As a child of God, you are beloved. God has given everything to you, including his most precious Son. His whole plan of salvation is all about you progressing and coming home to him. He sees you as an eternal being of infinite worth.
In short, you are awesome.
However, you live in a world that is less than awesome. In fact, it is downright horrible sometimes and you can feel horrible because of it. One of Satan’s greatest tools is to make us hate ourselves. It can be so easy to extend charity to others, but we often have such a problem being charitable to ourselves.
If you find you are your own worst enemy, here are some simple ways to discover charity and be kinder towards yourself.
Find Your Eternal Spark
When we understand our true identity, we will have the strength to fight Satan’s lies that we are failures. That we are not enough. That we aren’t worthy. We will become like Moses, who tells Satan when he tries to attack his identity:
“For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?”
Here’s another quote from Sheri Dew about using allowing the Spirit to remind us who we really are:
“President Joseph F. Smith taught, it is through the power of the Spirit that we may ‘catch a spark from the awakened memories of the immortal soul, which lights up our whole being as with the glory of our former home.’ It is the Spirit that allows us to pierce the veil and catch glimpses of who we are and who we have always been.”
Ponder who you are and who you have always been. Read your patriarchal blessing. Invite the Spirit to remind you of your eternal spark.
Avoid Negative Self Talk
When you are full of self-hatred, your mind becomes a dangerous prison. In a matter of moments, a small misstep can quickly turn into an irredeemable sin. How can you silence your inner critic?
Start by challenging yourself. Are you really that bad of a person? Did you really ruin your chances? Plant seeds of doubt into your negative thoughts.
It’s also important to focus on fresh starts and new chances. Because of Jesus Christ, we all have the chance to try again. Instead of focusing on the falls we will all inevitably make, try to keep the hope of Christ in the front of your mind. There is always something you can do and, more importantly, there is always something Christ can do to help you move forward.
Do Things You Genuinely Love
If you don’t like yourself, you may find that you do a lot of external validation. So much time can be spent trying to please others. If you want to find more joy and peace about who you are, take a look at your motives. Why do you do the things you do? Examine how hard you work at trying to gain the approval of the world instead of putting God’s opinion first and taking care of yourself.
It is especially important to focus on doing things you truly enjoy simply because they make you happy. Not only will you find yourself happier, but you’ll be nurturing positive aspects of your life.
Count Your Many Blessings (and Successes)
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is one of the hardest things to do when life gets hard. It’s also one of the easiest ways to stay connected to God and recognize how he is working in your life. Whether you write in a journal or just make a mental inventory in prayer at the end of the day, try to find things to be grateful for. It will not only focus your mind away from self-deprecation, but it will also keep your entire life in perspective.
It is also important to recognize all the ways you succeed. Make sure to give yourself credit for the even the smallest victories.
Build a Personal Relationship With Jesus Christ
As you come to know to know Jesus Christ, you will gain a deeper understanding of your own potential as you rely on Him. Focus not only on learning more about Christ’s life and ministry but on how he can be your friend.
Have you struggled with crippling self-criticism? How have you overcome it? Let us know in the comments below.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.