“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked.
Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise L.
Picture that little kid who tried so hard, meant no harm, and just wanted to be loved and cherished.
This will likely help in deflating your self-criticism and fill you a genuine sense of compassion for yourself.
If you don’t, you can still take a few minutes every day to give yourself some credit.
However, if your parents did not validate you or themselves, then the chances are that you not only don’t know how to do this for yourself, but you don’t even know that it is your responsibility to do this for yourself.
Since I received very little validation as I was growing, and I never saw my parents validate themselves, I had no idea how to do it or even that it was possible to do this for myself.
You are very fortunate if you received this kind of validation from your parents.
If your parents also validated their own feelings, perceptions, and so on, then you are extremely fortunate, as you likely learned to do this for yourself from their role modeling.
Some of my most effective mood-boosters included: These are all perfectly valid approaches to feeling better, but they all hinge on praise and external support.