1. Learn to let go of what happened in the past. You deserve a new start and a fresh beginning. We’ve all messed up and experienced bad things. So don’t allow these memories to rob you of your future. You’re not just a product and a victim of your past. Acknowledge and work through any negative emotions – then put them behind you and start to live again.
2. Work on forgiving yourself. Related to point 2, don’t punish yourself for your past failings or regrets. Instead, see them as a lesson, and a chance to learn and grow. Don’t ridicule, demean or devalue yourself. That was then – this is now … You are different – so move on.
3. Keep a journal where you write down all your thoughts and feelings. When you’re feeling positive, try to savour those emotions and a build a memory trace of all that’s good and positive. When you’re feeling negative try to show some self-compassion, and seek to be gentle and kind to yourself. You need to work on validating and affirming yourself – not being your own enemy and tearing yourself down.
4. Be persistent as you work on accepting yourself. A key part of love is unconditional acceptance. So work on loving who you are right now. Only then will you be able to change some parts of yourself – because you’re able to accept who you are at the core.
5. Trust yourself. You don’t have to please others, or to follow their dictates. Learn to trust your intuition and your own personal judgments.
6. Practice saying “no”. It’s okay to say “no” without feeling guilty. You have the right to decide what you’ll do with your life.
7. Practice receiving and accepting love from others. Know you’re worthy of love – and other people really mean it when they say that you matter, and they love and care for you.