You might not appreciate who you are right now, but you can learn how to like yourself. Maybe it can even turn into love.

Not liking who you are can interfere with your well-being. It’s a common occurrence that affects many of us, but you deserve to learn how to like yourself.

Not liking yourself can cause a lack of self-confidence. It might interfere with your ability to take risks and enjoy life. You might not like the life you lead if you don’t appreciate who you are.

Learning to like yourself can increase your self-confidence and help you reach your goals. It can help you live a fulfilling life with meaningful relationships. You can make some beneficial changes in your life to help you learn to like yourself and love your life.

Experts indicate that it’s not uncommon for people to dislike themselves. Sometimes people can’t like themselves because of negative thought patterns and feelings. They may feel a sense of shame about who they are, making it extremely challenging to believe anything good about themselves.

Sometimes, people don’t like themselves because they didn’t come from a supportive or nurturing household as a child. They may have low self-esteem and lack compassion for themselves as a result. This lack of self-confidence can lead to people-pleasing for validation and porous boundaries.

You might not feel love for yourself right now, but you can take steps to get there. Taking steps to find a more neutral place where you don’t dislike yourself but don’t quite love yourself is a good starting point.

Continuing your journey will eventually lead to loving who you are. Experts indicate that some of these steps include:

1. Take care of yourself

Research indicates that regular exercise and a healthy diet can improve overall health and well-being. Consider setting a goal of 12-3 hours of moderate physical activity every week. This can look like going on walks, practicing yoga, joining a workout class, going for a bike ride, etc.

While exercising and eating healthy is essential for your well-being, you also must feel good about who you are on the outside. This could mean taking care of your appearance and dressing in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

2. Identify Your Strengths

You might focus on your weaknesses and shortcomings when you don’t like yourself. Shifting your thought process and thinking about your strengths can make you feel better and release some of the negativity.

If this doesn’t come naturally to you, you might want to try journaling about the things you like about yourself and what you are good at so you have something positive to look back on when you’re feeling low. You can also call up a friend and ask them what they think your strengths are.

3. Express gratitude for who you are

Practicing gratitude by embracing your gifts, abilities, and life itself can help you learn to appreciate yourself. It allows you to focus on the positive aspects of your life rather than thinking of things you wish were different.

You can think of all the small ways you take care of yourself each day that you may take for granted. Thank yourself for moving your body today, feeding yourself, going to work, watering your plants, making your bed, etc.

You do more than you realize, and it’s worth taking a second to thank yourself for everything you do. You can also take a moment to thank the environment and the people who give meaning to your life.

4. Avoid comparing yourself to others

Comparing yourself to others often leads to not liking yourself. Comparing yourself can diminish your self-confidence and cause you to question your worth. You’ll likely notice an improvement in how you feel about yourself if you work to stop the comparisons.

When you do notice you’re comparing yourself, try to remind yourself that other people’s wins are not your losses, and there’s room for everyone to thrive in their lives.

5. Limit Social Media Exposure

If you compare yourself to people on social media, you can remember that you’re comparing yourself to their highlight reel. Many photos get edited to look perfect, and comparing yourself is unfair. Consider limiting your social media exposure if it becomes an issue in your life.

Even taking one day out of the week to distance yourself from social media and focus on the real world can help ground you and remind you that what goes on on social media ultimately doesn’t matter.

6. Focus on positive thinking

A negative thought process can lead to not liking yourself. You can switch your thought process and focus on positive thinking to help you find neutral territory. Eventually, positive thinking can lead to loving yourself, but take it one step at a time.

You can try replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, promoting an optimistic outlook on life. It can increase self-confidence and help you feel better about who you are.

Studies show that rumination, or analyzing and focusing on trauma or a past event, can lead to self-critical thoughts. Switching your mindset and focusing on positive thinking in these instances is essential, or it could contribute to depression.

This change in thinking may feel forced at first, but that’s okay. Stick with focusing on the positive, and positive thinking will eventually begin happening naturally.

7. Be kind to others

Being kind to others can help you like yourself better. Acts of kindness can improve your self-confidence because you’ll feel like a kind and generous person. Without acts of kindness toward others, your self-image might plummet, leading to not liking yourself much.

8. Prepare for upcoming events

Taking the time to prepare for upcoming events can help you like yourself. Studying for tests and setting aside the time you need to prepare can help you trust yourself. You’re more likely to feel good about yourself if you know that you did what was necessary to achieve your goals.

Tests aren’t the only thing you can prepare for to feel better about yourself. You can also plan for upcoming meetings, dinner parties, or events. Consider taking the time to think about any experiences coming up in your life so you can do what you can to prepare.

9. Surround yourself with positive people

Spending time with critical people who tear you down and make you feel bad about yourself isn’t beneficial. It can interfere with how you view yourself. Letting go of anyone who makes you feel unworthy can help you learn to like yourself.

Consider taking the time to develop a friend group that supports you and your dreams. They might offer constructive criticism because they want to see you do well. You can focus on the people who want what’s best for you and spend less time with negative people.

10. Set goals that are small and achievable

Achieving goals will make you feel better about yourself, helping you learn to like who you are. It can also help set you up for future success as you know you can achieve your goals.

You can set small goals that are easily achievable while still challenging yourself. It can help you recognize your strengths and love who you are.

Each time you reach your goal, increase what you wish to achieve next. Progressing in increments is powerful and helps keep you motivated while teaching you to like yourself.

11. Practice self-compassion

Practicing self-compassion can prove beneficial to your well-being and thought process. You can experience more positivity in life, contributing to liking yourself more. Experts explain that self-compassion involves being kind to yourself, practicing mindfulness, and focusing on humanity.

12. Try therapy

Therapy can help you recognize negative thinking habits that are inaccurate or harmful. It can also help you develop coping methods to alleviate stress and focus on the positive parts of your life. A therapist can help you recognize specific issues in your life that contribute to your disliking yourself.

It’s common for people to dislike themselves, but you can work toward a more positive lifestyle. You likely won’t quickly go from disliking yourself to loving who you are, but you can find neutral territory. Once you find neutral ground, you can keep building on it to learn to like yourself.

These tips can help you lead a better lifestyle. You deserve self-love and can achieve it by focusing on self-compassion and positive thinking.

You can start with one or two tips before moving on to other ideas. Or, you can implement it all at once. Either way, you can notice a positive change in your life with these helpful steps.