Quick question: Do you like yourself?
When asked this question, most people respond by saying something like, “Of course I like myself.” While their words say they like themselves, what do their actions say?
Are you someone who’s comfortable in their own skin? Are you happy with your appearance, or are you constantly comparing yourself to others, wishing you could be more like them? When you look in the mirror, what do you see? A superstar, or someone who doesn’t quite live up to your own expectations?
The thing is, our self-esteem is based on how we feel about ourselves, right now in this moment. Sure, it’s okay to strive to become a better version of ourselves, so long as we accept this current version, flaws and all.
If you’re someone who is overly self-critical, here are 5 ways you can learn to like yourself better:
1. Enjoy Your Accomplishments
Some people are so focused on everything that’s wrong with them, they never take a look at what’s right. When you’ve done something well, it’s important that you admit this success and enjoy it.
It doesn’t have to be something huge, either. It could be that you made a really delicious lasagna. Allow yourself the pleasure of enjoying every single bite, and happily receive any compliments from those you cooked for.
2. Understand That No One is Perfect
If you’ve been comparing yourself to other people, it’s time for you to stop and realize that no one is perfect. Not the models you see on the cover of magazines, nor the actors in the movies. They have professional makeup artists and are lit perfectly. Heck, most of them have been photoshopped.
Not even the so-called perfect among us are actually perfect. The sooner you can accept this fact the sooner you can relax and like who you are.Talk to your social media friend, the one with the perfect family, beautifully maintained house and traveling to exotic places every other post. Find out what is happening behind the computer, you may be surprised.
3. Have Patience with Yourself
Perhaps there are things about yourself that you would like to change. Do you want to lose weight, get healthier, learn a new language?
Often we hate ourselves for not reaching impossible goals we have set for ourselves. If there are goals you would like to reach, be realistic in setting timelines and be patient with yourself. Goals can be accomplished one at a time, set yourself up for success!
4. Look at Your Past with a Kind Eye
Sometimes we don’t like ourselves because of past actions and behaviors. It’s important to give yourself some slack. When you were young, you may not have always acted kindly toward loved ones or strangers. Maybe you acted selfishly more often than you care to admit. But this is a part of being young.
The best thing to do is embrace your past, warts and all, and see what you can learn from your actions and behaviors. Remember, hindsight is 20/20. But at the time, you didn’t have the knowledge and skills that you have learned now. Every “mistake” is a growth opportunity. Accepting and growing from past actions can push us to be better in our present and future, the only two places where change can actually occur.
5. Like “Most” of Yourself
You may never like 100% of yourself, and that’s okay. Strive to like 80% or 90%. You can still live an incredibly happy life when you think ‘only’ 85% of you is awesome.
A healthy self-esteem is important to our overall well-being, but getting there can be difficult, especially if you’ve suffered from a low self-esteem your entire life. Working with a therapist can be very beneficial. Someone who is impartial and completely new to you can help you gain clarity and a new perspective on yourself and your life.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.