I know it may sound selfish, but throughout my years of coaching people and writing on spirituality, I’ve learned that perhaps the single most important key to success in every area of life (career, relationships, health, you name it) is self-love.What do I mean by self-love?Not arrogance.Not ego.Not an outward bravado.But a calm, inner confidence and belief in one’s own goodness and deservingness.People that fundamentally have the ability to love and accept themselves unconditionally tend to find peace, happiness, and success with much more ease than people that have low self-esteem and a negative self view.

And even those of us that are generally content with ourselves could use some lessons in self-appreciation now and again.Here are my top 5 tips to begin loving yourself more:

1.Appreciate some aspect of your body.Our bodies can easily become a focus of insecurity or negativity.No matter you look like or think you look like, there is something about your body that is working really well.Your heart and lungs are working in perfect harmony to keep the oxygen flowing to trillions of cells 24/7- without you even having to think twice about it.Your brain and fingers can work at lightning speed so you can type out hundreds of words with little effort.Do you know how many trillions of brain cells have to be firing in a coordinated fashion for this to even be possible?Trust me, your body is profoundly complex, wise, and intuitive.It’s easy take it for granted, or worse, feel negative towards your body for the 10 extra pounds it’s holding on to or your less than perfect nose.The more you focus and appreciate on all the amazing things your body does for you every single day, the more positive energy and well-being you will begin drawing towards yourself.

2.Think back to a happy moment in your life from the past month, and DWELL on it.It could be something as simple as a nice meal you ate, a good conversation, or a funny movie.Spend time focusing on what you liked about that moment or event and how it made you feel.Focusing on that positive feeling in the present moment activates and adds momentum to that energy and shifts your point of attraction.As little as 60 seconds of pure, positive thought and emotion is enough the set a new energy pattern into motion.

3.Think of the last thing that someone did that annoyed you.Now forgive that person and release that event.For example, I was standing in a long line at the grocery store last week, and a woman brazenly cut in front of me without so much as an apologetic glance in my direction.I mean, the least she could do was seem a little sheepish about cutting!I was tempted to say something, and then didn’t because I didn’t want a confrontation.But then I was silently irritated by the whole episode for the next 15 minutes.Chronic annoyance and irritation, on subjects big or small, is toxic to the cells of our body and depletes us of energy.So do something loving for yourself (not to condone the other person’s action, but to improve your own well-being), and consciously just let it go.Laugh about it and move on.Do this for as many of the small things in your life as you can every day, and eventually, you’ll stop attracting annoying things (because you’re no longer putting out an energy of annoyance and irritation to the universe).On a deeper level, forgiving someone else is an act of self-love.

4.Do something fun for at least 15 minutes every day.You owe it to yourself to make time (even if it’s a small amount of time) to do something you really love could be starting that blog that you’ve always want to write but never had time.Or catching up on a great TV show you’ve missed.Or calling a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with.It doesn’t matter what it is, but the point is, it has to be something that’s not on your “tasks to complete” list but is on your “this would be fun if I had the time to get around to it” list.Honor the joy, fun, enthusiasm, and passion inside you.It comes so easily to kids, but as adults, some people actually feel guilty having fun and doing something for themselves on a daily basis.

5.Spread the love.Some people are so out of the practice or vibration of being able to love and appreciate themselves, that the whole concept seems foreign or inauthentic.In that case, dwell on a thought of love towards something external – maybe a cute baby you saw, a pet, or a family member.Whatever or whomever you feel a genuine appreciation for.Get in the habit of learning what love and appreciation FEELS like, even if it’s not towards yourself at first.Eventually your energy vibration will raise to the frequency of that appreciation, and it will seem more natural to direct that same positive energy toward yourself.