Don’t be your own worst critic.
So many people put so much effort into making someone love them by trying to change who they are, but if you were to put even half that effort into loving yourself, you would attract so much love. When you try to change yourself, you criticize yourself and put yourself down, punishing your body so it looks better or saying to yourself, “I’m going to look at all my flaws and try to get rid of them.” What’s even worse is many of you have had that criticizer in your head since childhood, thinking that if you put yourself down, you’ll get better. Or maybe criticism was all you ever heard from your parents while you were growing up, so much so that now you criticize your own kids and yourself, and you don’t know any other way. Now is the time to make that conscious effort: Instead of being your own worst critic, be your own best friend.
Ask yourself, what would you say to your best friend? Would it be something like, “Oh, honey, you’re amazing. Who cares if you’re overweight or have a bit of cellulite?” or “You’re a great guy. You’re interesting, you’re so much fun to be around, and any girl would be lucky to be with you”? Now say that to yourself, and don’t get sucked into the criticism that we often pile on ourselves. That kind of criticism comes from an outside force. It could be something that was present in your family and maybe still is, or it could come from a friend, a coworker, or a boss, each of whom might be in their own negative space. These aren’t the kind of people you want in your life.
I’m a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars, and this year’s winner, Bobby Bones, even went so far as to shut out the negative destructive naysayers from his social media so that his people wouldn’t get sucked into that. That’s a good friend. Take a page from his script. Shut it out. If any of you have read Welcome to My Arms, you know that Chelsea was struggling with that destructive criticism from an ex and his friends, and it had continued for many years.
Don’t let destructive criticism in. Don’t feel bad about yourself. Praise yourself! Nothing can build you up like self-praise, which will boost your self-esteem, whereas criticism withers and diminishes it. Think of it this way: People who feel bad about themselves criticize everyone around them, because critics always reserve the most criticism for themselves. Don’t put all your effort into making someone fall in love with you. Put all your effort into falling in love with yourself, and then the world will change dramatically.
And it’s not hard to fall in love with yourself. It’s really quite simple! Praise yourself all the time. Don’t wake up and look in the mirror and start with “Oh, my hair is a mess, I have bags under my eyes, and I look like crap,” or “Geez, I shouldn’t have eaten that pizza, because now I’ve gained weight,” or “I’m such an idiot for not doing that project that’s due today,” or anything like that. Instead, shift your focus and say good things to yourself, the same good things you would say to your best friend, things like “I’m great, I’m lovable, I look fantastic, and I have an amazing smile.” It may sound cheesy to you, but it really works. You can write it on your mirror, leave yourself notes. Write it down every day, because there’s nothing wrong with telling yourself you’re lovable. How can you expect anyone else to believe it if you don’t?
When you say it every day, your mind starts to say, “Oh, there’s that phrase you say every day, and it must be true.”
So here are your choices. The first one is to be the criticizer, to find yourself thinking or saying to yourself every day, “I’m overweight. I’m fat. I’m broke. I’m not worthy of being loved. I’m not good enough. The kind of people I like don’t like me. I’ll never get ahead. I’ll never be the kind of person who can do that job.” You know those negative thoughts you’ve said or heard over and over so much that you believe them?
Or here’s choice number two, where you say to yourself, “I’m loveable. I have something to offer. I matter. I’m worth it. I’m a great person. I can do anything. I can accomplish anything!”
You can choose either, but you can’t choose both. Remember, too, when you choose the criticizer, the complainer, what happens is that you invite in depression and anxiety, and your immune system gets weak, and you welcome all kinds of health problems.
Tell yourself there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I love you because you’re you!” So fall in love with yourself, because it really is the beginning of a lifelong romance, and it will never bore you, and it never goes away.