Liking What You See in the Mirror
By: Beth McHugh 2006
We all need to work consistently on maintaining a positive image of ourselves. We need to train our brains just as much as our bodies. As with exercise, if we don’t use it, we lose it! Once we start to slide into regularly thinking negative thoughts, we quickly find ourselves on a very slippery slope which leads to low self-esteem. How to stop the rot? Read on...
- Accept compliments
Do not minimize or negate compliments. Don’t give excuses as to why you look good or did a great job on a project. Accept these compliments with a smile. If you don’t know what to say, just say “Thank you,” then zip it!
- Pay compliments to others
One of the easiest ways to feel good about ourselves is to see the good in the world around us and that includes other people. By praising them you are giving them a gift, and we all know it is better to give than to receive.
- Praise yourself
When you do a good job, mentally give yourself a pat on the back. We can’t always rely on others to give us compliments, but who better to give us one than ourselves?
- Remember you are not your actions
Be aware that your actions are not necessarily a part of your own self worth. Just because you made a mistake does not mean that you, the person, are a failure. Separate your behavior from your self.
- Let others know how you expect to be treated
We give out subtle cues every day about what we will and will not accept from others. Make sure that you are giving out messages that you will not be abused or mistreated. If something feels uncomfortable to you, say so. Try not to smile and ignore a comment or behavior that offends. Doing so sends out a very loud message about who you are and the way you feel about yourself.
- Steer clear of being overcritical
Constantly criticizing others not only makes you seem like an unpleasant person, but it has a more serious side-effect. People who are super-critical are more likely to be overly critical of themselves, too. Let go of the outer critic and you might find that you are more loving towards yourself as well.