We are our own worst critics. We are harder on ourselves and meaner to ourselves than we are to other people. Why is this? Well, to be honest we want to be perfect. It’s this crazy idea that if we can avoid mistakes, have the right look or say the right thing we will be “good enough” to avoid shame. This hyper-awareness of what we’re doing, saying and appearing causes us to be harsh on ourselves. Each and every one of us are worthy, special and deserving. Learning how to love yourself will allow you to forgive your imperfections and give you more confidence that doesn’t depend on other people’s praises.
When you’re going through recovery, it is of the utmost importance that you are your No. 1 cheerleader. Here are three easy steps you can take to start loving yourself more and stop the negative Nancy voice in your head from ruining a perfectly good day.
- Don’t obsess over your past mistakes
We live in a world where we have to make choices every single day. All of us have made choices we aren’t proud of. It’s healthy to reflect on mistakes you’ve made and learn how you can avoid making those mistakes again in the future, but dwelling on them will cause you to be unforgiving towards yourself and prevent you from growing. When a friend’s opening up to you about something they did that they’re not proud of, you don’t yell at them about it. You encourage them to be hopeful and offer advice they can use to make it better. Be this voice of praise to yourself. If you’re reminded of a mistake, instead of focusing on how you’ve failed, think about what you learned from it, and how far you’ve come.
- Write a daily list of the things that make you proud
We are all familiar with the concept of writing a to-do list every day, but if you’re on the journey to loving yourself more write a list every night that includes a few things that you’re proud of accomplishing that day. It can be as small as “I’m proud of myself for making my bed this morning,” or as big as “I’m proud of myself for not having a drink when offered one at the party I went to today.” Taking the time to praise yourself and reflect on the good choices you are making will help improve your self-worth and overall well-being.
- Spend time doing things you enjoy
Self-love happens when you are spending time doing things you enjoy. When you are using your time working on projects you’re passionate about, or spending time with people you love, or having fun doing a leisurely activity that puts a smile on your face, not only are you enjoying the way you’re spending your time, but it helps you love yourself more, too. Prioritizing play-time gives you something to look forward to and when you reflect on the day you’ll be happy about how you spent your time.
Learning to accept who you are and love those things about yourself will bring you an incredible amount of peace. Try to prioritize acceptance over perfection, and give yourself the space to be human.
P.S. We think you’re amazing!