3 Ways to See the Best in Yourself

Jun 30, 2024

Our theme this week is simple, but so important: we’re talking about how to see the best in ourselves

It’s easy to get stuck on the things about ourselves that we don’t like or that we’d like to improve. And entire industries are built on getting us to think about our shortcomings, and all the products we should buy to address them — just spend 15 minutes on Instagram and you’ll know what I mean.

Given all of that, it’s extra important to build up a practice of “learning to see the best in ourselves.” It has so many benefits, from improving our own well-being and chances of finding satisfaction in the everyday, to improving how we think about and treat others. After all, if we can’t see the best in ourselves, it can be hard to see the best in other people, too.

This week, we're bringing you 3 ways to learn to see the best in yourself.

#1: Make a List

I have a challenge for you today: Spend 5-10 minutes making a list of the things that you like about yourself.

If I were writing that list for myself, I would include: I'm a good friend, creative, and able to find joy in everyday moments.

Your list will look different, and that’s great. You will likely discover that you have unique skills and superpowers that you deserve to be proud of.

Are you kind to strangers? Great at problem-solving in a crisis? Or maybe you’re super good at scrabble, and make people weep with your triple word scores… Whatever it is, these are your unique skills that make you into the wonderful person you are.

I suggest writing this list on paper, and putting it up somewhere around your workspace so you can easily see it. You could also write it down on your phone’s notes app, and try to open it whenever you might be feeling a little down on yourself.

Maybe you can even add making this list as one of your goals today… 🙂

How to make a “positive self-talk” list:

⏰ Set a timer for 5-10 minutes to help you brainstorm.

✍️ Write down as many things you like about yourself as possible! We suggest “free associating” and not getting caught up on editing yourself. 

🎨 Decorate it if you’d like! Time to break out the sparkle pens, stickers, or fun doodles.

🖼️ Put the list up somewhere where you can see it! Now anytime you need a boost, take a look at your very own “self-talk” masterpiece.

#2: Silence your Inner Critic

Every day, we are bombarded with messages telling us that we are not good enough. These come from the media, advertising, and also from inside the house itself… our own minds! 😱

With this tip, we’re talking about how to deal with our own inner critic.

Though many of us may have been taught that the only way to improve ourselves is with tough love and by letting our inner critic run the show, there is a better way: the way of self-compassion.

Many, many studies have shown that people who practice self-compassion are more effective at meeting their goals than those who do not. 

If the negative self-talk in your own head gets too loud sometimes, we recommend looking into the concept of “cognitive distortions” — a “cognitive distortion” is a thought pattern that doesn’t allow us to see the truth, and causes us to default to negative interpretations of the world around us.

We often turn those negative interpretations in on ourselves, too. So learning to counter them can have benefits for ourselves, and all of the other people in our lives, too.

Learning to silence the inner critic is a lifelong challenge for many of us, so you aren't alone if yours has a lot to say.

To learn some strategies for countering cognitive distortions, check out a blog post we wrote about the 9 most common cognitive distortions, and how to counter them.

#3: Design an Inner Champion

We've learned some techniques to silence our inner critic, and now we’re going one step further: we’re going to replace that inner critic with an inner champion! So long, sucker — you've been replaced! 👹

If you have 5-10 minutes today, I invite you to do the following exercise: think about a new, positive voice you want to introduce into your head. That will be the voice of your inner champion.

Here are some questions to think about:

  • What kinds of things would you want your Inner Champion to say to you to keep you motivated and feeling good about yourself?

  • Will they remind you of things you’re good at? Will they encourage you to remember that you are not defined by your mistakes? Or maybe they’ll just tell you little jokes to cut the tension 😅

If you’re game to take it a step further, we suggest getting really imaginative about it:

  • What does their voice sound like?

  • What does this character look like? Is it Ted Lasso? Or more like a talking cartoon lion?

  • What’s their name? 

The sky's the limit with how they show up for you, but having a go-to positive champion in our minds can be a really helpful — and fun! — strategy for getting ourselves out of negative thought loops, and into a more self-supportive headspace.

That's it!

We hope this was a helpful way to think about how to talk to yourself in a kinder way — and how to begin focusing on everything that's amazing about yourself.

It's a practice, so you may still struggle with negative self-talk at times (I certainly do!), but these 3 tips are a great place to start.

See you around some of the sessions!

Alexis Hope, designer @ focused space