Do you like yourself?
When most people are asked this question, they say something like, “Sure, I like myself.” But while their words may say they like themselves, what do their actions indicate?
Are you comfortable in your 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 Rockstar? Or someone who doesn’t quite live up to your own expectations?
The thing is, our self-esteem and self-confidence is based on how we feel about ourselves, right now in this moment.
It’s great to strive to become a better version of ourselves, so long as we also 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:
Take a moment to Enjoy your accomplishments
Some people are so focused on everything that’s wrong with them, they never take a look at what’s right with them. When you’ve done something well, it’s important that you acknowledge the success and enjoy it.
It doesn’t have to be something monumental, either. It could be a really great dinner you made for your family or friends. Allow yourself the pleasure of enjoying every single bite. Welcome any compliments from those you cook for with grace and gratitude.
Guess what? no one is perfect
If you compare yourself to other people, it’s time for you to stop and realize that no one is perfect – not the models on the cover of magazines, or the actors in the movies or on social media. They have professional make-up artists and perfect lighting. Hell, most of them are photoshopped. And guess what? They still feel insecure, inadequate, and like an imposter sometimes too! Don’t believe me? Read some quotes by Michelle Pfeiffer – widely considered by her peers and millions of fans to be on the most beautiful and talented actresses of her generation.
Not even the so-called perfect among us are actually perfect. Take a closer look behind the curtain and you’ll see they’re just as human as you and I. The sooner you can accept this fact, the sooner you can relax and begin to enjoy who you are.
Have some patience with yourself
Perhaps there are things about yourself that you would like to change. Do you want to lose weight, get stronger, run faster, learn a language?
We often set impossible goals our ourselves and then end up beating ourselves up for not reaching them. If there are goals you would like to reach, be realistic, set timelines and be patient and compassionate with yourself.
go easy on your past
Sometimes we may not like ourselves because of past actions and behaviors. However, it’s important to give yourself some slack. When you were young, you may not have always acted kindly toward love ones are strangers. Maybe you acted selfishly more often than you care to admit. Maybe you did things to others you regret. But this is a part of being young – and being human.
The best thing to do is embrace your past, both the good and bad, and see what you can learn from your actions and behaviors and where there are growth opportunities. Forgiving yourself for past transgressions is the most emotionally mature and beneficial self-care acts you can do.
Like “most” of yourself
You may never like 100% of yourself, and that’s OK. Strive for 80% or 90%. You can still live an incredibly happy life if 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 suffered from a low self-esteem your entire life. Working with a therapist can be very beneficial. Someone who is impartial, objective, challenging and empowering can help give you clarity and a new perspective on yourself in your life.
Life is too short to spend it uncomfortable in your own skin. If you’re struggling with self-confidence or self-esteem, find a therapist you connect with to help you feel like the best version of yourself.
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists take control and move From Surviving to Thriving.