It’s a common misconception that being kind to yourself is well, a little self-indulgent and ridiculous but it’s quite the opposite when you think about it, the kinder you are to yourself, the more accepting you are of you, the more energy and time you have for others and the happier yourr life can be.

This doesn’t mean you don’t acknowledge your mistakes (we’re human, we all make them), say sorry or grow. That will never stop (hopefully). It just means you will start treating yourself as you would your best friend, with compassion and love.

Here are my tips, things that have helped me to be kinder to myself and others:

1. Fake it until you feel it

This one is important because the negative voices in your head (we all have them) need to be beaten down by positivity. It’s no easy thing but the more you accept that feelings, even ones you’d rather not have (lacking confidence for example) are to be normal, common, OK, you stop fearing them and can channel them positively.

So for example you envy your colleague and want to do what they do? That’s OK, envy is NORMAL just try not to let it progress into jealousy. If it does, accept the feeling but change it. Let the success of others empower and inspire you. I promise you, the more you practice this, the easier it will become and you will feel stronger and more able than ever.

My Mum always instilled in my brother and I these wise words which impacted our lives: ‘There will always be people smarter, more attractive, richer and more successful than you and that’s OK, just be you and the best you that you can be’.

2. Say Yes

Open your mind to new possibilities and adventures by taking on challenges you ordinarily wouldn’t. It’s exciting to take life by the horns and ‘just go for it’ whether that’s changing your job or life plan.

Life plans are silly anyway, life throws curve balls at you and no one can predict what they’ll be doing down the line. I never thought I’d change careers when I was a filmmaker but here I am as a blogger, loving what I do.

Have fun, push yourself, be stimulated, feel fulfilled- life is for living.

3. Say No

I know, I know I just told you to say ‘Yes’ more but saying ‘No’ too is also important for good health and sanity.  Saying no is no bad thing believe me, so change that misconception right now. In fact others will appreciate your honesty and know where they stand.

Be kind in how you handle things (manners cost nothing), ‘I’d love to make that lunch, read your script, look after your dog but I can’t because…’ –  we all stretch ourselves too much and need time out, for ourselves, our family, just to ‘be’, so make sure you do.

Of course, please do make time to help others though, just ensure you can manage what you take on.

4. Forgive

People make mistakes. You make mistakes. Try and learn from those mistakes but do try to always forgive (and that means yourself too) and let go.

When people upset you, revenge is pointless, unnecessary, and brings you down to the level of those upsetting you. Find a way to resolve or more on. Letting friendships go that don’t work for whatever reason, leave you open to say yes to new friendships.

They free up time and energy that others might be draining from you.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t discuss issues with those you care about but do try and do so calmly and where possible see the other point of view too. Most people are not out to ‘get you’ and are more worried about their own lives to be overly-concerned with yours.

If you can’t get over an argument or sort a problem out, move forward with your life. But I mean, really move on. Don’t dwell, learn lessons, life is short so fill it with those who are worth having around and make you feel good.

5. Accept Who You Are and Don’t Go Changing

People sometimes like to try and change others, they come to your friendship or relationship with baggage of their own and might want you to meet their expectations to make them feel more comfortable. No. It’s important to know who you are and not let anyone try and manipulate or change your character, the essence of who you are. If they don’t understand or like you, they’re not for you.

Not everyone will like you nor will you like everyone either. Accept this.

Know your strengths, work on your weaknesses, big yourself up but don’t believe your own hype to the extent you don’t recognise who you are. Keep track of what matters and you’ll feel good in your own skin.

I’ve always been loud, talkative, academic and creative. That’s me. At high school in particular, my teachers always tried to mould me into a quiet version of myself. It never worked and in the end, I rebelled.

Instead of harnessing my personality, encouraging me to do more drama for example at school (something I loved) or channel all my energy into sport, they tried to belittle and change me. I forgive them though-See no 4 (I even returned to judge a Drama Awards at my former school last year).

It’s important to add, their proposed personality overhaul didn’t work and my voice and personality has become a huge part of who I am in life and in my career.

Look, I understand school is about control to some extent and conformity but the greatest of teachers allow children to be themselves, they nurture and support and help create kids who thrive into successful adults.

Luckily my 6th form did just that as did my time at University and I ended up getting my MA at 21. My parents nor I, let the school destroy who I was or who I would become.

An important lesson.

There’s so much more I’d like to share, I would also point out that being kind to yourself means eating well, exercising when you can, giving yourself the best chance at feeling good.

It also means taking risks, making change happen for yourself. You don’t like your job? Work at ways to do what you love, return to studying (even part time), consider a move, working for yourself.

Be the hero in your own story and don’t blame others or let them hold you back. Small steps create HUGE change.

You have the control to be who you want to be and it can all start from being kinder to yourself.

I’m a work in progress myself but one thing I know I love, is helping others and I truly hope this has helped you.



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52 Responses

  1. Zena's Suitcase

    Great post Vicki! You’ve hit so many nails on the head. I feel like a work in progress to on this new blogging journey of mine. I’m honoured to have met such inspirational women like yourself who celebrate success and juggle so much.

    • honestmum

      Oh that’s touched me so much, thank you Zena, honoured to have met you too, you made Blog Camp really special for me, thank you and keep going you incredible lady x

  2. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Beautiful, beautiful post. Full of so much wisdom and loveliness. You are so right in all that you say, we have to be the heroes in our own world. And it’s only by being so that we may – if we’re lucky enough- be able to be the heroes in other people’s worlds too.

    Fabulous post darling and number 1) made me smile as my Dad has always said something similar to me. A reminder that unhealthy comparison is the killer of all joy and self belief xxx

    • honestmum

      Really is chick, we are all fabulous in our uniqueness, thanks for being such an amazing friend and for your gorgeous comment x

  3. Julie

    This post is amazing! Thank you so much for such positivity and inspiration! I’ve come to a cross road in my life and this has just come at the right time. I don’t liked job anymore but feel stuck for financial reasons. I need to stop procrastinating and get up off my arse and do something about it! Thank you so much.
    Take care,
    Julie xx

    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Julie, so pleased you’ve found it helpful. I think having a goal and working out how to get and putting it into action, even small steps so you don’t feel financially insecure but have budgeted to make your dreams take off will feel so good, please let me know how things go for you and huge good luck, you can do it! xx

  4. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    Fab post hon, full of so much positivity. I’m a big believer in fake it till you feel it though need to work on the saying yes to new opportunities and saying no to things I don’t want parts 🙂 really lovely post xxx

    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Caroline, so glad it’s helped and as soon as you say no more, there’ll be time to say yes to what matters x

  5. Uju @Babesabouttown

    I must say that thanks to blogging I’m becoming much better at the effective NO e.g. Thanks for your offer to promote you for free/do your research/clip your toenails, but I’m afraid I don’t give a shizzle. Best of luck finding someone who does! 😉

    Well, not quite, but getting there. And you know I believe in being kind to yourself through food. You got me there, sis! Lovely post as ever xoxo

    • honestmum

      Haha I totally agree on it all Uju, food makes you feel so good, body, mind and soul (and that means treats too). Saying no is so important x

  6. Shelley Jessup

    A great post to help ‘wake’ us up 🙂 I have to say I utterly adore your photo x

  7. Ness (@JibberJabberUK)

    I used to get really jealous of other people but I now realise that in every area in life there are people who are richer, cleverer, prettier and generally better than you. Life is far easier when you know you are rubbish at everything!

    • honestmum

      Oh no don’t say that Ness, you are not rubbish at everything. Jealousy is pointless, channel that to be inspired and follow the things that make you happy. The more you work on what pleases you, you’ll feel more content x

  8. Emma - Me, The Man & The Baby

    My biggest problem is saying no, because I cant say no I take and too much and then that leaves me stressed and we all know what stress down to the body and mind. Lovely post and they really are top tips for living a happier life 🙂 xx

    • honestmum

      Thanks Emma, we are all guilty of that hun but the more you say no, even to small things, the easy it gets and the happier you’ll feel xx

  9. Ebabee

    Very wise words. And I absolutely agree with everything you have said. I can’t say I always follow it but I try. And the most important of course is to be yourself and stay true to yourself. Brilliant post. x

  10. Melanie C (@MelTimeBlog)

    I’ve had a rough month and this week I received a card from a reader of my blog that simply said “Remember to be kind to yourself” and then I spotted this post, spooky! One day soon, I hope to be able to take all of your wise words on board 🙂 x

    • honestmum

      Hi Melanie, sorry to hear you’d have a bad month, hope things are improving and you are OK? So kind of your reader and it’s true, be kind to yourself hun x

  11. Donna

    Such a great post and can completely relate to Fake It Until You Feel It. I think I do this a lot in life but usually end up feeling it which is good. That photo of you two is beautiful! x

  12. Mel

    Another excellent post, ma belle! I kept nodding all the way. I love your “saying yes” immediately followed by “saying no.” It is essential to prioritise if we are to enjoy life, feel like you’re the person you want to be. I agree 100% with the whole post, and “taking risks, making change happen for yourself” is the first thing to do if you want change to happen. If you do nothing different, life is safe and cosy, but nothing will change. x

    • honestmum

      I agree Mel, being in charge of your own destiny, saying no can be so hard but has to be done! Thanks for your lovely comment x

  13. Grace @ Eats Amazing

    All excellent advice, it’s taken me until my 30s to even start to feel comfortable with who I am – I really admire your confidence and hope that I can find more of my own some day! I am getting there, faking it a lot along the way, and little by little realising that most people probably have probably felt the same way at some point in their lives. This last year I have pushed myself far out of my comfort zone in many ways, and reading this fab post has given me an extra little nudge – onwards and upwards!

    • honestmum

      I think age plays a big part, now at 34 it all seems to have clicked, so glad to hear you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone, life’s about taking risks so we can all grow, I always remember on set feeling a little out of my depth with each project, mostly rising to the challenge. Did learn more from the failures though must be said! Thanks for your comment xx

  14. Steph (Don't Buy Her Flowers

    YES! With lots of changes going on for me at the moment, this is so spot on. It’s so hard when your head takes over and the anxiety creeps in, but all these points are great tools for stopping and working it through. Nice one lovely x

    • honestmum

      Thanks chick, you are doing incredible lady, your business looks and is going great, so proud of you! Block those negative voices and remind yourself of everything you’ve achieved and are achieving x

  15. Mama and More aka Zaz

    I absolutely love this post Vicki, so true, especially “be the hero in your own story”. I think I shall keep those words as an echo in my head. I’m a big believer in taking risks, in empowering yourself to change your life, and this all really resonated. Much much love to you xxx

    • honestmum

      Thanks darling, totally agree with you and you are doing amazing, following your heart and passions, that’s what life is all about xx

  16. Kat - Beau Twins

    This is brilliant and a true reflection of you. Fabulous philosophy and a good reminder we need to be kinder to ourselves. Wise words gorgeous lady and another fabulous post. Huge hugs and love! xx

  17. Franglaise Mummy

    I’m nodding along to all of this. A couple of things I would add – you are the master/mistress of your life so if you’re not happy with it change it, I know I have, many times. Also be selfish sometimes, women and especially mums often feel bad if they are doing something just for them, but it’s so important to be selfish sometimes and to take time for ourselves – on that note I’m having a me day tomorrow while Hubs looks after the girls, I can’t wait 🙂 xx

    • honestmum

      So true, guilt is the most pointless of emotions and we need to always take charge of our own lives as much as possible. Thanks for your comment lovely x

  18. Debbie

    Hi Vicki, I am practicing saying ‘No’ to people just for the simple fact that I always used to say ‘yes’ and would stress myself out doing whatever it was I had agreed to, but not really had the time to commit to. It’s not easy, but sometimes it has to be said!

    I have found that the older I have got the easier I find to let things go. I don’t harbour a grudge or resent people, life is too short and don’t want to waste my energy on negative feelings.

    Happy thoughts and taking time out are my ways of being kind to myself.

  19. Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer

    Some brilliant advice here Vicki – I often think we should be our own best friends – we’d be SO much kinder to ourselves. I think age helps us let go more easily with the realisation that people don’t generally change – and we’re the only ones who can get ourselves out of ruts etc. It’s good to be reminded not to be full of ‘shoulds’ but ‘coulds’ instead! X

  20. Leigh - Headspace Perspective

    YES, YES, AND YES! I am completely rubbish at being kind to myself, but I am trying. All of these points are important but I think possibly the most important is being you – the others points will then come a little more naturally because you’re comfortable with yourself xxx

    • honestmum

      Thanks Leigh and you are so right, it all starts from there, please be kind to yourself where you can, you’re an amazing woman, let yourself feel sad when you do and happy when you don’t. Wish I lived closer to you and look forward to us meeting soon hopefully xxx

  21. honestmum

    Sorry to hear that Polly and felt exactly the same when I had my first child. Really hope these tips help. I would get help when you can and take up offers so you can get some you time as well, thanks for your lovely words x

  22. Polly Mixtures

    Very wise words, and particularly valuable to a new Mum like me. As happens to many others, motherhood has bashed my self confidence in some areas, while in others I feel empowered.. Love your advice. Thanks x


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