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Issue #6: You Should Just Love Yourself

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Hey Legend


“You should just love yourself” – said every unhelpful person ever.


Love myself? WTF is ‘self-love’ anyway?


Self-love is a popular pseudo-spiritual whipping boy of an ointment for everything that ails you.


But let’s be frank, it can be as fluffy as a unicorn’s fart.


It’s easy to scroll through Instagram and double-tap those feel-good images and pithy words. But when it comes to understanding and truly embodying self-love, well, that’s a different ball game. One that many guys struggle to grasp.


Understandably. That’s how the popular idea of ‘self-love’ often feels – elusive, vague, inaccessible.


Telling someone to love themselves, especially a dude, is largely empty.


It’s not enough to tell someone to “just love yourself” when they’re not even sure what that means.


Imagine telling someone who’s struggling with obesity to just “exercise and eat better” or advising a person battling depression to “just cheer up.” It’s empty, right? That’s how self-love often feels – unhelpful.


Introducing a vital word swap: Self-Respect


Instead of getting lost in the self-love haze, I propose a word swap: self-respect.


That’s something infinitely more pragmatic and actionable. Self-respect boils down to valuing yourself, believing in your inherent worth, feeling valued for your contributions, and treating yourself with kindness.


It’s about setting a standard for yourself without being overly critical or unrealistic.


So, what does self-respect look like in practice?


It can look like many things in many situations. But let’s start simple.


Start here every day, “How can I show respect towards myself today?” 


Then, let’s step it out for some daily practices:


1. Look after your health: To respect yourself starts with your physical, mental and emotional health


2. Sleep like your life depends on it: It does. Respecting sleep is one of the biggest pillars of respecting yourself and your life and your ability to show up and perform in it


3. Eat some goddamn vegetables**: Fuel yourself with goodness.


4. Move your body daily: Exercise for so many reasons, but #1 – your body is the vessel through which you experience the world.


But it goes beyond that. It’s about, connecting with humans, laughing, experiencing joy, soaking in the sunshine, embracing nature, listening and moving to music, and feeling the warmth of human touch.


One of the ultimate acts of self-respect is persistently applying yourself to something meaningful over time.


These are all acts of self-respect, aka. self-love.


Self-love often occupies the same space as intangible spirituality. But in pragmatic reality, it’s deeply rooted in self-respect and kindness.


What it is not, is letting yourself off the hook or slipping into complacency. That would be disrespectful.


Self-respect sets a standard for yourself but also brings in patience, grace, and a long-term perspective.


It also moves the focus from needing the outside world to respect you to creating that foundation yourself.


On daddy-daughter time. Communication happens in many formats
Honour and Acceptance


To truly practice self-respect, I’ll stress the importance of two key aspects: honouring yourself and self-acceptance.


We often rush through life, constantly striving for the next thing, never fully being present. It’s easy to focus on the next challenge, the next goal, the next achievement without pausing to honour what you’ve been through.


It also invites you to honour your achievements, your struggles, the adversity you have been through.


And, ultimately, to honour yourself.


Many men have a tendency to be their own harshest critics, setting impossibly high expectations and beating themselves up when they fall short.


But self-respect invites us to have patience and grace with ourselves. It allows for the long-term view and promotes persistence.


It’s also about accepting yourself as you are. Acknowledging that you are always becoming more AND you are worthy of love, belonging, and happiness, my friend.


Lastly, I’ll bang the often-beaten drum: the importance of having the support of other men in your life who can remind you of your worth and encourage you to step up.


To surround yourself with respectful people who respect you enough to be honest with you.


The Takeaway


I believe the reframing of self-love to self-respect makes the concept more relatable and actionable.


And remember, self-respect starts at home. SELF-respect – it’s yours.


It’s hard for the world to respect a man who doesn’t respect himself.


Start with yourself and the world will respond. And those who don’t, well you’ll have the self-respect to let it slide off your back.


So, as you go about your day, think about how you can show respect to yourself.


Because… you can’t punish yourself in a better place.


And hating yourself won’t lead to self-love, but self-respect sure will.


Until next time, Legend, keep respecting yourself and letting the world adjust to you.