As a part of my series about “Learning To Finally Love Yourself” I had the pleasure to interview Dautov Bahtiyar, who is a successful businessman, online entrepreneur, affiliate marketer, SEO specialist, SMM professional, psychologist, philosopher, blogger, writer, perpetual traveler, fitness enthusiast, bodybuilder, and the founder of Bahtiyar World (http://bahtiyar-world.com) a popular blog on sex, philosophy, and psychology.
Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.
For me, it was extremely difficult to choose a certain profession since I was always interested in too many things at the same time. What is more, I was always good in different fields. Actually, this is why I don’t have a certain profession. I am a businessman, writer, blogger, psychologist, motivator, and many things. It is like having 1000 TV channels, and therefore, being unable to select a single one to watch.
I always knew that I was predestined for something truly global and creative. Blogging on my popular blog and writing books on different topics give me a high level of freedom. This is what I exactly love in this field. I think that ability to create, imagine and dream globally brought me to my career path.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
For four years, I have been writing very thorough and deep articles on self-consciousness, self-understanding, and relationships between men and women. I publish them on my blog. My writing is always based on my personal life experience, observations, and knowledge.
I am currently working on a book that will teach couples how to strengthen their relationship and avoid different obstacles that might ruin emotional bonds between them. The book will be published on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.
My blog articles help people around the globe. Every day, I receive hundreds of emails from my readers thanking me for the helpful information I provide them on my blog. I am a deep thinker who was always interested in self-development, and consequently, the majority of my articles teach people how to understand their real personalities, intentions, and inclinations. To develop yourself, first, you will need to understand your real identity.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?
While I was a teenager, I used to adapt my behavior and lifestyle to the society I was living in. Hence, my real ‘I’ was hidden. My childhood passed in a post-Soviet country where being selfish, ambitious, and dominant was kind of sinful. In my high-school, I always used to dominate in study and sports. Sometimes, for my leadership and dominance, I was criticized by teachers. Nonetheless, I was still convinced that you need to be very competitive in order to survive in the modern world. Thus, when your behavior and personality are considered as “bad” in your society, you will always feel like you don’t fit it. This was a psychological condition when I was too young.
Later, at the beginning of my twenties, I realized that my natural inclinations to be a leader and dominate were very useful in the wild world we are living in. Sometimes, societies and governments try to change us, make us robots and slaves. Communistic countries are perfect examples of a system manipulating and humiliating individuals. Nowadays, I am absolutely assured that social approval and opinion don’t matter anything at all. It is important to satisfy yourself without harming your society and environment. This is what I do in my life — I satisfy my ambitions, goals, and desires as long as my actions don’t harm anything and anyone.
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
I think that an “ideal” appearance promoted by social networks, famous brands, and other institutions is far from being natural. We know that most fitness models have an extremely low body fat percentage. It is so low that it can even harm a person’s health. Our bodies need some fat in order to function properly. What is promoted nowadays is a culture of extremely low body fat percentage that can potentially harm your health.
Thus, when a person with a normal percentage of body fat looks at a body which is promoted as “ideal”, the person will definitely get dissatisfied with own appearance. Second, I think that the celebrity-worship phenomenon is another reason why people are not satisfied with their own appearance. We should take into consideration that all celebrities always wear tons of makeup and most of the photos we see are edited with very heavy filters. Nobody has an ideal appearance. When people realize it, they will definitely love their appearance.
As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?
Loving yourself doesn’t mean being selfish, ignorant, proud, and bully. It is interesting that people, who really love themselves, demonstrate absolutely opposite qualities. People, who love themselves, are very social, friendly, communicative, and helpful.
Loving yourself means accepting your true “I’, your real personality, individualism, desires, and life goals. Sometimes, people confuse healthy self-love with malignant narcissism. These are absolutely different things. Whilst malignant narcissism takes roots in inferiority complex, loving yourself is an absolutely healthy condition.
People, who love themselves, always have a steady self-estimation which is absolutely crucial for success in everything. Success is dependent upon your self-confidence, and your self-confidence comes from your ability to accept yourself with all your advantages and inferiorities.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
People stay in mediocre relationships because of low self-esteem. People just think that they don’t deserve something better, and therefore, they force themselves to stick with what they have. This is a psychologically unhealthy situation.
Omar Khayyam said: “You better starve, than eat whatever. And better be alone, than with whoever.” I always use the second part of this quote in my life. I am sure that it is better to be alone than in a mediocre relationship. Being self-sufficient is absolutely crucial for a person’s well-being.
I would advise everyone to reevaluate their relationships. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I really like this person
- Is this a mediocre relationship?
- Why do I actually stick to this relationship?
- Is there anyone who could be a better fit?
After answering these questions and analyzing your current relationship, you will be able to decide what you should do next. If you still decide to stay in a mediocre relationship, then, remind yourself of Omar Khayyam’s quote. I think that loneliness is far better than a bad companionship.
When we talk about self-love and understanding we don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?
You are absolutely correct. Loving yourself doesn’t mean idolize yourself. Self-criticism is absolutely crucial for our personal development. It is important to accept yourself with all your advantages and disadvantages, but at the same time, it is necessary to improve yourself.
Most people pay too much attention to social approval and opinions of other people. This is a big problem since people don’t really care about us. Doing something for the sake of people’s thoughts is absolutely worthless. Life is very short. This is why it is important to live for yourself.
Ask yourself the following questions: “Am I doing what I really want?”, “Am I doing this for myself?”, “Do I really care about public opinion?”
So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
It is absolutely true that the majority of people afraid of loneliness. People are social beings, and therefore, sticking to a community is one of our main instincts. At the same time, it is extremely important to spend some time in loneliness contemplating and reanalyzing your life. While you are isolated from external influences, it is very easy to understand yourself and your real life goals. This is why I think it is extremely important to spend some time in loneliness.
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
Most of us waste too much time with wrong people. When we don’t truly understand ourselves, we will be in a community of people who don’t suit our personalities. On the opposite side, deep self-understanding lets you find and choose people who are similar to you. It is said that opposite things are attracted to each other. It might be true in the world of physics. In psychology, we see an absolutely opposite things.
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
I think that both individuals and societies should never discriminate nor criticize other individuals for their choice. Every single person in this world has a right to choose a life path he wants. Individuals and societies should never intrude personal lives of people. Then, when there are no prejudices and discriminations in a society, people will reveal and understand their true identities. When a society suppresses particular things, individuals cannot accept themselves due to fear of discrimination and criticism.
What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
Remind yourself of your achievements
I think that you should always remember you achievements. There is no a person in this world who hasn’t achieved anything. I think that everyone has some sort of achievements. Some of us are successful in study, in sports, in politics, in business, and etc. Remember your wonderful achievements to respect and love yourself.
Don’t compare yourself with others
Nowadays, it is very common to have low self-esteem due to abundance of successful celebrities. Every day, we hear about success stories. We see how people make millions and even billions of dollars. Of course, we feel very miserable while comparing ourselves to famous people. This is one of the reasons why one cannot love and accept himself. Stop comparing yourself with others! You are unique!
Enviers always spoil our joy. Don’t mess with people who might be envying you. They will always try to lower your self-esteem and self-love. Communicate with people who aspire and inspire you.
Know your talents
If you are very bad at math, you might be genius in history. If you are bad in politics, maybe business is your destiny. Everyone has talents. Remind yourself of your talents and you will accept yourself.
Life is not all about material possessions
Don’t judge yourself by the amount of wealth you have accumulated. This life is very short. All material possessions will rotten one day. Think of your soul and knowledge. Think about humanism.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
I think that Dale Carnegie’s Hot to Win Friends and Influence People is a universal book teaching about both self-psychology and relationships. It is a very deep book that requires very slow and attentive reading. It is my favorite book on the topic.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
I would encourage everyone to love themselves and stop discriminating others. All evil in this world comes from self-ignorance, low self-esteem, and psychological pain caused by tough people. Loving yourself is extremely important for a person’s own well-being and the wellbeing of people who surround him.
In fact, when you look in history, you will find out that the world’s bloodiest and toughest tyrants had a self-estimation (inferiority complex) problem. In other words, they didn’t love themselves enough to achieve confidence without killing and humiliating others. I can say that the majority of the world’s most terrible tyrants suffered from Napoleon complex. This is a psychological problem of people with low height. For example, Joseph Stalin 9height 165 cm,5’5), Benito Mussolini (height 169 cm), Timur (height 173 cm) plus he was limp, Napoleon was actually 5 foot 7 inches, and many others. Of course, I don’t say that all war-loving people suffered from Napoleon complex. However, I can surely say that some of them had very tough life experience. Saddam Hussein, for example, was humiliated by his stepfather during his childhood. Thus, lack of confidence and insecurity are two evils that spoil the world. This is why loving yourself regardless of your disabilities or unluck is extremely important for yourself and people who surround you. I am sure that my movement would destroy evil and spread love around the world.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by?
Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
“To Fall in Love With Yourself is The First Secret to Happiness” — Robert Morley. I really love this quote. Since we live once and this life is very short, we should live for ourselves. When we love ourselves, we will always accept ourselves the way we really are.
Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!