How To Feel Good About Yourself (Seven Great Starting Points)

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Right girls (and guys!), I want us to get to a place where we feel truly happy in our own skin, and who we are as a person. So that it doesn’t matter what you have going on in your life or the way you look that day, you still know you’re frickin’ awesome and there’s nothing anyone else can do to take that away. In his post we’re going to look at how to feel good about yourself – not just on the odd day but (almost!) every day. Because it’s not about your physical appearance, or how others make you feel – it’s about knowing your worth and being able to feel good regardless.

So without further ado, let’s jump straight in…

1) Start Your Day With Some Positive Affirmations

Now you can use these at any point in the day, but I want to recommend getting into the habit of listening to them every morning when you wake up, because I think it then sets you up with the right state! And don’t scoff at them. Just try it first, for a decent amount of time so you’re giving it a proper shot. Then you can make an informed decision as to whether or not it’s for you.

Unsure? Maybe a little sceptical as to whether affirmations actually work? I used to be the same. I thought they were full of air. After all, just because you tell yourself you’re happy, it doesn’t mean you necessarily are, right? But it’s not actually about that. This post explores affirmations in more detail if you’re interested in reading. It also explores how they can add value to your life. But for now, let’s start with a quick five minute guided one together.

Listen to this before you carry on reading…

Because that’s the beauty with affirmations – if you don’t feel comfortable doing them yourself, or don’t know where to start, you can listen to guided ones. They don’t have to be long – all you actually need is a little boost. But it shifts you into a different state, especially if you actually repeat the words you’re listening to and tell your mind to believe them. Affirmations are basically like having little cheerleaders in your head, encouraging you and replacing the negative self-talk – our secret worst enemy that eats away at us more than we realise! This leads me onto my next point…

2) Become More Aware of Your Thoughts

You’re never going to think positively 100% of the time. It’s unrealistic. But if you want to feel better about yourself, on a daily basis, you have to identify how you’re speaking to yourself and be able to  change it when all you hear is bad. This post works closely on managing your self-talk so I definitely recommend a quick read. But in a nutshell, if you’re constantly putting yourself down, telling yourself you can’t do something or allowing yourself to live in anguish and fear – you will never feel good about yourself. So be kinder. Be more forgiving. Speak to yourself the same way you’d speak to your best friend when she’s not feeling quite herself. The more aware you become of your thoughts, the more power you will have over how you feel. Tap into it!

3) Make Self-Care a Priority

We all talk about self-love, but we’re missing out the fundamental step before, which is self-care. If you’re not looking after yourself properly, you are undoubtably not going to feel as great as you could do. Why self-care is so important? Because it’s showing yourself that you’re worth it – with the little things and the big things.

We’re all guilty of neglecting the showers, or not bothering to shave our legs, not always brushing our hair – it sounds kinda gross I guess but it is a reality. When we’re overworked, over-tired or just bogged down in general, self-care can go into the back-burner but this has a knock-on effect to how we feel.

So if you want to start feeling like yourself again, make sure you take time to take care of yourself – not just with the daily essentials, but more of the pampering treats… A hot, soapy bubble bath once a week, a manicure or pedicure every couple of weeks, different face treatments, intensive moisturising, even giving yourself the time to exercise. It’s essential.

A healthy body helps for a healthy mind, so this is certainly something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

4) Embrace Your Individuality

If you want to learn how to feel good about yourself, you have to make sure you’re being not only who you want to be – but who you believe you truly are. If you don’t feel completely fulfilled or happy in yourself, work on that – for you. Push outside of your comfort zone to help yourself develop and grow. But carve your own path. Don’t try to be like anyone else. Or think that you are not enough as you are. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others -especially with the nature of social media. But recognise that your uniqueness is actually one of the things that makes you beautiful, so embrace it!

The more you try to be someone you’re not, the worse you will feel in yourself. It puts too much pressure on you, too much strain, and it’s often not consistent to how you really feel. Every person has their own unique experiences, their own views, their own opinions, their own talents, their own outlook on life. All of these things pull together to create their unique personal mix. 

You will always find someone who is smarter, funnier, more successful than you – but equally, no-one will ever have the exact same uniqueness as you. Realise that you have a lot going for you. You don’t need to try to be like anyone else. And, whilst we’re on the topic – you don’t need to care about what anyone else thinks of you.

Write your own story and have fun doing it!

5) Create a ‘Brag List’ to Sustain Self-Confidence

I got this idea from Dr Ivan Joseph and instantly adopted it, because it’s powerful stuff! If you haven’t seen his TedTalk, it’s well worth a watch actually. Here it is…

He uses it when talking about confidence, but confidence pretty much works hand in hand with learning how to feel good about yourself – which is why it’s so useful. So what is it exactly? Well, the brag list is basically a list of things you’re proud of. What you’ve achieved, any difficult things you’ve overcome, what you like about yourself, what makes you a pretty special person. It’s not about self-indulgence, but remembering the things we need to hear when we let self-doubt set in. 

The brag list can also be written as a letter if you prefer a softer approach, but should include the same sort of things. The best place to write it is on your phone – so that it’s with you the majority of the time and you can get it out when you need it.

You should read it whenever you feel that self-esteem dip. Even just pick bits from it. And then tell yourself you can do whatever it is you’re going to do, or use it to lift yourself back up when you’re feeling down. Give it a go. This was an absolute gem for me!

6) Be Mindful of Who You Surround Yourself With

This is so critical, and so under-rated, because who you surround yourself with has a huge impact on how you feel.

  • You can’t necessarily choose who you work with (despite work taking up such a huge part of your life) but you can choose to distance yourself from any negativity.  
  • When it comes to your friends, you should also all share the same values. And remember – people change and grow. When you’re at school, you don’t really select your friends, or you do but from a very small pool of people. The older you get, the more choice you have. So if you find yourself in superficial friendships, with people who don’t really care about you – don’t be afraid to walk away and start again.
  • It’s the same with family. Don’t feel a sense of loyalty to people who don’t give you the love and support you deserve. It’s only going to negatively impact you.
  • Just like your relationships… does the person you’re in a relationship with / speaking to / dating – make you feel better or worse about you? Do they knock away at your insecurities, chip at your confidence, or bring our the best in you and highlight your worth?

If you’re not surrounding yourself with people who support and encourage you, don’t allow yourself to feel lost or like there’s nothing you can do, because you’re mistaken. Push yourself out there, start mixing with new people within different groups and circles, until you find one that you fit into, with people who genuinely make you feel good. Which leads me onto my last point…

7) Do More Things That Make You Feel Good

We’re not talking about the brag list now. That’s just a handy point of reference to boost you up when you need. Instead, we’re looking at what you can do to keep building on that – how you can diversify your life to have a good healthy mix of different things… experiencing all the juices of life!

Ultimately you want a good work-life balance with a rewarding career and a bursting social life. You want things that make you feel safe and secure (often gained from love and relationships), but also things that push and challenge you (it might be a fitness challenge, an adrenaline activity or a new business venture) – so it’s difficult, but in a good way. You also want things that give you meaning and value – like volunteering for instance, giving up your time for good causes. Everyone is different, and different things are therefore important to different people. But we all know the things that make us feel good, we all know the areas of our life we’re happy in and once you identify any areas that can be improved – you can then work on them from there. 

Do more of the things that make you feel good and realise that you’re in control of which direction your life is heading. You’re also in control of what you fill it with. So never just get comfortable or settle into a routine if there are things missing in your life that could make you happier.

One Last Thing…

If you want to know how to feel good about yourself, I’ll let you into a little secret… there’s actually one thing you can do at any moment to change the way you feel almost instantly. What it is? Drumroll please… By simply shifting your focus!

Instead of thinking of yourself and the areas you don’t like – why not try looking at what you do like, or what you are happy with. Or if you feel a bit crappy because you feel like there’s certain things missing – shift your focus to what does make you feel complete. Sometimes we can get almost obsessed with a minor thing – we make it bigger in our head and let it take over.

I want you to shift your focus to the things that are actually bigger than you – your visions, your passions, your goals, your mission. When we do this, we’re able to change our state. We stop dwelling on what we don’t like or don’t have and instead look at what we can do. It’s more positive, productive, will actually create results that move you forward and in turn make you feel better about yourself.

Putting it bluntly now, sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, or beating yourself up about things you either can’t change or don’t really matter – it’s not going to make anything better. There’s also plenty we can focus on to make us feel down, but on the flip side – there’s enough good out there too. Choose to focus on the things that lift you up or drive your forward, instead of dragging you down. Because that’s what it is… a decision. 

Let’s Wrap It All Up…

We’re all going to get both good and bad days – where we feel better or worse about ourselves. But the purpose of this, is to develop positive habits that help us have less of the bad and more of the good. Learning how to feel good about yourself gives us the power to control of how we feel. It stops us acting on negative states and encourages us to be the best versions of ourselves – fulfilling our potential and having the confidence to do everything we know we can do. We have more self-worth, a greater sense of purpose and when we look in the mirror – we’re proud of the person we see standing back. Everyone deserves to have that in their lives and I can’t wait to see the progress in you as you apply everything we’ve spoken about.

Sending all my encouragement!


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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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