How we feel about ourselves literally affects everything we do. If we think we are inadequate and not capable then it’s very unlikely that we will ever achieve the things we want, let alone be happy. However, if we shift our perception to see how capable and brilliant we actually are magic happens.
I believe that our mindset is the most important thing we can invest in, and that starts by deciding to see things differently; whether you want to change jobs, move house or start your own business, it all starts with a thought.
How often do we think “if I just lose a few more pounds I’ll feel brilliant!” then we lose the pounds and then it becomes something else “if I just get that job” and so on and so on, we keep putting off feeling good about ourselves.
If we base how we feel about ourselves on how we are told we should look or behave then it’s a lose lose situation, cultural ideals change all the time as do other peoples opinions. The key to feeling good about yourself, at least in my opinion, is to chose to think for yourself and cultivate healthy and productive patterns.
Below are 11 ways to feel better about yourself, give the ones that speak to you a go and see what happens.
1. Every day, write down 20 things you are grateful for
Yes, you can find 20 things. What we focus on expands. Take the time to write a gratitude list and feel the change. Gratitude pulls in more things to be grateful for and changes your focus. Be grateful
2. Help someone else
It’s not all about you or me or your problems. When you help someone else your problems seem far less important. Its amazing how things seem to sort themselves out when we put our attention on helping someone else with their problems. Help someone else.
3. You are who you surround yourself with
Take a look at the people you choose to spend the most time with. Are they supportive? Do you feel better or worse about yourself around them? I’m not meaning to sound judgmental but its important to consciously chose whom we surround ourselves with because our close circle has an incredibly strong influence on our behavior and thinking.
4. Do more of what makes you happy
What music makes you feel good? Play it more. What books uplift you? Read them instead of gossip magazines. Look for ways to fill your day with things that you love, it could be listening to an uplifting audio book on the commute to work, taking ten minutes in your lunch break to meditate or even signing up for a evening course in something you have always wanted to do. Build a life you love
5. Get out of your own head
Obsessing about something won’t solve the problem (believe me!). Go out for a run, take a walk, listen to music. Do whatever you need to do to stop mulling over the situation in your head, you’ll do much better if you are mentally refreshed. Give yourself some headspace
6. Change your perspective
Einstein said “We can’t solve problems using the same kind of thinking that created them” and he was right. Give yourself permission to change your thinking. Affirm that you are more than capable of handling whatever happens and that change is starting now.
7. Stop scaring yourself
Or beating yourself up, or blaming someone else. This won’t help change anything and will just make you feel worse. Instead of imagining the worst about yourself, start to think about the good. Visualize your ideal outcome and see yourself handling the situation well. Take a deep breath and take mental control.
8. Don’t buy into it
Don’t invest any more energy into thinking that you have to live up to other people’s expectations in order to feel approved of, because you don’t. They aren’t living your life, you are. It’s too dangerous to base your self-image on external approval because it can and does always change. What makes you happy? What do you want to be? Think for yourself.
9. Choose your influences
The books we read, music we listen to, magazines we flip through, groups we belong to, TV shows we watch have a massive impact on our self image and what we think we “should” look like or be doing with our lives. Bin the airbrushed ideals of what you think you should be looking like and focus on being happy with yourself. Self-acceptance is sexy.
10. Question routine
There is no disputing we are creatures of habit, but how many of the things we find ourselves habitually doing actually serve us? If you go out every Friday because your friends do but would rather stay in and wake up early on Saturday then give yourself permission to change your routine. Find a routine that works for you. Mix it up
11. Get some quiet time
Meditation is the practice of stilling the mind and going within. It has amazing effects on your mental and physical wellbeing and is well known to promote greater self-acceptance and realization. Give yourself some quiet time each day to go within and watch how things unfold. Listen to yourself
12. Do something about it!
Have a dream that still hasn’t happened? Don’t stand there like a deer in headlights. Take action! Go after what you want! Yes it can be scary but nothing is going to change unless you start moving. Face your fear, be strategic and have a plan. Taking action about something reduces anxiety. Do something about it.
13. Stop caring what other people think
Seriously, it really doesn’t matter. Most of what we think comes from our past experiences and isn’t actually about the other person at all, it’s our reaction to them and vice versa. If you’re spending too much time worrying what other people think just stop. You can worry about what people think, or you can get things done, you can’t do both. Take your power back
14. Let it go
Whatever happened in the past, you can decide to move on. That does not mean that you condone bad behavior or you deny your pain, it means that you choose to stop letting it affect your NOW. Do whatever you need to do to move on and choose to start being happy.