Last Updated on May 1, 2021 by Shane Walker
When things are going great, it’s easy to be kind to yourself. We have higher levels of self-esteem, self-value, and self-worth when we experience success. When we suffer from failure, however, or things aren’t going our way, it’s easy to beat ourselves up. You must learn how to be kind to yourself even when things aren’t going your way. Here are 7 easy habits that will help.
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How To Be Kind To Yourself
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1 – Recognize Your Successes Daily
Many people think about their shortcomings and failures from the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep. There is often no thought of the many successes they have had. They have this “what have you done for me lately” mentality. It’s amazing how quickly we forget something that went right for us last week, but we hold on to failures from years ago. This must stop. Be kind to yourself and make it a habit every day to reflect on your many accomplishments.
The Love Me List
Keeping a “Love Me List” is a great way to be kind to yourself and recognize these successes. Yes, I know this may sound silly but it’s an extremely powerful tool. On this list, write all of your accomplishments and the things you love about yourself. Put anything and everything on this list. Did you win a Spelling B in the 4th grade? Put that down. Are you compassionate? That’s great to add. Did you get recognized at work for your help on a major project? Write that down. Next to each of these items, write how it makes you feel. Does it make you feel proud? How about valuable? Keep this list handy and make it a habit to reflect on your accomplishments and positive traits daily.
2 – Be Kind To Yourself By Being Kind To Others
Think about how you feel when you do things for others. Even something as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee for a co-worker. It makes you feel good right? Studies show that when we are kind to others, it increases our own happiness and self-worth. It’s easier to be kind to yourself when you feel happy and valuable. If you catch yourself beating yourself up, do more for others. Ask yourself every day, “Who needs my attention today?” Also ask, “What can I do for them?” Do something kind each day.
Remember, doing for others doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, energy, or effort. Simple things matter and go a long way. Here are a few simple things you can do for someone:
- Grab a coffee for a co-worker or friend.
- Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Write someone a handwritten letter.
- Give someone a sincere, thoughtful compliment.
- Ask someone, “how can I help?”
3 – Treat Yourself Like A Good Friend
Start seeing yourself as a close personal friend. You wouldn’t tell a good friend how disappointed you are in them on a daily basis, would you? Would you remind your friend of all their failures? No, you wouldn’t. Instead, you would remind them of how great they are. You would be proud of them for their accomplishments and support them when they are going through trying times. Be kind to yourself by treating yourself like a good friend. Talk to yourself like you would talk to them. Use supportive phrases such as these:
- “Things didn’t turn out so well this time, but that’s okay, things will get better.”
- “We all make mistakes. I can learn from this and do better.”
- “You may not feel like it sometimes, but you matter, you deserve happiness, and you are important.”
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4 – Do Something For Yourself
Make it a habit to do something for yourself every once in a while. We can spend so much time doing for others that we forget to do for ourselves. What do you like to do? What relaxes you? Is there something you’ve been wanting? After reflecting on those questions, be kind to yourself and do it. Be intentional, and put something on the calendar today. Do something for yourself for a change.
5 – Be Kind To Yourself With Affirmations
Stop negative self-talk and thinking with affirmations. When things aren’t going our way in life, it’s easy to have a recurring internal dialogue that consists of phrases like, “I am not good enough”, or “I am not deserving.” Stop this kind of self-talk in its tracks with affirmations. When you catch yourself saying or thinking these things, interrupt yourself with these types of affirmations:
- “I am proud of the person I have become.”
- “I am enough.”
- “Everything I need to succeed is within me.”
- “I have unlimited potential. There are no limits before me.”
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6 – Be Okay With Being Imperfect
Don’t put pressure on yourself by trying to be perfect. It’s okay not to be the perfect partner or perfect parent. It’s okay that we haven’t met our goals. It doesn’t mean we are a complete failure. We all have made decisions that we wish we could have back. We already deal with other people’s criticism, we shouldn’t criticize ourselves. Change your perspective and think of yourself and your life as a work in progress. We get better and better every day, and every mistake we make is a chance to learn and move forward faster. People who don’t make mistakes are people who don’t try. They also become stagnant in life and never make real progress. Be kind to yourself by being okay with your imperfections.
7 – Realize How Strong You Are
I love the saying, “Remember, you survived 100% of your worst days.” Give yourself credit for your strength and how far you’ve come. You must be doing something right. Look at yourself as someone who is strong, who made it through so many difficult times, instead of someone who is weak and lacking in some way. Give yourself credit and stop beating yourself up. You may not be where you want to be right now but you have the strength in you to get there. You may need a little help, you may need a little reminder, but the only thing that is really stopping you is you. Get out of your own way. You are strong, you can get there, and you deserve it.
We have to stop beating ourselves up. Be kind to yourself in the bad times as much as you are in good times. Recognize your successes on a daily basis, be kind to others, treat yourself like a good friend, and do something nice for yourself from time to time. Also, use affirmations to counter negative self-talk, be okay with being imperfect, and realize how strong you are. Of all the people in the world that deserve your love and kindness, you deserve it most.
How can you be kind to yourself today? Let me know in the comments below.