When you find yourself feeling like a failure because something hasn't gone to plan or you feel that you have not done something as well as you could have, it is all too easy to be harsh with yourself, put yourself down and be overly critical. When this happens, there is a great technique for changing the way you feel by changing your perspective and that is by 'being your own best friend'.

Imagine for a moment that your best friend was in the very same situation or circumstances as you are right this minute. If they called round for a cuppa and a shoulder to cry on, how would you react to them? Chances are, you would not sit there and tell them that they were a total failure, stupid or start criticising their actions - if you did you may not have them as a friend for long! Instead, you would tell them not to worry, talk them through their problems and help them be positive about what actions they should take next.

Now put yourself in that friends place - imagine you were sitting opposite yourself as a friend would and listening to you instead of another person. Imagine that you were your own best friend - what would be different about the way you speak to yourself now? Here are some tips to help you be kinder to yourself and start treating yourself with the same kindness as you would to others you are close to:

- Give yourself the same level of respect. We expect others to respect us and we respect others so why does this stop when it comes to ourselves. The first step to accepting and loving yourself is total self respect.

- Next time you start to put yourself down, stop and ask yourself if you would say the same things to your best friend. Then turn this negative self talk into some positive reinforcement.

- Congratulate yourself. When you do something well, give yourself a pat on the back just like you would someone else and when you are aiming for a goal in life, give yourself the same level of encouragement to achieve whatever you set out to do.

- Be more tolerant of yourself. Others aren't perfect and we don't worry about their flaws so start being more tolerant of your own - we are all human after all!

- Focus on the positive. When we enjoy spending time with our friends, we concentrate on their positive traits - a good sense of humour, warmth, kindness, their ability to listen and support us.

- Stop the constant criticism. Like it or not, we are what we are and whatever that is right now is enough. Stop worrying that you are not perfect and start focussing on what is great about you and your life right now.

- If you find yourself constantly putting yourself down, start keeping a note of your self talk and take some time each day to consider the advice you would give your best friend and start applying it to yourself.

Being your own best friend does take a little practice but the benefits to your self esteem are more than worth it!

Author's Bio: 

Joanne Mayhead is an experienced coach and the creator and editor of Total Wellbeing Resources, an online resource for body and mind wellbeing - visit wwww.totalwellbeingresources.comww.totalwellbeingresources.com