Self-acceptance is the key to a happier life. It’s only by embracing the real you that you can realise your full potential and achieve the extraordinary. This Valentine’s Day, follow the seven steps below to banish self-doubt and fall back in love with yourself so you can lead a more successful life.

1. Understand what makes you tick

Look in the mirror and give yourself an honest appraisal, the good, the bad and the ugly. Take the time to identify your strengths and areas for improvement. The secret to falling in love with yourself again is understanding what really makes you tick so you can feel comfortable in your own skin.

2. Embrace your imperfections

None of us are the finished article. Don’t be tempted to strive for perfection. Remind yourself that good is good enough and try not to judge yourself more harshly than you judge others.

3. Banish your inner gremlin

Silence that negative voice inside your head that tells you why you can’t achieve something.  Remind yourself, instead, of what’s great about you, your work and your relationships with your friends, family and colleagues. Follow Brene Brown’s advice and “talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”

4. Change the way you think about failure

When things go wrong, think like an optimist by taking the learnings and moving on. Don’t be tempted to blame yourself or take things personally.  Keep a sense of perspective, pick yourself up and dust yourself down.

5. Be kind to yourself

Thriving as an individual means looking after yourself. Carve out some “me-time” whether it’s going for a run, reading a book or meeting a friend for a drink. Practise mindfulness to help you be truly present in the moment so you can appreciate all that your life has to offer.

 6. Don’t try and please people at all costs

People-pleasers often mistakenly believe they need to “fake it until they make it” when in fact, the secret to success is having the confidence to connect with other people in a genuine way. By being true to yourself and not just talking the talk, you will build trust and rapport and learn to love the real you.

 7. Try something new

Move out of your comfort zone and say “yes” to new opportunities that come your way. Whether it’s taking up tennis, learning another language or accepting a new role at work, by having the courage to try something new, you will boost your self-esteem and prove to yourself what you are truly capable of.

By following these steps this Valentine’s Day, you will kickstart your journey to greatness as you learn to love yourself again.