10 Indisputable Ways To Stop Hating Yourself Today
If you’ve ever caught yourself thinking (or even saying out loud), “I hate myself,” did you know what was at the root of it?
Did images in your mind remind you of past failures or the shame imposed on you by others?
Or are they on constant replay in your head, making you feel unworthy of love, forgiveness, or even basic kindness?
And would you like to know how to stop hating yourself, so you can move on and grow into the person you want to be?
Because you can.
Even if, by using the tips in this article, you become more aware of the things you don’t like about yourself, you can learn to accept your whole self and act more like a fully-integrated and powerful human being.
In other words, you can’t make yourself perfect, but you can learn to embrace yourself as you are and make the most of your own unique potential.
What causes hate for yourself?
At the root of self-hate, you’ll find one or more of the following:
- Low self-worth, often due to shame
- Overwhelming guilt for past mistakes
- Obsession with your failure to live up to expectations (yours or others)
- Lack of forgiveness — for yourself as well as for others
- Loss of hope (despair)
None of these have to be permanent, though.
The tips below can radically change the way you see yourself and, consequently, how you relate to others.
How to Stop Hating Yourself
The tips that follow deal with the question of how not to hate yourself, but none of them are quick fixes.
All of them deserve to be practiced daily as habits, and I hope you make them part of your life from now on.
But, for starters, take one or two to focus on today.
Choose those that feel most doable right now, and pay attention to how you feel when you’re doing them.
Pay attention to your self-talk and what you take away from the experience.
Learning to replace self-hate with genuine and healthy self-love isn’t something you can do while multi-tasking.
The more mindfully you practice the tips you choose, the more you’ll benefit from them.
1. Own the parts of you that you don’t like.
I don’t mean just owning your mistakes and taking personal responsibility for your words and actions.
While that is necessary, you also need to acknowledge the parts of you that make you recoil inwardly.
Name the things about yourself and your behavior that you don’t like, based on your mistakes.
Be careful, though, not to use the negative aspects of your actions to describe your character based on those specific failures.
For example, if you acted out of cowardice, it doesn’t follow that you will always be a coward.
You might have acted out of weakness, fatigue, or terror; it doesn’t mean you always will.
Acknowledging your weaknesses is difficult, especially when you’re not used to it.
But practice makes it easier.
By acknowledging your imperfections, you also allow yourself to learn from them and make improvements.
2. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
It’s one thing to say, “Nobody’s perfect,” but no one likes to feel exposed to scrutiny.
It’s especially hard when some of the people to whom you expose your weaknesses use them against you.
Maybe they use it as proof that you have a bad character — or that you don’t deserve to be forgiven or treated with kindness.
Maybe they feel the need to remind you that they would never do what you’ve done, and they consider your failures as crossing a line no decent person would ever cross.
Because they’ve never had to acknowledge an equally regrettable failure to anyone else, they don’t feel compelled to look beyond your mistake and your apparent weaknesses to the person behind them.
In other words, they consider themselves morally superior to you. And maybe they need to feel that way to hide from their own self-hate.
But others will appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable and to expose your weaknesses to them.
Because they see those same weaknesses in themselves. And you make them feel less alone in the world.
3. Stop saying “yes” to everyone.
You’re not obligated to convince anyone you’re not a terrible person.
Some people will believe that about you no matter what you do for them. That’s on them — not you.
Saying “yes” to people like that won’t convince them you deserve their forgiveness.
In their eyes, you can never do enough to make up for your past mistakes.
Their lack of forgiveness is a constant torment to them, whether they realize it or not.
It doesn’t have to torment you, though. And you owe it nothing.
If you’ve already admitted your fault, apologized, and done what you could to make amends for the mistake, it’s time to let go and move on.
Say “yes” to the things that help you become more of who you want to be.
Say “no” to the things that keep you stuck in the past — or that compete with more important things.
4. Get enough sleep.
Self-hate is exhausting. It might sound trivial, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s harder to not get stuck in the downward spiral of regret, shame, and self-hate.
A well-rested body and mind are better able to focus on the bigger picture and to choose the words and actions that will lift you up and out of the darkness.
It doesn’t mean the darkness goes away, but it does mean you have the energy to turn your mind to better things.
Getting enough rest makes it possible to draw what you need from both the light and the darkness, so you can act as an integrated whole.
5. Stop the negative self-talk.
Trash-talking yourself — outwardly or in your head — doesn’t make you a better or more likable person.
It’s one thing to own your mistakes and another, less endearing thing to dwell on them constantly.
Stop reminding yourself and others of how your mistakes reflect on you.
Stop focusing on all the reasons you shouldn’t like or trust yourself. Swap out the negative self-talk for truer and more positive statements.
Remind yourself that, while you’re alive, you can keep learning from your mistakes and growing in a better direction.
You’re the only one stopping you.
6. Try new things.
It’s easy to hate on yourself when you feel stuck in a rut.
So, why not try something new to shake things up and explore an interest?
It could be something you’ve kept on the back burner for a long time or something that just recently caught your attention.
Whatever it is, make time for it. Consider it a new addition to your life experiences.
It could become something more than that, but even if it doesn’t, just doing something you don’t normally do can help break up the figurative cement that’s been gathering around your ankles.
Break free of what’s normal for you, and do something outside of that — even if it’s also outside your comfort zone. Challenge yourself and see what happens.
It’s harder to hate yourself when you’re having fun.
7. Allow yourself to fail.
When you’re trying something new, failure is always a possibility.
But not even trying means there’s no possibility of succeeding.
Avoiding risk is avoiding growth. You need to fail sometimes to remind yourself that failure, by itself, doesn’t kill you.
And it doesn’t make you “a failure.” It makes you someone who was courageous enough to act in spite of fear.
Think about the person you want to be, and ask yourself, “Would that person hold back or jump in? Would they run from the risk of failure or run toward it?”
8. Practice self-control and self-discipline.
When you’re feeling low, it’s too easy to give in to temptation, thinking, “What does it even matter?” or “I just want to forget who and what I am for a little while.”
But the consequences of self-indulgence then make you feel even worse.
So, don’t give your inner fatalist what it wants.
Instead of diving headlong into the arms of oblivion, look for something you can do that makes you feel stronger — even if it’s just deciding to eat a healthy dinner, spending some time working out in a gym, or taking a cold shower.
Practicing self-discipline reminds you of the person you still want to be (on some level).
Granted, you don’t have unlimited energy and it only makes sense to respect your limits — i.e. get enough sleep, give your body the nutrition it needs, etc.
But just doing at least one small thing each day and making a habit of it can help you remember who you want to be.
You can then add to that foundation or use it as a launchpad to a new experience that wakes you up inside.
9. Forgive yourself and others.
Lack of forgiveness is often at the root of self-hate.
If you can’t forgive yourself for past failures and mistakes, you remain stuck in an attitude of self-recrimination and shame.
Your failures become your identity — at least to you.
Refusing to forgive someone else keeps you stuck in an attitude of resentment and bitterness.
You might think that staying angry with someone keeps you in a position of power over them, but it only weakens you and degrades your character.
You become less yourself than an angry shell with a retreating and unreachable soul.
And there’s not much to love about that. But no one’s forcing you to stay angry.
The illusion of moral superiority is as much a trap as that of moral hopelessness.
You were never destined for either, and while you’re alive, you can always choose to embrace the truth of who and what you are.
Allow yourself to be imperfect and to learn from your mistakes, and allow others the same.
Forgiveness makes you stronger and improves your outlook on life, as well as your self-perception.
10. Do more of what you love.
When you’re doing something you enjoy — whether it’s a new thing or something you already know you’re good at — it’s harder to wallow in self-hate.
Doing something you love might not wipe out self-hate entirely or all at once, but it will bring a welcome change to your self-talk.
When you’re fully invested in doing something, and you know you’re good at it, you remember how good it feels.
And you remember something you actually like about yourself.
Then hope gets a bigger foothold. You start to think maybe you’re not a lost cause after all. You can do good things.
Maybe you don’t do them perfectly, but you can learn to do them better. Because you’re still alive, and you want to make the most of what you don’t hate about yourself.
As much as you regret past mistakes, you still believe it’s possible to love life. And certain activities make it easier to do that.
Are you ready to learn how to stop hating yourself?
Now that you know how to go about hating yourself less and appreciating yourself more, what will you do today to change your attitude and lift yourself up.
Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. You can do plenty by exercising your own free will.
That said, these tips will be more effective if you spend more time with people who love you as you are, who forgive you your mistakes, and who support you in your efforts at self-improvement.
And it should go without saying that it’s best to avoid those who refuse to forgive you and who only remind you of reasons not to like yourself.
These people are toxic, and you don’t have to keep subjecting yourself to their hate — let alone make it yours.
You can keep growing in a better direction if you want to. And you don’t have to do it alone.
May your courage, resilience, and thoughtfulness influence everything you do today.