I’d be lying if I said there’s never been a time in my life where I truly dislike myself. I found fault in everything I said and did – I was my harshest critic.
So, I completely understand how you feel right now.
But don’t worry – I made it to the other side and so will you! Read on for 12 important ways to like yourself again.
1) Identify what you don’t like about yourself
When I was at my lowest point, a close friend told me to write down everything I didn’t like about myself. “I’m gonna need more paper”, I thought to myself, rolling my eyes.
What felt like a few hours later, I finished my list. My friend then asked me to review each point and ask myself the following questions:
- What emotions come up with each trait I dislike?
- If something on the list is learned behavior, where did I pick that up from?
- What can I realistically work on and improve?
Now, the whole point of the exercise was to break down my perception of myself. After going through each point, I realized that while I did have some inner work to do, some of the negative “issues” weren’t even real.
They were negative perceptions of myself that I’d internalized from other people. The list helped me break my dislike into bite-sized chunks – making them much easier to work through.
2) Write a list of the things you do like about yourself
The above point isn’t all doom and gloom. After you’ve finished that list, you can then write one about everything you like about yourself.
This list is going to seem harder to write. At the moment, you may struggle to find even a couple of good traits about yourself.
It’s okay to take your time with this, even leave it for a few hours and come back to it. But you must finish this list.
Even if there’s absolutely nothing good you can say about yourself currently, think back to the past when you’ve helped a friend, or told the truth when telling a lie would have been easier.
Not only will writing out the two lists be cathartic, but the second one will start to uplift your spirit and remind you that you do have good traits, too.
3) Evaluate the people around you
When I went through a rough patch of disliking myself, I forgot to factor in the people around me. Sure, I had good friends, but my relationship at the time was pretty toxic.
It wasn’t until I worked through what was happening in my external relationships that I realized how much they affected me. I became someone I wasn’t due to the stress and unhappiness – I could hardly recognize myself let alone like who I saw in the mirror every day!
Around the same time, I came across the free Love and Intimacy video by the shaman Rudá Iandê. I was initially interested in it as I’d heard it could really help my relationship.
And it’s true – it did improve things with my partner, to the point where we’re still together, and better than ever.
But there was actually something more valuable and important that I took away from Rudá’s video…
Now, I know it’s not as easy as flipping a switch and changing your emotions. Rudá understands that too.
That’s why his video is packed with useful exercises and information that help you get to the core of your issues and steadily work through them.
So whilst I was glad my relationship improved, it was actually the relationship with myself that needed to be solved first.
It helped me during my time of need so I hope it helps you too!
4) Do one small act a day that makes you proud of yourself
If you want to start liking yourself starting from today, after reading this article, I’d suggest getting up and doing something that makes you proud.
Maybe you offer to help carry your elderly neighbor’s bags, or you finally finish an assignment you’ve been putting off.
Whatever it is, start small, and build up.
One small act every single day quickly adds up. And every time you do something that makes you feel proud, you’ll boost your confidence and self-esteem.
5) Stop comparing yourself to others
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
When you compare yourself to others, you’re achieving nothing but making yourself feel miserable.
Not to mention it’s unrealistic. There will always be those who have “more” or “better” than you, but equally, plenty of people who have “less”.
But I get it – social media and influencers’ seemingly perfect lives can make even the most confident person feel doubtful about themselves.
So, do yourself a favor, get offline (or at least stop following people who fuel these negative feelings), and remind yourself – no one has it perfect.
The friend you envy, the celeb who seems to have it all, everyone has their own issues to deal with.
- Focus on what you do have
- Practice gratitude daily
- Remind yourself that most of what we see online doesn’t reflect reality
6) Give yourself a break
Do you feel like your dislike for yourself overshadows everything you do?
I know I used to feel that way. I’d constantly think of everything wrong with me, which eventually turned me into quite a bitter, frustrated person.
Until one day when I was giving a friend some advice. She was being hard on herself and I told her to just take a break. Do something light-hearted and fun.
It occurred to me when I got home that I should do the same – I should take my own advice!
So that very afternoon I went out to my favorite park, took along a good book and some snacks, and just whiled the day away enjoying the sun and thinking of nothing other than the story I was reading.
I felt great afterward – why?
Because we all need a mental and physical break sometimes. When you’re stressed out and tired, it’s easier to be hard on yourself.
It’s easier to be negative and find fault where you wouldn’t necessarily if you had your batteries charged and a clear mind.
7) Work on yourself
Remember the first list you need to create? Well, the next step after identifying your “flaws” is to see how you can work through them.
On my list, one of the things I hated about myself was my inability to find passion or meaning in my life. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I broke rule number 5 and obsessively compared myself to those who had such a purpose in their lives.
I tried loads of different new-age techniques in the self-development world – positive thinking, meditation, and even the Law of Attraction.
But nothing really made an impact on the results I was seeing in my life. I found the same frustrating patterns repeating themselves time and time again.
The truth about who I am, what I’m capable of achieving, and how I want to live my life didn’t come to fruition until I took part in Justin Brown’s life-changing masterclass.
For the first time, I could see my life with better clarity. His advice was a massive turning point for me in finding direction and meaning in my life.
And here’s the thing – once I had a purpose to work toward, a lot of my self-hate melted away. I’d finally found a technique that made real changes and I was finally on the way to becoming a person I actually liked.
If you’d like to do the same, here’s the link once again.
8) See yourself through the eyes of others
No matter how low you feel right now, I want you to shut your eyes and picture yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you.
It could be your mom, best friend, or even your pet dog or cat.
What does this person love about you?
What do they see in you, only flaws? Or all the amazing qualities you have?
My guess is the latter – this exercise is a great way to remind yourself that you are NOT your flaws. Flaws can come and go. Flaws can be worked on.
You are much more than that. And I’m certain your close ones would tell you the same.
So whenever you feel the self-loathing creeping in, just picture yourself through someone else’s eyes. Sometimes we can be incredibly tough on ourselves, so seeing things from a different perspective can help.
9) Learn how to forgive yourself
We’re often told the importance of forgiving others for their misgivings, but self-forgiveness isn’t as heavily promoted.
Why? I don’t know – it’s an incredibly important ability to have!
Because the truth is, you’re going to mess up. We all do. You’re going to do things that make you put your head in your hands and groan. But that’s life.
We need to learn to forgive ourselves. Think back to a situation that you messed up in and haven’t let go of yet.
“Can I change it?”
“What could I have done differently with the information I had at the time?”
And the most important question…
“Have I learned from it?”
If you can answer yes to the last question, it’s time to move on. Forgive yourself for not getting it right. Be kind to yourself. Afford the same forgiveness you give others to yourself.
This is another form of self-love and it’s critical you start it if you want to start liking yourself again.
10) Get in touch with your emotions
This task also relates to point one (the “negative” list you make about yourself). You see, it’s not enough to just write out everything you dislike about yourself.
You’ve also got to try and figure out your emotions around each “flaw” or character trait you’ve written.
Do you feel…
It’s important to get clear on your emotions. Only then can you begin to work through them.
On that note – it’s important to recognize your emotions and validate them. Sure, you want to get rid of these negative feelings as soon as possible, but they’re there for a reason.
And rather than feel bad for feeling that way, you should treat yourself with kindness as you acknowledge where these emotions come from.
Your best friend is telling you they feel selfish for spending more time at the office than at home with their family.
You wouldn’t shame them for feeling bad, you’d acknowledge that it’s tough to balance work and family life. You’d probably tell them that they shouldn’t feel selfish because they’re working hard for their loved ones.
If you could speak to yourself and your emotions with the same level of kindness, the whole process of working through them will become easier.
11) Don’t be in a rush
This is a point I can’t stress enough – there’s no rush!
I know you feel at your wit’s end. I know you can’t wait to feel better about yourself. But changing your perception and learning to like yourself again takes time.
And the problem with rushing it?
You won’t do the self-work you need to. You won’t lay down solid foundations to pave the way to your happier future self.
You might distract yourself, you might overlook crucial elements of your life that need addressing.
So, take it one day at a time. Practice the tips above, and keep the faith that one day you’ll be doing something mundane like washing up or driving to work, and you’ll suddenly realize…
“Hey…I’m not so bad after all!”
Trust me, even if you feel like that’s impossible, I’m here as proof to say it is! Just because you don’t like yourself right now, it doesn’t mean you’ll always feel this way.
That’s the beauty of people – we can all change. We can all work through our shortcomings and be better versions of ourselves.
You’ve just got to believe in yourself.
12) Stop caring about what others think
This is the final tip for you – stop caring about other people’s opinions.
I’ve got to say, this one I struggled with! It’s hard after a lifetime of being concerned about what people will think to suddenly turn that voice off in your head.
That’s why, going back to point 11, you need to take it slow.
Every time you give importance to someone else’s opinion of you, you’re effectively giving them some of your power. They have a say in how you feel about yourself.
That’s pretty powerful stuff there.
I used to give away a lot of my power, and I felt pretty crap for it. I believed the comments about my appearance, I believed the negative things that were said about me.
But as I continued on my journey of self-growth, I learned to tune out other people’s opinions. It took a while, but now I have the self-esteem and self-love to know who I am, regardless of what others think.
And if I could do it, you certainly can too!
We’ve gone through 12 important ways to like yourself again.
Although every single tip is something I’ve personally tried and found useful, I have to say I wouldn’t have gotten through my journey of self-dislike to where I am now if it wasn’t for the Love and Intimacy video I mentioned earlier.
Here’s the thing – the video is about relationships, but there’s such a huge focus on YOU that it’s worth watching it. Even if you’re single.
Because what you’ll learn from Rudá will stay with you for a lifetime. It’ll force you to reevaluate your life, dig deep into the parts that you don’t like, and come out feeling stronger and more connected to yourself than ever before.
Since watching his video, I not only know (and like myself) better, but I’m able to create healthier and happier relationships with others.
So, if you’d like to achieve the same and put these negative feelings behind you, grab on to your personal power and be a person you actually like, click here to watch the free video.
Putting yourself first
Hey, Lachlan from Hack Spirit here.
What’s your number one goal at the moment?
Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?
To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?
Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?
Whatever it is, you’re not going to get there, unless you’ve got a plan.
And even then…plans fail.
But I didn’t write this to you to be the voice of doom and gloom…
No, I’m writing this because I want to help you achieve the goals you’ve set.
I’ve recently been taking part in a workshop called Life Journal created by teacher and career coach Jeanette Brown.
Covering all the basics and more on what’s needed to reach your goals, Jeannette tackles everything from creating habits and new behavior patterns to putting your plans into action.
She doesn’t mess around – this workshop will require effort on your part but that’s the beauty of it – Jeanette has carefully designed it to put YOU in the driving seat of your life.
So…think back to that important goal I asked about at the start of this message.
How much do you want it?
Are you willing to put the effort in to get there?
If so, check out the workshop here.
If you do take part, I’d love to hear how your Life Journey goes!
All the best,