5 things you can do to stop being your own worst enemy and become your best friend

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Ever felt like the biggest roadblock in your life is… well, you?

We all do sometimes. That incessant voice inside our head can be just too negative and make us doubt ourselves.

But the good news is that we have the power to change this relationship with ourselves!

Here are five simple things you can do to start treating yourself like your own best friend, rather than your worst enemy.

1) Swap the inner critic for the inner coach

We all have that nagging voice inside, quick to point out mistakes and forecast doom. While it’s challenging to silence this inner critic completely (trust me, I’ve tried!), there’s a different approach you can use.

Instead of letting fear drive your thoughts, reframe your thinking to be more encouraging and supportive, turning your inner critic into your inner coach.

Your inner critic is motivated by fear, wants to protect you from failure or disappointment.

Your inner coach encourages and supports you every step of the way, help you build self-confidence,  and be more resilient in the face of life’s curveballs.

Replace statements like “I’m not good enough” with empowering ones like “I’m doing the best I can.”

By consciously shifting from negativity to support, you’re not just quieting the critic; you’re turning it into your inner coach, cheering you on through life’s twists and turns.

2) Be your own best friend

Treat yourself as you would a good friend. We can be so cruel to ourselves sometimes. Would you say those harsh words to someone you care about? Probably not.

Think about how you’d treat a close friend who’s going through a rough time. You’d offer kind words, understanding, and patience.

Now, imagine offering that same kindness to yourself. Too often, we are our own harshest critics. We berate ourselves for our mistakes and shortcomings, increasing stress and self-doubt.

Self-compassion is the gentle, kind relationship you can develop with yourself, acknowledging that imperfection is part of the human experience.

Everyone stumbles. Everyone has off days.

By being your own best friend, you learn to offer yourself the comfort, encouragement, and love you’d freely give to others.

This doesn’t mean avoiding responsibility or ignoring mistakes. Instead, it means recognizing errors, learning from them, and moving forward without self-blame.

Self-compassion nurtures resilience, making it easier to bounce back from challenges and setbacks.

So, the next time you’re feeling down or critical of yourself, pause. Take a breath. And treat yourself with the same kindness you’d offer a close friend. You deserve it!

3) Set realistic goals and celebrate progress

Big dreams can often seem overwhelming or even unattainable when looked at as a whole. It can feel like climbing a mountain with no clear path in sight.

However, breaking those lofty dreams into realistic goals and smaller, more manageable steps can make all the difference.

Every time you take a step, celebrate your small victory. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Each success acts as fuel and motivates you keep taking action, no matter how minor it may seem.

By dividing your dreams into tangible steps, you not only create a clearer pathway but also ensure that you’re aware of the progress you’re making, keeping your spirits high and your drive alive.

4) Create a supportive environment

We flourish best when we have support and encouragement. So, what can you do?

Begin by carefully choosing the people you spend time with; gravitate towards those who uplift you, believe in your dreams, and remind you of your strengths.

Place motivational quotes, personal achievements, or even photos of your cherished memories around your space as constant reminders of what you’ve overcome and what you’re capable of.

Why does this matter so much?

It reminds you of your worth and potential. You’re fostering a space where you’re constantly reminded of your value, capabilities, and the positive influences around you.

5) Practice Mindfulness and Acceptance

By accepting and being mindful of our emotions, we recognize them without judgment, allowing us to understand their message. Resisting or denying these feelings only builds pressure.

By embracing your full range of emotions, you have the emotional agility to navigate life with more grace, making deliberate choices that align with your values and goals.

This doesn’t mean we let emotions control us, but rather we listen, learn, and move forward with insight and balance. We become adaptable and resilient in every facet of our lives.

A good way to see this is to picture your emotions as a flowing river. Some days it’s calm and serene, other times it might be wild and unpredictable.

Emotional agility is like learning to gracefully dance on this river’s surface, acknowledging each ripple and wave, but not getting swept away by them.

Remember, life isn’t about chasing after a ‘perfect’ version of yourself but cherishing who you truly are right now.


The journey to a better relationship with yourself starts with small, intentional steps.

Implement these five strategies in your daily life, and watch how your inner talk changes.

The most challenging relationship you have is with yourself, but it can also be the most rewarding.

Start today. Write down the strategies that resonate most with you, and commit to taking action. Share them with a friend to keep them accountable.

AND remember, you are your most important ally and your own best friend.

Embrace the challenge and grow.

Jeanette Brown

I have been in Education as a teacher, career coach and executive manager over many years.
I'm also an experienced coach who is passionate about supporting people in finding real meaning and purpose in their lives, building a resilient, grounded inner self and achieving their desired goals.

7 things “nice” women do that keep them in the friend zone

10 phrases manipulative people use to gain control over you