We are often our own toughest critics. Some of the things we (or… our Inner Critics, rather) say to ourselves we would NEVER say to another person. Yet we are OK treating ourselves that way. And treating ourselves poorly leads to a lot of frustration, resentment, disgust, or even hate toward ourselves. These tips are intended to help you cultivate more self-love and put an end to all that criticism so you can feel more confident, more content, and even be better for others around you too.
Already love yourself a lot? Awesome, but love is abundant and has no bounds so perhaps these tips can help you cultivate even MORE self-love, compassion, and develop an even deeper friendship with yourself.
Billy’s Top 10 Ways to Love Yourself Better
1. Discover what you’re great at
Everyone is great at something(s), but we often don’t realize it because it comes naturally, so we assume it’s not that special. The more you can put your unique talents and skills to use, the better you will feel about yourself (and the bigger difference you’ll make in the world). How do you to do this? Ask your friends! Send them an email asking, “What am I really good at?” “How do I make people feel?” “What would you most miss about me if I was gone?”
2. Re-evaluate your crew
As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” So, take a look at your “crew”. Do they support you? Do they make you feel good about yourself? Do you feel comfortable being 100% yourself when you’re with them? If you answered no to any of these, it might be time to focus your efforts on other people. Billy has a whole section of his book Your Comfort Zone is Killing You that can help sort out your crew and face the tough conversations that can come with making some changes!
3. Positive affirmations
Positive affirmations can be very powerful, especially over time. Every morning, look in the mirror and remind yourself of all the amazing things about you and what you’re capable of. The key, however, is to make sure you believe what you’re saying (or at least believe that what you’re saying can be possible). So you might say things to yourself like, “you are successful because you have done a lot of good for so many people,” or “your face is gorgeous and invites others in,” or “I am perfect the way I am. Today is perfect. Today is exactly the way it is supposed to be.” Need a little inspiration to start? Here are 100 affirmations to get you kicked off.
4. Define your Life Purpose
A Life Purpose is like a Mission Statement. Once you define it, it guides your decisions and helps you see the positive impact you can have on the world. That feels good! It makes you feel like you really matter. Start by writing your eulogy. That’s right, all the things that might be said about you at your funeral. You’ll see how you want to be remembered. Then fill in this sentence: “I help X (who) with Y (what) so that Z (the outcome).” Here is ours at The Courage Crusade: “We help young-at-heart people (X) overcome fear (Y) so they can pursue true happiness (Z).” We’re also got this video on YouTube to help.
These days, meditation or mindfulness or mindful practices like yoga seem to be everywhere. And there is GOOD reason. Meditation is an extremely powerful brain hygiene and brain training technique. What?!? Really?!?! Did you think it was basically just a relaxation and stress management technique or maybe just a Buddhist thing? Guess again. Psychologists are ALL OVER meditation, and mindfulness meditation in particular, because the practice gives you the ability to examine your own thoughts and consciously, actively retrain your thinking the way YOU would like to see it. Plus, you really, deeply connect with yourself and develop a whole lot of compassion for yourself (and others). Luckily, we have a pretty great relationship with Joelle at Kernel of Wisdom who offers a BUNCH of free guided meditations and videos about mindfulness on her YouTube channel here (including a few videos on ‘how to love yourself’).
6. Manage your negative self-talk
We all do it, but the key is to notice that negative self talk (meditation can help) and turn it around into something positive. But, again, you have to believe what you are saying to yourself, even just a little. So, if you tell yourself something like, “you are going to do a terrible job in the presentation tomorrow, you can’t handle this and they are all going to think they shouldn’t have given you the responsibility,” it might be a bit of a stretch to say something like “you are going to be amazing in the presentation tomorrow and it will probably be the best presentation anyone has ever seen.” Instead, something like, “you will probably be nervous tomorrow, but you prepared well and know your material so breathe and relax and it will be fine,” might be more believable and therefore have more of an impact on you. In essence, whatever you replace your negative statements with should feel right and resonate with you.
7. Spend time alone
If you can’t be happy alone, it’s hard to be happy with others. People can become a crutch, especially when alone time is something we aren’t used to. Nervous to have time all to yourself? Start in small steps. Perhaps try going to a movie or a restaurant alone (the good news – everything will be 100% your pick!). Then you might work up to a night alone where you plan something fun for yourself, something you’ve been meaning to do. From there you might work up to a weekend getaway alone, or a week by yourself at the cottage, or camping, or travelling. Use these opportunities to explore you; what makes you excited and happy. We often hold ourselves back when we are alone, thinking we should only do certain activities or things with others, but if you can allow yourself to explore what you are truly excited about and what you really need while you’re alone, you might even start to prefer it! Still scared to even start? Well… we know an awesome courage coach that could help you with a little one-on-one coaching 😉
8. Perform random acts of kindness for total strangers
Giving to others feels good. In fact, adding value to others’ lives is, in my opinion, the secret to happiness. Really, I have a whole video explaining this secret to happiness here. Mix in the courage to step out of your comfort zone and do some good for those you don’t even know and you also get adventure, excitement, fulfilment, connection, and so much more. Seriously, it’s addictive. And if you need some random acts of kindness ideas to get you started, we’ve got you covered with dozens of ideas here.
9. Get up early!
It’s true – the early bird really does get the worm. It feels good to be productive, and we are usually our most productive selves first thing in the morning. Why? Science says so. Plus, some of the most successful people are early risers. Getting up early helps it feel like we’ve got a head-start on the day, we feel like productivity machines! Plus, while others are sleeping it is a great opportunity to dedicate time to you, your needs, what you really want to get done and get some peace and quiet before the world wakes up and is buzzing with tasks, needs, wants, and agendas for you to cater to. If you can get into the habit of waking up early (and, therefore, getting to bed early) you are definitely likely to cherish this time all for you!
10. Eat healthy, and get lots of sleep and exercise
If we don’t take care of ourselves we aren’t any good to anyone – especially ourselves. We are often our own toughest critics and worst enemies. So when a poor diet or a lack of sleep or exercise are enough to make anyone grumpy, short tempered, lethargic, lazy and even down right awful to be around – it is US that gets the worst of it. In short, you need to make sure these things are absolute deal-breakers, that they are taken care of no matter what.
Now if you’re reading these and thinking, “duh, we all know this already” – awesome! Hopefully you love yourself like crazy already. Still, sometimes we need to be reminded of it. We hope even one or two of these ideas inspires something in you that you haven’t thought of before.
Otherwise, if you have questions or comments don’t hesitate to post them below or get in touch through firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit us at couragecrusade.com. Have a courageous, confident, self-loving month folks!