It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves! We have all been well-trained in being critical, and we are great at turning that ability on ourselves. So we notice what we haven’t done rather than what we have done in a day, or we beat ourselves up for saying the wrong thing instead of remembering how often we say the right thing.

I bet you not only criticise yourself, you also sometimes reject praise or compliments by running yourself down! I know I can say things like, ‘ Oh it’s really someone else’s idea’, or ‘ no, I don’t look good today – your eyesight is obviously not as good as it was!’ This is not just insulting to the complimenter, it is also a less than useful message to yourself.

All this is telling ourselves that we are no good, and that is a lousy message to give anyone! So I want you to consider another possibility. Just for a while, imagine that you are your best friend. I bet the description of you would be different if they gave it! Friends are kinder to us than we are to ourselves, and they set us a good example of how we deserve to be treated. When we are treated kindly, we don’t get arrogant, we get even nicer! It reminds us of us at our best, and helps us to be like that more often.

So why not decide to be your own best friend for the rest of the month?


  1. Spend a few minutes describing your characteristics as if you were your own best friend.
  2. At the end of each day, find something to praise yourself about
  3. Next time you criticise yourself, remind yourself to be kind to you!
  4. Dare to give yourself a present for being such a lovely person!


About Di Kamp

Di Kamp is chief executive of Meta and has been involved in the field of developing people and organisations for 35 years. She has worked with a variety of organisations, and specialises in enabling senior managers to guide their organisations from good enough to excellence, and enabling management teams to lead their people in a way that will enhance their performance. Di has written several books, including manuals for trainers, one on staff appraisals, one on workplace counselling, one on improving your excellence as a trainer, one on people skills, and one on being a 21st century manager. She is currently preparing a further book on the secret of sustainable successful organisations.

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