5 Ways to Learn to Like Yourself Better

Quick question: Do you like yourself?

When asked this question, most people respond by saying something like, “Of course I like myself.” While their words say they like themselves, what do their actions say?

Are you someone who’s comfortable in their own skin? Are you happy with your appearance, or are you constantly comparing yourself to others, wishing you could be more like them? When you look in the mirror, what do you see? A superstar, or someone who doesn’t quite live up to your own expectations?

The thing is, our self-esteem is based on how we think about ourselves, right now in this moment. Sure, it’s okay to strive to become a better version of ourselves, so long as we accept this current version, flaws and all.

If you’re someone who is overly self-critical, here are 5 ways you can learn to like yourself better:

1. Enjoy Your Accomplishments

Some people are so focused on everything that’s wrong with them, they never take a look at what’s right. When you’ve done something well, it’s important that you admit this success and enjoy it.

It doesn’t have to be something huge, either. It could be that you made a really delicious lasagna. Allow yourself the pleasure of enjoying every single bite, and happily receive any compliments from those you cooked for.

2. Understand That No One is Perfect

If you’ve been comparing yourself to other people, it’s time for you to stop and realize that no one is perfect. Not the models you see on the cover of magazines, nor the actors in the movies. They have professional makeup artists, stylists, and have the advantage of darn good lighting. Would it surprise you that even they have doubts, frustrations, and fear of not living up to fan expectations?

Not even the so-called perfect among us are actually perfect. The sooner you can accept this fact the sooner you can relax and like who you are.

3. Have Patience with Yourself

Perhaps there are things about yourself that you would like to change. Do you want to lose weight, get healthier, learn a new language?

Often we dislike ourselves for not reaching impossible goals we have set for ourselves. If there are goals you would like to reach, be realistic in setting timelines and be patient with yourself. Baby steps get you just as close to your goal than not stepping into any action toward it.

4. Look at Your Past with a Kind Eye

Sometimes we don’t like ourselves because of past actions and behaviors. It’s important to show yourself self-compassion. When you were young, you may not have always acted kindly toward loved ones or strangers. Maybe you acted selfishly more often than you care to admit. But this is a part of being young.  Is it possible that those past indiscretions lead to teaching opportunities whereby you learned to do things differently when you had a "do over" helping to make you better today than you were yesterday?

5. Like “Most” of Yourself

Interestingly, compassion is easier to show to those around us, even strangers, than showing ourselves self-compassion.  Our best friend, our partner, our child - we embrace them warts and all because the majority of "who" they are brings us joy and love and goodness. Can you practice this same philosophy toward yourself? Can you allow yourself to love a portion of you? If loving yourself is too big of a thought, can you start small and like most of yourself? Thought of the day: For today, I allow myself to like myself warts and all! How you feel about yourself has to do with your thoughts about yourself. If you've been challenged with a reoccurring thought about yourself for some time, maybe years, that has kept you from showing up in your life fully as you have hoped to, perhaps its time to ask yourself if you are willing to trade that old thought habit in for a new model.

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