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How Can I Like Myself More Than I Did Yesterday?

Yesterday I put something up on Facebook to get some questions in for what you want me to write about. If you don’t already, be sure to like my page so that you have the chance to respond to this kind of thing when I post it.

The question that I’m going to answer this week is from Christina:

“How about how to work past negative views of your PAST self (be it weight, poor decisions, a “past”…) and see yourself as you are TODAY?”

(‘I think I’ll start a new life’ – Photo Credit: Noukka Signe)

Here’s what I have to say on the matter:

“We all make mistakes”

“Nobody’s perfect”

“Every failure is a chance to learn”.

We’re constantly fed these cliches whenever we fall down, usually by friends and family as a way of comforting us and helping us move forward from past failures.

But where is the line?

At what point should we stop forgiving ourselves for past failures? Many of us have done bad things; to ourselves, and to others. Things we still feel guilty for today. To a great extent, the things we have done in the past are responsible for us seeing ourselves as ‘low-value’ today.

Some people don’t like themselves because of what they were given from day one: their looks, their intelligence, their body shape. But for many people it comes from having felt like they let themselves down in the past.

I’m familiar with the feeling of having a self-negative view. My own often comes from the feeling of not having achieved enough in a day. I start to feel angry at myself for under-performing. But people can have a low self image for any number of reasons. Maybe they didn’t approach someone they liked and now they feel like a coward. Maybe they made an awful decision that has shaped their entire life in a negative way ever since.

It’s hard; and like most things in life that matter, it’s not easy to overcome. These feelings in many of us are deep rooted.

Then someone comes along and tells you to believe in yourself, or suggests it’s possible to simply wipe away memories of your past. Such a notion feels like an insult at best. I used to talk like that when I first started out. I have since learnt that life isn’t that easy.

So what do we do?

There’s some comfort in knowing that other people have made mistakes worse than our own. Focusing on their failures seems to help. But it’s usually not very long before our own baggage begins to feel heavy again, and in any case, focusing on someone worse than us is a crappy way to feel good.

Here’s what I’ve learnt from my years working with people: The only guaranteed way to have a ‘positive-present-view’ of yourself, is to BUILD it from scratch.

I say ‘build’ because a positive self-view is created the same way trust in a relationship is created – by being built on, one small step at a time. Want a better image of yourself? Do something today that’s slightly more than the YOU of yesterday managed.

You think you’ve been a shitty person in your life until now? Fine. Do something small today that’s the opposite of what a shitty person would do. Do something nice for someone, a small act of generosity. Show a moment of understanding. Prove to yourself that you are better than yesterday.

You’ve been a wimp you’re whole life? Someone who cowers away from risk, or rejection? The antithesis of the hero? Fine. Talk to someone today and tell them they look beautiful. Stick up for someone who’s being verbally bullied in a group. Set an example for someone you know looks up to you. Prove to yourself that you are stronger than yesterday.

You’ve been lazy until now? Avoided responsibility? Down-played your dreams and ambitions to take the comfortable route? Fine. Go set up a call with someone who can help a vision you’ve had for a long time. Run for 10 minutes, clean your apartment, prove to yourself that you are more tenacious than yesterday.


(Photo credit: FlatWorldsEdge)


Will you erase all of your negative memories in a day? No. But instead of papering over past experiences with mindless pump-up mantras, you’ll have shown yourself something better: progress. A brief moment where you showed that even if only for 10 minutes, you were the person you wanted to be.

In the interests of full disclosure, even doing that one thing will probably not be easy. But do it you must. In that brief moment that you do do something different to the old you, you’ll like yourself. And we all know what happens when we meet someone we like. We want to spend more time with them.

When you do get to spend a moment with a version of you that you really like, you’re going to want to be around that part of you more. So you’ll find ways to be that person again tomorrow. It becomes a beautiful cycle that starts a new relationship with yourself. Not created – like a false friendship with a person we met the night before and told we loved in a drunken stupor – but built, one day at a time. A brand new relationship with the most important person in your life. YOU.

A thought to leave you with:

The criminal who just got out of jail can’t wipe away all of his crimes. But he has the ability to be better than before, one day at a time. You can too. But please before you start, let yourself out of jail. It’s stopping you from starting, and you’re the only person who’s been keeping yourself there.


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152 Replies to “How Can I Like Myself More Than I Did Yesterday?”

  • Thank you. That was very insightfully written and humanitarian of you. You gave me a better perspective. I feel like stuck in a rut. I want to improve myself and learn to love myself. I have poor selfesteem and as the cherry on the cake, I have a mental illness. And it is something I have to bare for all of my life and it hinders me from doing things in my life, from taking risks, from believing in myself. And its an inner shame, that prevents me from opening up and getting close to people. And I also know that if I stress myself out, especially emotionally, I can get ill again. And its a terrifying state to be in.
    Sorry to lay all of this on you. I know this is not really your table. But I just wanted to tell you that you encouraged me with your words. And not in the qlishé way. Go you!

  • Hello matthew!

    I’m 24, I’m reading your blogpost from France, it´s exactly what I needed so thank you!!
    I still have a question, it´s been 7 month that I’m in a relationship, I always have a low self-esteem and tried to hide it by being outgoing or with appearances. But like always when I’m in a relationship I became dependant to my boyfriend, seeing him like my life and myself have no interest when he wasn’t around.
    Lately I realised this attitude was very toxic for me and for our relationship, so I’m trying to love myself more and find who I really am. But it´s very hard to find the balance between just thinking of him and just thinking of myself. I’m afraid that if I think of myself we won’t be as close and in love as we where in the good times before, or that if I’m more confident we will have more fights. It may sounds stupid, actually i’m just afraid of losing him and our relationship.

    Do you have somes advices? They would be really helpful and appreciated.

    Thank you :)

  • I love that you wrote about this topic today. I don’t often comment on these threads because the root of the problem lies in exactly this place. At the end of the day, the goal really can’t be to get the guy. Rather, it must be to love oneself. A number of years ago, I worked with a group of young girls (18-22-ish) who were consumed with the idea that their self-worth was directly related to the level of interest shown by men … I began calling it the “I’m-nothing-without-a-man” syndrome. Sadly, in our world, much of the media perpetuates this idea. I loved reading this today because it reaffirmed everything I’ve believed and held dear for many years. My goal in life is to be the best me I can be and build up those around me who may be struggling with their sense of self-worth. I am beautiful, intelligent, strong, loving, and genuine whether anyone else takes notice or not – I don’t do it for them (but getting the guy would be a nice bonus). That doesn’t mean I don’t get lonely or frustrated. I do. However, I also work to remember that my personal goal is to be happy. I can be happy whether I’m single or not. That’s a choice I get to make each day. So, thanks for reaffirming this today. I think we all needed it.

  • Matthew! Just saw your NBC commercial again! So happy for you and seeing you go from YouTube to worldwide success! Found you on the web randomly two years ago and knew you are special! You have he he says qui others don’t. Cheers!

  • Just what i needed first thing this morning Mathew. After planning all the work i would do over the weekend last friday i miserably failed and hardly slep last night feeling anxious over the things i didn’t get done. I like your suggestion to build from scrtach every day, each day striving to be a better person than yetserday – i’ll try this out this week starting now. With any luck i’ll stop falling, failing and feeling sorry for my self – step by step i hope i can be that ‘improved’ version of myself i so desperately want to be.

  • Been reading your Get the Guy book which is great…. and I decided to be a bit more outgoing to all the people I came into contact with during the day instead of being so wrapped up in my own thoughts. What fun it was too! Smiling, and a mini chat, turned into a flirt with the teller at the bank.He was smiling a lot and It made me feel a whole lot better when I walked up the street. More of that to come I think I’m going to build on that

  • Good practical advice. It echoes the words from Whitney Houston’s song: “Give me one moment in time, when I’m all that I dreamed I could be and then in that one moment of time, i will be, i will be, I will be free!

  • Beautiful !!! Can you make an article about Men who are Not interested anymore or just want friendship .. Heard about that ‘making interesting’ Thing would you please Write about both Themes
    Love Joe

  • Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the another great article!

    On your other website (Matthewhussey.com) you mention that you’re working on a digital version of your “Impact” seminar.

    I was wondering if you still had plans to release that sometime soon.

      1. Hey thanks for answering!

        I wasn’t able to make it to any of the live “Impact” seminars a couple of years ago. So I’m excited to see it comes out!

  • Your wisdom and insight are priseless. Yet you give it so freely. Money can buy alot , even a new rack but not self esteem.

  • Hi, Matt.

    This is probably the best article I have ever read from you, cause you got to the core of it! You have overcame yourself!! hahahha

    X from Brazil!

  • Thank you for this article Matt, it really speaks the truth and it is beautifully written.

    I agree that progress is a key word, we need to feel like we are stretching ourselves to become something better than what we are already, and that we’re moving towards something; and when we experiment something new for us, or a different aspect of ourselves there is a nice sense of accomplishment and achievement that comes with it and give us a little push to keep going in this direction.
    I have really sensed that lately, every time I took a small risk (that maybe looked big at the beginning!) something good came of it, almost automatically, whether it was to push myself to go to events where I didn’t know anybody, or to approach somebody with a cute smile, I made new friends and the new opportunities or events just come along.

    I believe that feeling a little pain every once a while, that we are not good enough or not happy with our life, can actually be positive if it pushes us to do something about it, even to take a small risk. When there is no pain whatsoever for long time, generally there is a sudden realisation all in once that something was wrong and we didnt notice it and now we regret not having done anything about it for a long time!

    Take care

  • Reading this literally made my day and motivated me even more to find my the “shoes that fit me the best”. This article is inspiring and very true!

  • Thanks Matthew.
    Every day IS a new beginning and when we give ourselves permission to take what we wish from the past, to live in the present then plan the future without losing the present day , life is gooood.

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