How to talk kindly to yourself and be your own best friend! Learn how to transform negative self-talk.

Are you your own best friend or your own worst enemy?  When learning something new do you talk kindly to yourself or do you scold yourself for not getting everything immediately right?  If a close friend heard the way you talk to yourself what would they say?

A big part of self-love and self-care is how we talk to ourselves.  How do you talk to yourself?

Have you wondered how to talk kindly to yourself?

I will share some of the ways I have had negative self-talk and have had to work on myself to become more aware and practice.

  • I will get angry at parts of my body and call my stomach fat or my upper arms flabby.
  • I have berated myself for not knowing something I am just learning or I am not outstanding. Good at word and PP, not so great excel.
  • Really when I think about this its absurd. How can I get angry with myself when I am new to something? If you have low self-esteem you can easily do that.
  • Saying I am sorry. Now that might sound funny because we should apologize right? Yes, if we do something “wrong” but I am sorry used to come automatically off of my lips all the time.  I would apologize for things that we not my fault!  I would apologize for being too sensitive or if someone else bumped it to me. Not healthy. When you are constantly doing that it may have to do with self worth or even underlying trauma.

I have seen clients do this as well.  They beat themselves up constantly and aren’t even aware of it.  They are angry at themselves that they haven’t released their clutter and ask why they are stupid.  Or why they can’t easily edit a podcast episode on the first try.  Or get upset when something hasn’t gone as they hoped and blame themselves when it was something out of their control.

Of course, awareness is half the battle. 

How do you speak to yourself?

Your Own Best Friend

So, let’s become more aware! Begin by paying attention to how you talk to yourself. I shared some examples of how mean I was to myself. How are you unkind to yourself?  If you know how you are unkind, consider writing it down. I am a huge fan of journaling and writing things down. As we get older we forget things, and having a record helps support us and serve as a way to achieve change.

As you go about your day, notice how you talk to yourself. Are you kind or do you berate? How do you describe yourself to others?  If someone gives you a compliment, do you say thank you or do you swat it away?  This was a big one I used to do.

Many of us could benefit from receiving. We are really good at giving and struggle to receive from others. Start with receiving compliments well. Easy place to begin.  How else can you begin to receive more? If you are looking to bring more abundance into your life, how can you expect that when you cannot receive what you already have?

As you become more aware, create a plan to stop the negative self-talk.  Maybe you wear a rubber band and snap it when you hear yourself say or think something unkind.  Maybe you tape yourself for an hour and then check-in and see how you did.  Consider things or people that may trigger you. Have a response in place. For example, you have a really strong-willed co-worker who does things and your immediate reaction is to apologize.  Can you practice deep breathing before you see them? Count to 10 when they say something and you find yourself wanting to apologize.

What’s your negative self-talk? How can you talk more kindly to yourself? How else can you be more gentle and loving towards yourself?

Why you need to speak kindly to yourself.


This is something I started to work on about a year ago. I literally read a book titled AND for my women’s book club. See if you can notice a difference in these two sentences.

I love my husband but he drives me nuts that he never puts the dirty dishes away.

I love my husband AND it drives me nuts that he never puts the dirty dishes away.

Could you tell or feel a difference?  With the first sentence, it’s like I have dismissed that I love him with the but. In the second sentence, I am acknowledging that he drives me nuts and I still love him. This is one small practice I have been doing that I have found that makes a big difference.  When we dismiss the good things in our life, we focus on the bad stuff.

Let’s do it again.

I am a really good speaker but I still say uhhh or ummm too much.

I am a really good speaker and I still say uhhh or ummm too much.

I am going to choose to work on my speaking and get better if I say the second sentence.  The first one feels more critical and puts me down.  Be my own best friend not my own worst enemy.

Watch for the sneaky self-sabotage!

I was talking with my coach the other day and pointed out that while I had done some work, I still had a long way to go. And she called me out. She said, “I realize you are being truthful and it is also a backdoor way of being unkind to yourself.” Where are you sneaky in putting yourself down instead of raising yourself up?

I am not a fan of people who give me a backhanded compliment, so why should I do it to myself?

Here are some exercises to try:

How to speak to ourselves with kindness.

Positive Self-Talk. When you catch yourself being negative replace it with something positive. It has to ring true to you or you won’t believe it. For example, I am so dumb that I cannot learn this new language. 

Try: I am really proud of myself that I am getting out of my comfort zone and learning a new language. While I am struggling, I am doing better.

I am very visual.  I also believe you can’t hide things from your eyes—the window of the soul. If you cant look yourself in the eye, that is okay.

Talking in the mirror. I was taught to do left eye to left life and tell myself I love you. I couldn’t do this at first.

A friend of mine writes self-appreciation notes and leaves them in her car and home.

Ho’o pon opo no: I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You

Have fun with this.  Google, youtube, podcast…what other ways can you learn to speak more lovingly to yourself?

Working on self-esteem

If you don’t feel good about yourself, there is a good chance you won’t talk kindly to yourself.  Besides monitoring your self-talk, consider doing other things to strengthen your self-esteem.  Consider a therapist or coach; read a book, join a support group. Every step you take makes a difference, so keep with it daily!

What sneaky self-sabotage are you engaging in? How can you improve your self-esteem? Where can you replace but with and?

Clear Your Clutter Inside & Out Podcast
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Take actions from the blog on How to Talk Kindly to Yourself:

  • Monitor your self-talk and learn how you speak to yourself.
  • Create a list of responses when you aren’t talking kindly to yourself.
  • Place love notes for you in your purse, home, office. Have a friend or someone close to you write and hide them.
  • Do daily exercises, such as Ho’o pon opo no or saying I love you while looking into the mirror.
  • Check in with your self-esteem. If you could benefit from further actions, research and discover ways you can build upon your self-talk.

DIY Options to Clear Clutter

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