May 23

Over 50: How I Learned to Love Who I Am



When I was a kid and young adult, I had no confidence.

I thought I was too skinny, ugly, not smart nor interesting.

It took me a long time to feel like I was pretty awesome and to love myself. I went through therapy, self development programs, reading many books, plus a lot of pushing myself to do grow out of my comfort zone and to get to a place where I now love myself.

Interestingly, now I also enjoy my own company.

At this point in our lives we should feel good about who we are and love ourselves flaws and all. It’s not always an easy journey to self-love, but it’s one that’s worth taking. There are so many things that can hold us back from truly valuing ourselves and acknowledging our worth, but it’s important to push past those barriers and make self-love a priority.

Therapy and Self-Development Programs

Initially, I didn’t have a strong inclination towards therapy.

I was brought up in a home where therapy was something only for people who were a little crazy. No one went to a therapist. Gradually, I started gaining knowledge about the functioning of therapy and its efficacy in resolving people’s problems. This expanded my perspective and opened me up to the idea of seeking professional help.

Through therapy, I was able to unpack some of the negative self-talk that had been holding me back for years. I learned how to recognize when I was engaging in harmful thoughts or behaviors, and how to redirect myself toward a more positive mindset.

Self-development programs were also helpful for me because they provided a framework for growth and challenged me to think differently about myself and my potential. These programs gave me new tools to work with and introduced me to people who were on similar journeys of self-discovery.


Reading has always been a way for me to escape, but it also turned out to be a valuable tool in learning how to love myself. There are countless books out there on the topic of self-love, from memoirs by people who have lived through similar struggles, to practical guides on building healthy habits and mindsets.

Some books that really helped me were “The Road Less Travelled”, by M. Scott Peck and “Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins”. Both of these books helped me see that self-love isn’t just about thinking positive thoughts or reciting affirmations — it’s about taking action toward creating the life you want.

I wholeheartedly recommend that you dedicate time regularly to reading and learning from other peoples’ journeys.

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and stay there.

But growth and self-love often require us to step outside of our comfort zones. For me, this meant trying new things that scared me, like public speaking and solo travel.

It also meant letting go of relationships that were holding me back or making me feel small. It’s not always easy to make these changes, but taking even small steps outside of your comfort zone can build confidence and help you see yourself in a new light.

Self-love can seem like an elusive concept, especially if you’ve spent years feeling unworthy or not good enough. But I’ve learned that it’s not something that just happens overnight or with a quick fix. It’s a lifelong journey of self-discovery, growth, and self-acceptance. And it starts with taking small steps to prioritize your wellbeing and happiness.

“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”

-Stephen Covey

The journey to self-love can be challenging and uncomfortable at times, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. When you start to truly love and accept yourself, you’ll be amazed at how much more fulfilling your life can be.

Remember You’re Not Alone

So, if you’re struggling with self-love, know that you’re not alone. And remember that it’s never too late to start prioritizing yourself and your happiness. Whether it’s through reading books, trying new things, or simply taking time for self-care, know that every step you take towards self-love is a step towards a happier and more fulfilled life.  It’s okay to let go.

One of the biggest struggles I faced on my journey to self-love was letting go of relationships that no longer served me. It wasn’t easy, especially when some of these relationships had been a constant in my life for years. However, I knew that in order to truly love and accept myself, I had to surround myself with people who uplifted me and made me feel good about who I was.

My ex-husband was verbally abusive and always putting me down.

Divorcing him was one of the best things I ever did, but it wasn’t easy.

It can be difficult to let go of people, whether they’re friends or family. But sometimes, we have to make tough decisions for our own wellbeing. And when we do, we make room for new and more positive relationships in our lives.

Comfort zones are meant to be stretched.

As someone who used to be incredibly self-conscious and lacked confidence, stepping outside of my comfort zone was one of the scariest things I could do. But once I started taking small steps outside of what felt safe and familiar, I realized that the more I experimented with new experiences and challenges, the more confident I became.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone can mean different things for different people. For me, it was as simple as trying a new job or going out and meeting new people. For others, it could mean skydiving or traveling solo. Whatever it may be for you, know that even small steps outside of your comfort zone can make a big difference in building confidence and self-love.

Self-love is not selfish

“Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.”

– Unknown

Sometimes we may feel guilty for prioritizing ourselves over others.

We may feel like we’re being selfish or neglecting the needs of those around us. But the truth is, self-love is not selfish. In fact, it’s necessary for our own personal growth and wellbeing.

When we prioritize our own needs and happiness, we become better equipped to show up for others in our lives. We become less reliant on external validation or the approval of others and more confident in who we are.

If you’re on your own journey to self-love, know that it’s a process. It’s not something that just happens overnight. But with small steps towards prioritizing our own wellbeing and happiness, we can make progress towards accepting and loving ourselves.

And if you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone.

Everyone has their own struggles and insecurities, but with time and effort, we can overcome them. So keep taking those small steps outside of your comfort zone, let go of what no longer serves you, and always remember that self-love is not selfish. It’s necessary for our own personal growth and wellbeing.

Why Self-Love is Important

When we prioritize ourselves, we are setting boundaries and showing ourselves respect. This also helps us to establish healthy relationships with others. When we accept and love ourselves for who we are, we attract people who appreciate and respect us as well.

Self-love is also important for our mental health. When we neglect ourselves, we may start to feel overwhelmed, stressed, or even depressed. Prioritizing our own needs helps us recharge and refocus on what’s truly important in our lives.

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

-Eleanor Brown

Ways to Practice Self-Love

Here are some practical and easy ways to start showing yourself some love:

  1. Get enough sleep, exercise, and eat a balanced diet

It may seem like a no-brainer, but getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating a balanced diet are essential in taking care of your physical health. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night and make sure you’re fueling your body with nutrients that give you sustainable energy throughout the day. And don’t forget to incorporate some form of exercise into your routine – even a short walk can do wonders!

  1. Learn to Say No

We all have those moments where we overcommit ourselves because we don’t want to disappoint anyone. But it’s important to remember that saying no is okay – especially when it comes to our own mental health and wellbeing. Set boundaries on what is manageable for you and don’t feel guilty about prioritizing your own needs.

  1. Practice Gratitude

Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for in your life. It could be something as simple as having a roof over your head or being surrounded by supportive friends and family. Practicing gratitude helps shift our focus towards the positive aspects of our lives rather than dwelling on the negative.

  1. Treat Yourself

Every now and then, take time out of your busy schedule to treat yourself – whether it’s buying your favorite snack or indulging in a spa day. Treating yourself can be a great way to recharge your batteries and feel good about yourself.

  1. Surround Yourself with Positivity

Surrounding yourself with positivity doesn’t just mean cutting out toxic people from your life (although that’s definitely a good place to start!). It also means actively seeking out people who uplift you and engage in activities that bring you joy.

In conclusion, self-love is not selfish – it’s necessary for our own personal growth and wellbeing.

By taking small steps towards prioritizing ourselves and our needs, we’re ultimately setting ourselves up for a happier and healthier life.

So go ahead, show yourself some love today!

About the author 

Maria Pesin

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