Originally posted on EzineArticles.com:

There is a quote by the psychologist Erik Erikson that says, “The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.” And while it is true that when you know all of your own greatest and troublesome traits that you are more open to accepting others, you can also be more accepting and forgiving of yourself.

For many of us, there is no greater threat to our own self-esteem and no greater enemy than the voice that we have in our own head. Studies show that even people who are thought to be judgmental or mean to others are usually even worse on themselves. But, luckily, there are ways that you can get to know yourself better that will actually help to silence that cynical and negative self talk.

Understand Your Goals

One of the best ways to make that voice in your head into a positive one is by accomplishing goals and feeling like you are progressing towards the live that you want for yourself. But, in order to do that, you need to first understand what you want and what sort of life will make you happy.

Many people feel that they need to have everything figured out for themselves the second they graduate from school (or even before) and don’t take the time to re-evaluate their goals and make changes throughout their lifetime. While some people do genuinely have the same values and goals for themselves when they are twenty as they do when they are forty, for most people, life and experiences cause them to think differently about what they really want.

If you feel that you are not being satisfied by your current life or are always second guessing decisions that you make, try really looking deep into what you are going after in life to see if it is truly what you want. You might find that changing your path is the key to changing your attitude toward yourself.

Know What You Love

While we might all see some flaws when we look in the mirror, we all have things that we love about ourselves. You might think that you have a great face or appreciate your own talent and how it allows you to really excel at something. You might enjoy your personal style and get a lot of pleasure out of shopping for new things or could be thankful for your family, friends and children.

An easy and effective way to turn your thoughts around from something negative is to focus on something that you’re passionate about instead. If you find that you’re harping on parts of yourself that you’re not so happy with in the morning while getting dressed, for instance, take a minute to concentrate on your favorite part of your appearance. You might find that you forget about that thing that was holding you back.

Know Where You Fit

We all have places in the world where we feel at home and those where we feel more like an alien from another planet. And if you spend too much time in places where you just don’t fit, you might start to feel like you are the problem. If you want to be somewhere where you currently don’t feel that you belong, that doesn’t mean that you will never fit in there. It just might take a little examination of who you are versus that place. Change can be a good thing and can open exciting new doors. Just make sure that you’re changing for the right reasons.

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