Signs others opinions matter too much.

By David Joel Miller.

Are you paying too much attention to other people’s opinions?

Living your life based on other people’s opinions results in you living someone else’s

Self-confidence

Self-Confidence
Believe in yourself.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

life. Do you find yourself asking other people for their opinions on what you should do? If you find it hard to make decisions about your life without consulting others, the problem may be that you are paying too much attention to what others think and not enough attention to your own feelings. Here are some signs that what others think is running your life more than you are.

You measure yourself by other people’s opinions.

You are the expert on your life. No one else knows your particular struggles and challenges. Constantly seeking others approval results in a needy person. The person whose opinion most matters is yours. If your primary yardstick for measuring your self-worth is other people’s opinions, you are using the wrong ruler.

You ask what they mean by that a lot.

Do you find yourself questioning what others mean? If you’re asking “why did you say that” and “what did you mean by that?” a lot, it is very likely that you have become overreliance on other people’s opinions.

You let their opinion stop you.

If you find yourself not doing things that you enjoy or that might benefit you because of other people’s opinions, you’re losing control of your life. Other people’s opinions may be fine for them, but if you over-rely on their opinions, you are living their life and forgoing your own.

You worry about saying the right thing.

Healthy communication includes being able to tell others what you think and how you feel. You find yourself censoring what you want to say and searching for just the right words to say it you’re probably overly concerned about what other people think.

You try to please everyone.

If you try to please everyone, you’re likely to end up pleasing no one. In your effort to please everyone you will end up sacrificing your own opinions. No matter what view you take of things, some people will disagree, and some will not like what you say.

You put others needs before yours.

You must take care of yourself for you to be able to help others. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Neglecting your own need in the process of caring for others robs you of the life you should have.

It is hard to say no.

Not being able to tell others no devalues you and your needs. You have the right to say no.

Taking credit embarrasses you.

Good self-esteem comes from recognizing the things you do well. When somebody gives you a compliment, accepted it.

You are ashamed of things you like to do.

Everyone has the right to have interests in life. Don’t be ashamed of your hobbies and interests.

You continue to do things that don’t make you happy.

If you find that you’re doing things that don’t bring you joy, weed them out of your life. Filling up your life with things that do not contribute to your happiness is sacrificing the life you should be leading to live

You let others set your goals.

 

Are you living your life pursuing someone else’s goals? That’s clear evidence their opinions are outweighing your own. You will only get this one life. Get clear on your goals. If our not clear on what you want out of life, you may be paying too much attention to other people’s opinions and not enough attention to your own.

 

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.
By David Joel Miller

Bumps on the Road of Life is now available in both Kindle and paperback format.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Other times you may stay off track and in the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Bumps on the Road of Life

Please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Casino Robbery. On Sale now for 99 cents.

The robbers wanted more than money; they planned to kill Arthur’s fiancé and her boss.

Photo of Casino Robbery book

Casino Robbery.

Arthur Mitchell was trying to start his life over with a fiancé and a new job. That all ends when the casino robbers shoot Arthur, kill his fiancée, and her boss. Arthur would like to forget that horrible day, but the traumatic nightmares and constant reminders won’t let him, and someone is still out to get him. When he tries to start over by running a rural thrift store, someone knocks him unconscious, vandalize the store, and finally tries to kill him. His only chance to find peace is to figure out what the killers want from him and why.

Casino Robbery is a novel that explores the world of a man with PTSD who has to cope with his symptoms to solve the mystery and create a new life.

Casino Robbery is available now in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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

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Your thoughts are holding you back.

By David Joel Miller.

Negative self-statements.

Negative thoughts

Negative thoughts.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Saying negative things about yourself creates negative results.

People who routinely practice positive affirmations begin to feel better about themselves.

Running yourself down in your own head will destroy self-esteem and hold you back from being the person you could become.

How many of these negative self-statements have you been telling yourself?

I’m stupid.

A natural impulse when you make a mistake is to run yourself down with a categorical statement such as “I am stupid.” Even the smartest people make mistakes. Avoid such global condemnations. One error does not make you stupid. There is no evidence that calling yourself names is effective in improving your performance. In fact, calling yourself stupid is one way of avoiding trying again. Acknowledge your mistakes and consider them improvement opportunities. Tell yourself to work and study harder so that you don’t make the same mistakes over and over.

I’m too young or too old.

One way of avoiding facing challenges is to tell yourself that you have some inherent flaw which prevents you from accomplishing your goal. If you are alive, you’re not too old to live. You’re never too young to start working on yourself. Many people go back to school and retrain for a new career. Plenty of successful business people have started new ventures at a time when they were past the normal retirement age. Younger people may have an advantage at some things, but not others. The goal of life ought to be becoming the best you can be, not requiring yourself to be better than everyone else.

I have bad luck.

Luck changes by the day. Most “luck” is the result of hard work and persistence. When you use bad luck as an excuse to avoid trying, you create your own bad luck. The people with the best luck are the people who tried the most.

People don’t like me.

The belief that control of your life is out your hands and that your happiness depends on others takes you nowhere. What other people think of you should not determine your self-worth. Most of the time the people you think don’t like you are too busy with their own lives to pay you any attention. If there are people in your life who don’t like you, work on repairing those relationships or decide that those people don’t matter.

It’s too hard.

Worthwhile things are often hard. If you want to build up muscles, you must exercise. To accomplish things in your life, you need to take on challenges. If you go through life avoiding the hard things you will cheat yourself out of many accomplishments.

I will look foolish.

Where in the life manual does it say, you should never look foolish? What’s so bad about looking foolish? The persons whose opinion should most matter is yours. The only people who have never looked foolish are those who have done nothing with their lives, which sounds like a foolish way to live.

No one loves me.

Work on fixing this problem. Start by loving yourself. Re-examine your relationships. Get rid of negative, toxic people in your life where possible. Start small and work your way up. Getting a pet, a dog, or a cat can be a good first step in learning to love and accept being loved. Don’t expect too much from love. Love is not about perfection but about accepting the imperfections.

I’m too fat, skinny, tall, short, stupid, smart.

Believing that personal characteristics can prevent you from a successful life is just one more way of making excuses. Work on improving yourself where possible and the things you can’t change, learn to accept them. Rather than using characteristics as excuses for avoiding things, ask yourself what things you could be successful at and pursue those wholeheartedly.

I’ve been hurt too much.

Part of life is getting hurt. Don’t give up your future by looking back over your shoulder at the past. Put some effort into healing from the hurt. Learn from your life experiences; they have made you who you are. If you look back on your life, the you of today is probably quite different from the you of past years. Don’t let who you are or what you been through prevents you from becoming the who you should be.

I won’t be able to.

This statement is one of the worst of self-fulfilling prophecies. If you tell yourself you can’t, what you’re saying is, I don’t want to. Tell yourself you can, and you will accomplish a great many things that you and others might have thought impossible. You will never know what might’ve been possible if you talk yourself out of trying.

Stop preventing the life you should have by using negative self-statements.

New Book Bumps on the Road of Life is now available in Kindle format for preorder. It will be released on 11/13/17. The paperback version is ready now.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Other times you may stay off track and

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.
By David Joel Miller

in the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Bumps on the Road of life

Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

More to come as other books are completed.

Thanks to all my readers for all your support.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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

How to destroy self-esteem.

By David Joel Miller.

How many self-esteem destroyers have you experienced?

Proud

Self-esteem.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

People around you may be doing things that undermine your self-esteem.

You may have done some of the same things to your family or friends.

Worse yet, you may have been doing these confidence-destroying things to yourself for a long time.

Look at these methods of undermining self-esteem. How many of these things are damaging your self-esteem?

Point out every mistake.

Having someone constantly point out every mistake you make is annoying. When others do this to you, it can lower your self-esteem. When you do it to yourself, it will undermine your confidence. Continually pointing out mistakes but never recognizing accomplishments can create a condition called learned helplessness. When you get the message that you cannot do anything right, you give up trying.

Withhold all praise.

Parents sometimes treat children this way. The old belief was that praising someone too much would give them “a swelled head.” Occasionally pointing out a shortcoming may help someone improve. Continually pointing out every mistake causes people to give up. Why would you continue trying if it is not possible to do it correctly?

Be careful not to praise someone for things that are trivial. Telling your child how great they did when they came in last in a race does not raise their self-esteem. When everyone gets a blue ribbon, the awards do not raise self-esteem. Recognizing effort, regardless of the outcome, does raise self-esteem.

There’s nothing wrong with taking credit for things done well. Make it a point to praise your family and friends and recognize their accomplishments. Give yourself credit. Don’t discount your accomplishments. Taking pride in the things you do results in taking pride in yourself.

Don’t expect others to be better at everything.

The expectation that everyone else is better than you at everything sets up an unrealistic standard. No one is the best at everything. Stop comparing yourself to others. Be careful that you do not set a higher standard of behavior for others than you set for yourself.

Self-handicapping, telling yourself that you are not capable of doing what other do may at first seems like a way to avoid disappointment. However, continually setting lower expectations for yourself damages your self-esteem. Accept yourself and others as good enough just the way you are, while you continue to work on improving yourself.

Don’t make your love conditional.

Being loved only when you do things for others, makes love a commodity. Accept yourself just the way you are. Don’t start believing that you are lovable only because of what you do for others. People who only love because you give them gifts, or do acts of service for them, are confusing love with using people.

Avoid role model failure.

Be careful about whom you pick for a role model. Avoid comparing you in your work clothes to others dressed for the red carpet. Avoid the trap of social media comparisons. If you have ten friends, be happy with that. Don’t compare yourself to someone who has 50 friends and then start believing you do not measure up. If you grew up without a role model, or with poor role models, spend some time becoming the kind of person you want others to model themselves after.

Expect perfection no matter what.

Quality is good. Striving to be your best is wonderful. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you must be perfect or you are no good. Perfectionists tend to drive themselves and others crazy. No matter how well things are done, it is never good enough. Trying to be perfect demolishes self-esteem, is an impossible goal, and is likely to lead to depression and giving up.

Criticize individual differences.

Avoid trying to be exactly like everyone else. Don’t be one of those people criticizes everyone who does not fit the ideal exactly. Embrace your individuality. Allowing you to be yourself and others to be who they are, results in feeling positive about yourself and others.

Use shame to motivate.

Shame is the feeling that you are a bad person. Some people in families try to control others by shaming them. There’s a difference between guilt and shame. Guilt says you did something bad don’t do it again. Shame says you made a mistake; you are a bad person. Shaming yourself and others undermine self-esteem and can lead to giving up all efforts to improve.

New Book Bumps on the Road of Life is now available in Kindle format for preorder. It will be released on 11/13/17. The paperback version is ready now.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Other times you may stay off track and

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.
By David Joel Miller

in the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Bumps on the Road of life

Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

More to come as other books are completed.

Thanks to all my readers for all your support.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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

Increase your self-esteem by liking you.

By David Joel Miller.

Raise your self-esteem by learning to like yourself.

Self-confident people

Being self-confident.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The person whose evaluation of you is most likely to affect your self-esteem is yourself. Part of building up your self-confidence is to become your own best friend. If you wouldn’t want to spend time with you, your attitude makes it hard for others to enjoy your company. Work on feeling good about yourself by liking yourself more.

Here are some ways to like yourself better.

Increase self-esteem by silencing Mr. Negativity.

It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re constantly being put down. Don’t be the one criticizing yourself. The words you say to yourself are powerful. Stop calling yourself names. Stop beating yourself up. When Mr. negativity whispers in your ear, tell him to be quiet. Don’t allow negative thoughts about yourself to take root in your mind and grow.

Set clear goals for your life.

It’s difficult to get anywhere when you don’t know your destination. Set clear goals, ones that have measurable results. Make sure these goals are doable. Avoid goals like I’m going to lose 50 pounds. When you don’t lose the weight as quickly as you planned, it is easy to get discouraged. Tell yourself you will begin exercising 10 minutes a day.

Break goals up into chunks. Pay off an extra $10 a month on your credit card. Go back to school and take one course. Do all the small chunks, and over time you can accomplish great things.

Make your self-care a priority.

If you don’t take care of yourself who will? Eat a healthy diet. Get plenty of rest. Include time in your schedule for relaxation and to socialize the positive people. When you value something, you take care of it. Show yourself and others how much you value yourself. Demonstrate yourself commitment by good self-care.

Insist on being treated respectfully.

Respect yourself and expect others to respect you. Give others the sort of respect you would want. Set boundaries on what you will accept and stick to them. When they don’t set boundaries, you lose yourself. While you may not be able to control what others say to you, it is in your power to stop being around people who disrespect you.

Your opinion about you matters the most.

Stop living your life by other people’s opinion. Do the things that make you happy and please you. Stop grading or evaluating yourself and accept you just the way you are. Do the best you can. Stop trying to be perfect and embrace your imperfections. Don’t let others opinion of you pull you down.

Make meeting your needs a priority.

Don’t get so busy doing for others that you fail to make meeting your needs a priority. If you respected someone, you would treat them well. If you want to have self-respect, treat yourself as if you deserve to be treated well, and then live up to that standard.

Let negative things go.

As much as is possible, leave the past in the past. Don’t be ashamed of what has happened; your past has made you who you are today. Don’t hold onto resentments. Live in the present. Holding on to the pain of the past maintains the pain in the present.

Expect things to get better.

Having a positive view of the future conveys the feeling that you believe things can get better. Work on growing your hope. If you find you are short on hope seek out supportive people who have hope for you. What you look for you will see. If you are constantly expecting something to go wrong, the smallest obstacle can ruin your whole day. When you encounter an obstacle, keep your eyes on the goal. Climb over that obstacle, go around it, but whatever you do don’t sit down and spend time with that obstacle.

Grow a positive support system.

Add to the positive people in your life. Everyone needs a support system. Some supporters will be friends, some family, and some people who were part of your support system will be professionals. Don’t expect any one person to meet all your needs. People who feel good about themselves have many relationships with others that make them feel good.

Live in the present, while growing towards the future.

Brooding over the past keeps you stuck. Worrying about the future will make you frightened and anxious. Living each day minute by minute can help you to feel competent.

Focus on the positive.

Whatever you look for you will find. People who look for and expect the negative find problems everywhere. Become a positive happiness expert. If you look, all around you good things may be happening unnoticed. Incorporate some of those positive events in your life.

Know when to cut people and things out of your life.

A healthy environment means getting rid of the garbage. There are things in your life that are no longer useful or helpful, start cleaning them out. If you spend all your time with negative people, you will have no time to make positive friends.

Be constantly learning new things.

Be curious, learn all you can. The more you learn, the more you know, the better you will feel about yourself. Pursue the things that interest you. Approach each day as a gift. Expect to find something good in each present.

Make your life an adventure.

You only get one life. It can be boring, or it can be exciting. Within your comfort zone, experience all the new adventures you can. Keep putting pressure on that comfort zone, and it will expand. If each day, week, and year, you do new things, your comfort zone will expand tremendously, and you will be able to look back and all the wonderful experiences you’ve had.

In what ways, will you go about enlarging your self-esteem this week?

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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

Reasons they don’t like you.

By David Joel Miller.

What you are doing to drive people away and how to fix it.

They don't like you.

Why they don’t like you!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You find it hard to make friends and harder still to keep them. Does it often feel like people around you don’t like you? Chances you are doing things, and more importantly, you are thinking things, that are making it hard for others to like you. One big reason you may be feeling rejected is that you have been rejecting yourself.

If you don’t like yourself, you make it hard for others to like you. Are your insecurities getting in the way of having good relationships? People who are insecure often adopt negative behavior patterns to protect themselves from rejection by others. Some of the things you have been doing to try to make yourself feel more self-confident may be making you hard to be around.

Being arrogant drives people away.

The definition of arrogant is to have an exaggerated belief in your own importance and abilities. If you find you need to brag about everything you do, puff yourself up, to get other people to notice you, they may perceive you as arrogant. Arrogant people are conceited, afraid to admit when they made a mistake and are very egotistical.

The solution to being perceived as arrogant is to be humbler. Being humble does not mean low self-esteem. It means thinking and treating others as your equal. Respecting other people’s opinions and being willing to ask them for help when you need it.

Selfish, self-centered people are hard to like.

Taking good care of yourself is not the same things being selfish. Selfish people are concerned only about themselves. They lack concern or even consideration for others feelings and needs.

The cure for being selfish is to work on the ability to genuinely care about others.

Are you always negative?

Negative people are a real downer. We all understand that our family or friends may have difficult times. We want to be there for them through those challenges. But if you’re one of those people who sees everything and everyone as bad and worthless, your constant negativity will drive people away.

People who can see the good in others are enjoyable to be around. If you would like to have more friends you need to practice your ability to see the good in others. It’s often easy to see the mistakes others make, but a focus on those mistakes eliminate your ability to ever see the good that anyone has done. The cure for negativity? Become a positivity expert!

Are you an emotional vampire?

Some people practice the skill of sucking all the joy out of the room. If spending time with you wears people out and they feel like you’re sapping their energy, they will stop coming around.

Practice enthusiasm and you will feel more energized. Enthusiasm is contagious, and people like to be around people who enjoy being around them.

It’s hard to care about people who are apathetic.

If you do the minimum to get by, people are likely to pass you by. If you don’t care about the things you’re doing, start doing something differently. It’s fun to be around people who love what they’re doing. Being around people who just don’t care is likely to make you not care.

If other people are seeing you as apathetic, maybe even lazy, find some goals you can be passionate about.

People who are no fun are hard to like.

If you take everything in life deadly serious, people will only be able to take you in small doses. It’s easiest to make friends with people who are fun to be around. Take the serious stuff seriously. But there are a great many things in life every day that are not a matter of life and death. Learn to enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy, and people will be attracted to you.

Want to be that fun person to be around? Learn to play more.

Rigid, defensive people create resistance.

If you are set in your ways, expect other people to take a different path. If you are defensive, people will begin to feel self-protective around you. They are walking on eggshells. Having to constantly worry that you will say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and upset someone is a difficult situation. If you are not able to give as well as take, people will avoid you.

People who are flexible and accepting are easier to like. Work on being more open to alternatives. When you meet people, who are different from you, view this is an opportunity to learn from them.

Look at yourself and your personality. If any of these characteristics of unlikable people fit you, consider this an improvement opportunity. Learning to be a likable person is an opportunity for personal growth. The more likable you become, the more you will discover you like yourself. Practicing likability is a great way to improve your self-esteem.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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

The gift of Self-forgiveness.

By David Joel Miller

To be happy, you need to forgive yourself.

Forgiveness written in the sand.

Forgiveness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

One of the hardest things to do sometimes is to forgive yourself.  For a lot of good reasons, your recovery needs, to begin with healing the wounds within and forgiving yourself.  Self-hatred and loathing stand in the way of many people’s recovery.  While you may never be able to forget some things, learning to forgive is an important step on your pathway to happiness.  Here are some reasons that you need to work on forgiving yourself and others.

What you hate you keep in you.

When you’re busy hating something, yourself or others, you can’t let it go.  To continue to hate, you must hold on to things.  The harder you hold onto them for more pain you inflict on yourself.  Healing often begins with letting go of the thing that is causing you the pain. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you may have made and move on.

Happiness requires forgetting and forgiving.

If you are holding onto the regrets of the past, you can’t enjoy the present nor can you move forward into the future. Having a life full of regrets crowds out the room needed for happiness to grow. Don’t fill up your present life with regrets about the past.

Letting it go is healing.

Letting things go does not mean that you need to let people who hurt you in the past back into your life. Holding onto resentments keeps you stuck in the suffering. Let go of the painful memories of the past, forgive yourself for your part in them. Learn from the past but live in the present.

Anger is the burden on your back.

Holding on to anger is tempting.  The longer you hold onto it, the more it will wear you out. Continuing to carry around past mistakes prevents you living in the present. The longer you carry anger, the heavier it gets, and the less energy you have for living life today.

You need to let the pain go before it destroys you.

If you’ve ever grab something that’s very hot, the longer you hold onto it, the more pain you’ll feel. We instinctively drop something that’s burning our hand. What we forget to do is to drop emotional pain. People think that by holding on to that pain, they are protecting themselves. What’s important to do is to learn the lesson you needed to learn from that experience and then let it go.

Self-forgiveness is empowering.

Learn to forgive you. Holding onto that burden keeps you from moving forward. Forgiving yourself and moving on creates a whole other source of personal power. All humans make mistakes. People who live full lives do more, and as a result, make more mistakes. Let the past go if you want to prepare for the future.

Forgiveness lets you grow.

Think about one of those lawns were people cut across repeatedly. Eventually, the grass stops growing. If you keep going back over the times where you wish you would have done better, you create a deep rut in your life. To grow as a person, you need to take a new path. You can’t embark on a new life direction if you keep looking over your shoulder at the past.

Staying angry is easy, letting it go is hard.

Most of us have encountered a person was constantly angry, angry about everything. It’s easy to live in the anger; its heat keeps you warm. Letting it go can be difficult. When you stay angry at yourself, you continue to inflict pain on you. Love yourself more and forgive yourself.

Forgiveness is letting go of the badge of pain.

Continuing to flaunt your pain make cause some people to feel sorry for you for a while. Eventually, people get tired of being around someone who uses their injury as an excuse for not trying again. Don’t hold on to the pain as an excuse for why you’re not moving forward. Heal yourself by shifting your focus from how you were injured, to the ways in which you can move forward.

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Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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

12 ways to learn to love yourself.

By David Joel Miller.

The way you treat yourself is the way others will treat you.

Child and adult on beach

Love.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Feeling loved begins with learning to like and then to love yourself. Loving yourself means you are gentle and caring towards the person you will spend your life with – you. Children who grow up never being shown they are loved may find it hard to think that they deserve love. Here are some ways you can create that feeling of being a valuable loved person.

1. Turn off the noise – disconnect from social media and others opinions.

A sad fact of modern life is that with more ways to connect people are feeling less and less connected.  Frantically posting and liking people on social media can create a false sense that your worth as a person is dependent on how many people like you and your posts.

The person whose opinion about you most matters is yours.  What other people think about you is not something you should be focused upon.  Stop comparing yourself to others.  Stop rating yourself.  Work on doing more things that you can feel proud of.

2. Spend some quality time with yourself.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your happiness will come from the time you spend with others.  Balance your time with others and your time alone.  Being alone should not be the same thing as being lonely.  Work at making your alone time an opportunity to rest, recharge and work on yourself.

3. Make meal time an adventure, not a chore.

Think about all the times that you have shared food with someone else.  Shared meals are a part of many celebrations.  Couples go out to dates over dinner.  Family share meal time. Share some time with you. When you eat invest some time in making special things for yourself, experimenting with new foods and making your individual meals something special.

4. Make bedtime and sleep important.

Sleep is an important component of the happy life.  Not getting enough sleep will leave you grumpy and irritable.  Value yourself enough to make rest an important part of your daily routine.  Staying up late doesn’t make for a happier life.  Putting off bedtime is trying to borrow hours from tomorrow to extend today.  The consequence of this is you shortchanged your tomorrow.

5. Maintain your body; you deserve it.

Take good care of herself.  Beyond the sleeping and eating part get plenty of exercise.  Do those things each day that makes you feel valued and loved. Pamper your body.

6. Stop and savor the good things.

Difficult, painful times will be easy to remember.  The happy events in life are harder to capture.  Make sure you spend the time observing and studying the good things that happen in your life.  Commit the flowers, the sunrises and the sunsets to memory.  Make a point of noticing and returning each and every smile you receive.  Share all the happiness you can, and you will never run short.

7. When you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up.

Be kind to you. The evidence tells us that beating someone up will not make them a better person.  A little bit of kindness for yourself and others goes a long way.  Compassion spent on yourself is never wasted.

8. Save some treasured mementos.

It is rarely the expensive things in life that bring the great joys.  Hang onto those little keepsakes that remind you of the fabulous adventures of life.  Those little pictures that your child draws, the craft projects they make in school, all add meaning to your life.

9. Learn to laugh.

Laughter is not frivolous.  The more you laugh, the more your soul matures.  People who smile and laugh more become happier.  Don’t wait to be happy to laugh, laugh to be happy.  Time invested in watching comedy, swapping jokes and gaiety will yield great dividends.

10. Have time to play.

Time spent playing is fundamental to creative pursuits.  Playing was someone can develop and strengthen relationships.  Play with your child.  Play with your friends.  Make having fun part of your time budget.

11. When something is wrong, take care of it.

People who love themselves do not hide from life’s problems.  When there something wrong the sooner you take care of it the better.

12. Save your stories.

As you move through life, you will experience things. These become your life stories.  Hold on to those stories.  Retell them as you can.  Writing out the stories of your life can become very good therapy.

Try to do some of these self-loving activities each and every day.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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