We live in a culture where we are inundated with suggestions and products that leave us wanting more, pushing for better, and sitting in a constant state of comparison. While listening to the influence around us can challenge us to become better at times, it often leaves us feeling defeated and exhausted. The real value lies in learning how to best care for yourself to be the best version of yourself; but that won’t happen without learning to appreciate who you are! Here are 10 simple tips for loving yourself better.
Let Go of Your Inner Critic.
When you hear your inner critic, stop. Go within, and notice what the critic is saying. Step back from the thought and ask yourself, what am I believing in this moment? Can I know it’s true? Many times the inner critic is making assumptions and jumping to conclusions—she doesn’t like me, I messed up that presentation, my child is going to flunk out– that you cannot know are true. Separating from these thoughts can help you let them go.
Stop Taking Responsibility for Things You Cannot Control.
You may also notice yourself taking responsibility for things over which you do not or did not have 100% control. Often, there are causes and conditions that affect outcomes that you cannot manage. Blaming yourself or setting yourself up to be responsible for what you cannot control is not helpful.
Get Out of Comparing Mind.
If there is one thing you can do starting today to love yourself better, it is to realize that you are YOU and nobody else. To compare yourself to others around you is not helpful. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps your co-worker is a faster to complete a task, but you are more thorough. Stop comparing and start focusing on your strengths!
Embrace your mistakes.
You are human! And because you are human, mistakes are inevitable. To think that you can go through each day without making any mistakes is only setting yourself up for defeat. Instead, understand that mistakes are going to happen, learn from them, and move on.
There is nothing that will provide a mindset shift more than simple gratitude. Writing down all that you have to be grateful for, even when it seems a lot in your life is going wrong, is a sure way to give you the boost you need. Before bed, noticing at least five things for which you were grateful in the day can improve your sleep.
Listen to and Meet Your Needs.
Don’t want to go to that event, but feel like you “have” to go? That’s not being kind to yourself or to the people with whom you will be spending time if you don’t want to be there. You won’t be fully present. Listen to your inner need for rest, quiet, or relaxation and meet it! If you live a life trying to meet others’ expectations, you will drive yourself crazy. Be authentic – it allows others to be authentic too!
Set Boundaries with Difficult People.
Not everyone is going to be your type of person. If there is someone who is bringing you down or discouraging you from being you, then maybe it is time to step away. Remember, it isn’t rude or wrong to remove yourself from people (or situations) that aren’t healthy for you.
Be Kind to Others.
This is fundamental! When we are kind to others, we also feel good ourselves. When you smile at another, you feel an internal lift. When you help someone with a task, you feel happy that you were able to be of service. And, when you receive gratitude, you have a sense of well-being.
See Beauty in Simple Things.
Try to notice something small and beautiful every day. Make note of it and be grateful for it. Not only will this practice bring you a new perspective but will help you find joy.
Trust Your Gut.
You know yourself best so go with what feels best. We so often doubt our ability to do what is right, but your feelings are valid, and you know yourself best!
Even if you don’t feel particularly loveable at times, look at how far you have come! You are here, alive and with purpose. Self-love may not happen overnight, but with time it can make a big impact on your overall well-being. For more information on joining a practice group this spring, click here.