Learning how to encourage yourself can be a lifelong journey for some people, but it’s a useful attitude to be able to adopt as early as possible so you can be your own cheerleader when you need to.
Now, I’ve written guides on how to motivate yourself, but this resource is less about motivating yourself to achieve a specific goal and more about being able to encourage yourself in day-to-day life and be kind to yourself.
Sure, you can figure out how to encourage yourself to study or how to encourage yourself to lose weight, but you can also just learn to encourage yourself in a more general way because you know that you’re worth being someone who is lifted up and spoken to with positivity.
And you might as well start by being that person who does the speaking!
Your internal voice is one of the most powerful tools you have in learning ways to encourage yourself.
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1. Practice Positive Self-Talk
The more practice you have in reaffirming positive thoughts in yourself and banishing that negative self-talk, the better you’ll be when you really need to encourage yourself.
Your mind is always adjusting and learning and growing new pathways, and if all you do is talk to yourself negatively, it’s going to be even easier to be negative to yourself in the future.
You may have to fake it until you make it, but you really need to engage in positive self-talk more and more often so that you can automatically go there when you need to.
In general, the positive self-talk is the number one way to use words to encourage yourself because it’s so easy to do and you can do it anywhere.
Give yourself some positive words when you’re in the line at the grocery store, when you’re driving – whenever and wherever.
This self-love workbook is a fantastic way of realigning your own thoughts and outlook on yourself, which is important to do before you can really deal with anyone else’s feelings or thoughts about you.
2. Get to the Root of Self-Esteem Issues
Some people find it hard to be their own source of encouragement because they struggle with self-esteem issues, not just a habit of negative self-talk.
In order to be your biggest cheerleader, you need to get to the root of self-esteem issues including why you feel insecure in relationships or why you feel like you’re not good enough.
You have to dig deep and learn to be honest with yourself for this to work, but once it does, you can change your whole life just by rooting out those issues that are deep within you and limit your ability to be nice to yourself.
3. See a Therapist
If you’re having trouble pinpointing your self-esteem issues by yourself, it’s always a great time to go see a therapist about it.
Therapy is a totally awesome way to have epiphanies and live your life in a more positive way, and there is absolutely no shame in going.
They can help pull up that emotional mirror to you so you can see what’s really going on, and they’ll equip you with the tools to be able to start relying on and encouraging yourself more.
If you don’t want to see one in person, there are great online counselors using a service like Talkspace.
4. See What Other Positive People are Doing
Even if you feel like you don’t have the immediate support of people around you, you can still take a look at what other positive people are doing and how they live their lives and mimic what they do.
It can be anyone from a musician to an actor to someone in your community that you don’t know well, but admire their efforts from afar.
How do they talk?
Are they constantly working on new projects and trying to inspire the people around them?
What does it appear they value in life?
Inspire yourself by looking to others, not to be that voice of encouragement, but to be that example for you of how to live a more positive and encouraging life.
5. Write Down Your Successes
When you’re feeling down about what you have or haven’t achieved, write down any successes related to the goal, even if they’re super small.
I love using bullet journals like this for when you want to write things down.
So if you wanted to start up a new salon, maybe you went on a trip around the neighborhood to scout out locations or maybe you verbalized the goal to a friend or maybe you clipped out examples of the design you wanted from magazines.
None of those things are going to seriously change your life individually or get you to your goal, but they are all steps along the way, so celebrate it.
This goes the same for people who have to take it even further back.
If you are struggling with depression and find it hard to get out of bed each day, then getting out of bed today was a huge success and making your bed was AMAZING.
We don’t have to be a shining beacon of productivity in order to be happy about your successes.
It doesn’t mean you then rest on your laurels, but you give yourself a pat on the back for what you’ve done so far.
6. Talk to Yourself Like Your Best Friend
If you’re asking, “how to encourage myself,” you should first ask yourself how you would encourage your best friend.
Because you have to be your own best friend, in theory, in order to be able to give yourself all of the encouragement you deserve.
This doesn’t just mean positive self-talk, but it has to do with having compassion for yourself.
If your best friend came to you and said that he failed at his mission to make the varsity soccer team, would you berate him and tell him he obviously wasn’t good enough or would you support him and say that you know he’s going to make the team next year and that you’ve heard great things about the JV coach?
Beating yourself up is such a waste of time, so if you find yourself doing that, pretend you’re talking to a friend and change up how you talk to yourself based on how you would talk to them.
Now, some people don’t like this tip because it doesn’t take into account that you can’t just positive your way through life and sometimes you need to have tough conversations with yourself and get your butt in gear.
And that’s absolutely true.
But if you’re struggling with encouraging yourself and don’t have the self-esteem to handle calling yourself a complete idiot, then don’t.
You can lay down the law and be tough and firm with yourself without resorting to name calling or other tactics to make yourself feel even worse.
7. Make a List of What Will Happen when You Succeed
If you need something to look forward to to encourage yourself, write down a list of what will happen and how you will feel when you succeed.
It could be “feel happy that I made money blogging” or “make new friends on the team once I get good enough” or whatever it is, but write down what positive things are going to happen for your life to remind yourself why you’re working for that.
Post it up in your bedroom or somewhere else in the house that you’ll see every day so that you can physically see it and use it as a tool of encouragement when you’ve run out of it.