Heart 2 GOODIf you read my columns regularly, you know I encourage building self-love. Yet so many people who think they’re being loving to themselves still allow their inner critic to come out regularly. I still remember the days—painfully—when I found more fault with myself than good. It began right after I woke up. I’d look in the mirror to see what I could find to hate. Bad hair days brought me down. But so did every time I was aware of my cellulite.

My inner nasty could stop beating me up. That contributed to my low self-esteem and to being a DoorMat. After all, if I saw myself in such a bad light, other people probably thought worse of me. So I had to keep doing things for others to compensate for all the flaws I picked myself apart for. Do you have an inner nasty who knocks you down regularly? Letting your flaws define you feels lousy! It keeps you from loving yourself and also dampens your ability to be happy. After all, how can you be happy if you’re unhappy with yourself?

Self-love and having good self-esteem require self-acceptance. You don’t have to like everything about you but you can love and accept you the way you are now. I’d love to be thinner and get rid of the jiggly stuff in my belly. And I try to eat healthy and exercise, which slowly improves it. But I still love my body, jiggly, and all, because it’s me and I love me! Trust me, it’s worth the effort to tame your inner nasty and allow self-love to blossom. I don’t believe that they can exist simultaneously. So how do you begin to get your inner nasty under control?

•    Decide that you want to. Until you make a conscious decision to stop, you won’t be able to. Change requires a desire to do thing differently. So make the choice to be kinder to you!

•    Write down the things you appreciate about you. Ask people who love you to point your good qualities out if your inner nasty tries to tell you there’s nothing good about you. Keep it handy. When you start to get self-critical read the list and remind yourself how terrific you are.

•    Write down what being a best friend means to you. How would you respond to a friend you love if he/she made a mistake or pointed out flaws? Writing it down helps to recognize what it means to treat yourself as your best friend really mean sink in.

•    Write yourself a letter of apology for not being as kind as you should be and for all the things you allowed your inner nasty to bring up.

•    Forgive yourself.  Say “I forgive you.” out loud. And mean it. Give yourself a hug after.

Your inner nasty can have a lot of power if it’s been allowed to go free for a long time. But you can tame it by building self-love by giving yourself more inner kindness.

Join the Self-Love Movement™! Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Commitment and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. Read my 2013 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE. Join the Self-Love Movement™! on Facebook.

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