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One of the most important steps in finding authenticity and self-love that I have found through constantly working and looking at myself from a distance and a close lens is developing a habit of self-compassion.

Self-compassion allows you to accept yourself for who you are, and to be more forgiving when you make mistakes or experience hardships. Here are five ways to practice self-compassion and find your true, authentic self:

1. Take time for self-reflection: Reflection gives us the opportunity to examine our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. Spend time each day reflecting on yourself—what do you like about yourself? What do you wish was different? How can you work towards becoming your ideal version of yourself? Reflecting on these questions will help guide your process of authenticity.

2. Practice self love: Self-love means showing yourself kindness and respect, just like you would to others. Make sure to take time out of your day for activities that bring you joy, such as reading a book, going for a walk in nature, or listening to music.

3. Challenge negative thoughts: We all have negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves at times. Acknowledge these thoughts and then challenge them by asking yourself why you think this way and how it affects your life. This will help you reframe the thought in a more positive light.

4. Speak kindly to yourself: When making mistakes or feeling down on yourself, be gentle with the words you use towards yourself. Talk to yourself with kindness and compassion and practice self-forgiveness.

5. Take care of your physical and mental well-being: Taking care of your health is essential for authenticity as it provides a strong foundation to build from. Make sure to exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, nourish your body with healthy foods, and take time for yourself to relax and unwind.

I have found that by implementing these five practices in your life, it is a great starting point so that you can develop self-compassion and learn to love yourself for who you are—leading to authenticity and happiness – It is a daily work in progress as we as humans are constantly stimulated and influenced by the environments that we may be in. I’ve learned over the years — to pause and revaluate things more often.

Until next time – love and light,

Your friend, ZAK

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