1 Learn something new
Take up yoga, learn to speak Mandarin, try your hand at acrylic painting. Too often, we let ourselves get caught in the “I can’t” trap, assuming we’re too old, busy, or simply incapable when it comes to participating in a new activity or learning a new skill. There is no cut-off age for learning and in today’s pandemic online world, there’s no limit to what you can learn.
2 Adopt a mantra
A positive affirmation can sometimes serve as a reminder of your self-worth. In Kathryn Stockett’s book The Help, Aibileen Clark repeatedly tells her young charge, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Find a quote, affirmation, or mantra, print it out, and place it where you’ll see it every day.
3 Show compassion and self-respect
Would you ever treat a friend the way you sometimes act toward yourself? From the negative self-talk to the broken promises to eat healthier, spend less, exercise more, and so on, we can be downright cruel to ourselves in a way we wouldn’t dream of treating others. One strategy is to be more compassionate in the way you talk to yourself. Be kind when you look in the mirror; pay yourself a compliment and refrain from being so harsh in your judgments. Respect the promises you make to yourself with the same importance as any others.
4 Forgive yourself
Everybody—without exception—makes mistakes. It’s where you go from there that matters. Do you wallow in self-pity, berating yourself for your failures, or do you dust yourself off and move forward? Research has shown that healthy self-forgiveness involves the right amount of remorse, which helps you learn from your mistakes and fuel positive change.
5 Journal your accomplishments
Have you ever heard the saying, “Do something right, no one remembers; do something wrong, no one forgets”? We are often our own worst enemies when it comes to keeping score. By articulating your accomplishments and recording them on paper, you force yourself to increase your awareness on the positive side of the equation.