DEAR HARRIETTE: I'd like to find ways to be less critical of myself. It seems that lately all I do is think of the ways that I’m inadequate. I’m constantly comparing myself to my peers and co-workers, and I recognize that that’s a problem. I’m not sure how to solve this. I fear that I’ve been doing it subconsciously for so many years that it’s ingrained into my personality. What should I do? -- Self-Critic
DEAR SELF-CRITIC: Now is a perfect time for you to start creating a formal list of your attributes. What are you good at? What are your accomplishments -- over time and this week? Count little victories as well as larger ones. Some of the best successes, by the way, come out of problem-solving. So think about what you have been able to overcome. Write it all down. Decide that you will look at yourself in the mirror every single day and profess your love to yourself. Say, “I love you just the way you are!” Say it with joy and resonance. Even on days when you are feeling low, stand in front of that mirror and call forth your personal greatness.
When you start doubting yourself, go back to the mirror and point out every great thing that you see. Even if you start out critical, look hard until you see something to celebrate. It could be the twinkle in your eye, the curl of your hair. Find something. You can do it!
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)