As Seth Gillihan points out many of us struggle with a general negative feeling about ourselves. Maybe you think awful things about yourself—that you’re stupid, disgusting, unlovable, or worthless. Perhaps you’re constantly on your own case about not doing enough, or “messing up” everything you try. Or maybe it’s hard to find words for your sense of inadequacy, and while you don’t believe you’re bad, you have a chronic sense of not being happy with yourself.
It’s hard to feel at ease when you have a pervasive feeling that, in some fundamental way, you’re not OK. Self-neglect can be more subtle but similarly damaging. We might be very considerate toward everyone in our lives except for the person who inhabits our own skin.
Try these four strategies to show yourself some care:
- Take the time to plan your day in a thoughtful way.
- Prepare a nice lunch for yourself.
- Carefully consider your own needs and how you can meet them.
- Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.
It’s very difficult to force ourselves to feel a certain way about who we are. Changing unhelpful thoughts is useful to some extent, especially if those thoughts are overly harsh and simply not true. Try replacing any negative self-talk with a positive framework. As an example, try treating yourself like an ANGEL:
A – Awesome
N – Nice
G – Goodhearted
E – Exceptional
L – Loveable idiot (reserved for very special occasions only 😜).
While ‘loveable idiot’ term was coined by Alain de Botton in the context of interpersonal relationships, I think it applies very well to our relationship with ourselves and helps us to learn to treat ourselves with laughter rather than criticism…
Not all angels reside in heaven.
Some walk the earth.
Just like you…
Adapted from Psychology Today