a good life,” the Law of Attraction picks up that negative signal. It can’t change the past. It can only create what you believe in the present. If you believe your life is worse because of the lack in the past, it will continue to be.
  • Change your thoughts surrounding the resentment to “That action is not part of my life. I am beyond the implications of that hurt. I am living a life free of that resentment. I feel lucky to have the life I have.”
  • By taking away the power of the past, you gain power in your present.

The blackboard of your life is open to whatever you want to put on it. Remove anything from the past that does not serve you. Show gratitude for the past and the path it provided to get you here now. You can have a new beginning whenever you want. Your slate can always be clean, and you’re ready to discover the benefits of loving yourself.

Self-Doubt

Similarly, when you learn how to practice self-love, you may question yourself. You may have doubts about who you are or what you’re capable of, the universe’s only option is to agree and comply with your thoughts. 

  • When you say, “I’m not smart,” what picture are you creating? What message are you sending the universe? 
  • When you say, “I am smart,” you are summoning the creation of this idea with all your power because you have declared it fact. 

When a thought of doubt comes into your mind, the Law of Attraction will summon one doubtful thought after another. One of the benefits of loving yourself is that you can learn to banish self-doubt.

  • As soon as a thought of doubt enters your mind, release it.
  • Replace it with, “I have the power to create my life, and I know I am receiving what I want now.” Then really feel it.
  • Byrne suggests speaking this affirmation often: “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.”

Emotional Sacrifice

Emotional sacrifice also hinders your pathway to self-love. Sacrificing your emotional security leaves you vulnerable to negative thoughts, and shows why you need to love yourself first.

You have likely been told at one point or another to put others before yourself. The consequence of that action is a signal of being undeserving of what we give to others.

  • When you sacrifice emotionally for others, you think you’re being a good person. But you’re really saying something like, “there’s not enough to go around, so I’ll have to give up part of myself.”
  • The action is lovely, to be sure, but the more you put yourself last, the more situations the universe will bring to you to continue doing so.
  • If you deplete your life of goodness and love, you have nothing to offer yourself… or anyone else. 

Each of us has a responsibility to summon our own desires from the universe. You must secure love for yourself first. Make yourself whole first, come from a place of plenty, and then help others.

Find and nurture your joy first and act in a way that makes you feel happy. When you do, that joy and happiness will spill out from you and inspire and affect those around you. This is why you need to love yourself first.

  • You won’t have to think about sacrificing to bring joy to others. Your joy will infect them and cause them to seek their own joy.
  • (Shortform note: The book isn’t saying to be selfish. Helping others is good, but don’t do it at heavy expense to your own life, or else you’re telling the universe you will do without love. For example, if you and a friend are mourning the passing of another friend, you might use all your emotional power to comfort that friend. But what about you? Your friend will be filled with your love, and you will be left to suffer. If you send the signal out that you are willing to emotionally suffer, you will continue to be placed in circumstances with the same effect.)

There are numerous benefits of self-love. In addition to your overall health and well being, you learn how to practice self-love to help control your life and help harness your energy toward the positive.

The Benefits of Self-Love: How to Love Yourself First

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Rhonda Byrne's "The Secret" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Secret summary:

  • How to visualize the future you want to increase your success
  • Why visualization works, according to the laws of the universe
  • Why thinking about negative things sabotages your success

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *