By David Joel Miller.
Start healing by becoming your own best friend.
Don’t like yourself, start by becoming your own best friend. If you are plagued by low self-esteem, one of the things you need to do is become your own best friend. Many people say that they are not able to love themselves. You will spend more time with yourself than with any other person on earth. Work on getting to like yourself. Think about the things that you do with friends and how those relationships develop overtime. Start feeling better about yourself by becoming your own best friend. Here are 14 ways to become your own best friend and improve your self-esteem.
1. Don’t beat yourself up.
It’s OK to make mistakes. Mistakes are improvement opportunities. Think about how you act with a friend. If you consistently criticize them and put them down you’re not likely to maintain that friendship. Make sure you’re not beating yourself up. It’s OK to make mistakes. The only people who don’t make mistakes are people who never try to do anything.
2. Don’t insist on perfection.
We don’t expect our friends to be perfect. You shouldn’t expect to be perfect yourself. Some tasks may require your very best effort, but many other things in life simply need to be good enough. Be gentle with yourself and embrace you, flaws and all.
3. Celebrate your successes.
Make sure to stop and recognize the things that you have done well. Give yourself a round of applause when you succeed at something. Not recognizing your successes will make the next effort that much harder.
4. Nurture yourself.
You can’t make a plant grow by beating it. You don’t develop friendships by being harsh and critical. Develop the relationship with yourself by taking good care of you. Look for ways in which you can be kind and gentle to yourself.
5. Enjoy being with you.
Being alone should not mean being lonely. When life gets hectic we often wish we could take a break. When you do get that break from other people learn to savor and enjoy it. That alone time should be a time to rest and recoup.
6. Make “you time” an adventure.
In the early stages of developing a friendship we do a lot of new, novel things with that potential friend. To nurture the friendship that you have with yourself make sure that you do innovative things. Make your time with you exciting.
7. Want the best for yourself.
Learn to picture what a perfect life would look like. Want that best of all possible lives for yourself? Practice believing that you deserve the best in life. Best does not necessarily mean the most expensive or the latest fashion. It does mean that you want those things that will make you truly happy. Don’t settle for a second-rate life. Focus your efforts on creating the life of your dreams.
8. Stop judging yourself.
You don’t need to judge yourself. There are plenty of people willing to judge you. When you have a good friend you accept them just the way they are even when you know their faults. Do the same for yourself. However you are is perfectly OK. Accept yourself just the way you are.
9. Let things go.
Holding onto the past keeps you stuck in the pain. Keep your eyes on the present and the future. Avoid rehashing old injuries. Let bygones be bygones. The less baggage that you have to carry from your past the more you can live in the present.
10. Surround yourself with things that make you happy.
Make the place that you spend the bulk of your time your place. Have a few little mementos that will make you smile close by. The isn’t time or space in your life the things that don’t add to your happiness.
11. Please yourself.
Make sure that you are living your life to please you. A life that is lived trying to please others often pleases no one. In friendships we often do things because we know it will make our friends happy. Do those little things to make yourself happy.
12. Live in the now, plan for the future.
Good friends don’t spend a lot of time rehashing the difficulties from the past. They enjoy the present and look forward to the things they will do together in the future. As your own best friend spend the bulk of your time looking forward to what you want to do in the future.
13. Can the negativity.
It’s not much fun being around a friend who is constantly negative. To be happier cut the negative people out of your life. To be happier with yourself cut out the negativity that is coming from you.
14. Embrace your differences.
We know our friends are different and we liked than because of those differences. Learn to celebrate the ways in which you are different from others. Stop wishing you were just like everyone else. Improve the things you can, accept the things you can’t.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books