As important as it is to pay attention to outside influences and surround yourself with positive people, it is also important to be your own source of support. If you focus on yourself and on being your own support person, you will always have a reliable source of encouragement to pull you out of negative thought or behavior patterns.
Being your own support person involves forgiving yourself for your mistakes, appreciating yourself for who you are and letting go of the need to be perfect. Supporting yourself also means motivating yourself and celebrating your accomplishments as soon as you achieve them. Being your own support system will help you to feel good about yourself and raise your self-esteem.
Here are five tips for being your own support person:
- Forgive Yourself for Failures or Mistakes
- Appreciate Yourself
- Let Go of Perfectionism
- Motivate Yourself
- Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Forgive Yourself for Failures or Mistakes
The first step in being your own support person involves forgiving yourself for what you view as your failures or mistakes. It can help to remember that any time you go outside your comfort zone and reach for success, you may stumble and fall along the way. This happens to everyone at some point and is a completely normal part of life.
Here are two tips for accepting these stumbling blocks when you step into them along the way to success:
- Be your own best friend. Treat yourself as if you are your best friend. When you face a difficult situation ask yourself, “How would my best friend help me in this situation?” Then treat yourself in the same helpful way that he or she would.
- Find the positives. Look for the positive side of the situation. Try to find at least one thing you can learn from the situation. Staying positive and learning from the situation will help you maintain your level of self-esteem and help you avoid the same mistake in the future.
An important part of being your own support person is to appreciate yourself for all that you are! To do this, a helpful exercise can be to write down three things that you appreciate about yourself every day. This simple and fun habit can make a huge difference in the way you view yourself. Sit down somewhere calm and quiet, take a deep breath and think about three things for which you value yourself. For example, you may think: I helped a friend feel better about herself today or I did my best at work to provide for my family. Write these things down. Looking at your list will give you an immediate boost of positive energy, and will over time, raise your self-esteem .
Remember that these things you write down do not have to be “big” things. They are just things that made you feel good about yourself and make you appreciate yourself in a new way. It can be helpful to collect these things in a journal each day. Then, when you have a tough day, you can look at them and be reminded of the many reasons to appreciate yourself. Remember, if you are your own support person, you can pull yourself out of bad moods and give yourself a powerful boost of self-esteem.
Let Go of Perfectionism
Perfectionism, or the need to be perfect in everything we do, is another destructive habit that can tear you down and hurt your self-esteem. This thought habit robs you of satisfaction for things you do that are “less than perfect” in daily life. It can also keep you from taking action or working hard because you live in fear of not meeting the standard of perfection you set for yourself. This can cause you to procrastinate, or put off your tasks, and make you more likely to fail or make a mistake. This cycle will cause your self-esteem to sink quickly. Other times, you may achieve something but never feel that what you do is good enough. Over time, this thought pattern will cause you to view yourself and your abilities in a negative way.
Here are two strategies that can help you let go of perfectionism:
- Go for “good enough”. There is a saying that goes “doing is better than perfect”. This is true in that working and doing your best is good enough. Don’t stress out about the need to be perfect. If you do your best, then you reach good enough.
- Remember that believing the myth of perfection will only hurt you. Realize that reality is different from the movies. Your daydreams of perfection will clash with realistic expectations for yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself when your life isn’t as perfect as a daydream.
Who is a better cheerleader for you than your own self? This is another part of being your own support person. You know yourself better than anyone else, so you are able to find reasons to improve your self-esteem and use them as motivation to change. Motivating yourself in a healthy way is a sure way to help you take action and raise your self-esteem.
Here are some ways that you can silence your inner critic and replace it with a strong, encouraging voice:
- Remind yourself of the benefits. Write down benefits you will get from reaching a new goal. For example, if you start an exercise plan, you will have more energy, look better, feel healthier, etc. Write these benefits down and put them in a place where you will see them often.
- Focus on doing things for yourself. When you do something for yourself that you really want to do, it is easier to get it done. So, motivate yourself toward a goal that you know you will work hard to reach.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Another way to be your own support person is to celebrate your accomplishments. This practice is the opposite of perfectionism, which robs you of satisfaction for the things you have accomplished. Rather, appreciating and celebrating your accomplishments will give you the satisfaction you deserve and will motivate you to go further. This practice will help remind you of how far you have come and will encourage you to set and meet more goals.
A great way to celebrate your accomplishments is to display trophies and awards where you can see them each day. They will be visible reminders of what you have accomplished and will give your self-esteem an immediate boost!
We hope you enjoyed reading these tips on being your own support person. If you would like to see more about how our Bullying Prevention Program can work with your population, click the free trial link below.