You Don’t Have To Feel Bad About Yourself Forever

Regret, shame and self-blame? You can leave them behind

Self love, woman loving herself | Canva

You've made a mistake and you have regrets. Maybe there are ways you can make amends, maybe not. Either way, you're probably feeling pretty bad right now. Maybe you've lived with shame and self-doubt that are from others, that you've never deserved. 

Feeling bad about yourself doesn’t do you any good, nor does it change what you feel bad about. It does the opposite: It tightens the grip around the very thing you feel bad about and keeps you stuck.


You don’t have to feel bad about yourself forever

The ‘feel bad about yourself’ cycle can only go downhill

The further down you go, the faster the speed and the harder it is to make a turnaround, or as I like to call it, "making a U-turn". I would like to invite you to enter a new cycle called ‘how to love yourself’, which can only go upwards.

But how? How can you suddenly make a U-turn when you don’t even know you are going full throttle in the wrong direction? How would you know how to practice self-love or even know what self-love means or looks like if all you know is how to feel bad about yourself?


If you could have known how to love yourself, I am sure you would have, right?

Joyful woman doesn't feel bad about herself via Shutterstock

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How to stop feeling bad about yourself after you've made mistakes

I know most of us cannot just turn such a strong momentum around without some powerful and essential preparatory steps. If you feel open to learning how to practice self-love, you need to become aware you are doing this.


If you are judging, doubting, shaming, or even hating yourself, you are probably not fully aware you are doing it. When you take this first step and consciously realize you are doing it, you will also become aware of how you are doing it, when you are doing it, and why you are doing it.

1. Start by admitting how you truly feel 

Most of us would admit to this as a good start, but we need to go a little deeper. Let’s make the "it" more conscious.

Pause for a moment, listen to your body, and notice:

  • Why do you answer “yes” to feeling bad about yourself? Who inside of you is saying “yes”?
  • What information do you have about yourself that makes you say “yes”?
  • Where does this “yes” live in you? What does it know?
  • What is it about you that makes you feel bad about yourself?

Is it your looks? Your age? Your teeth? Your insecurity? Jealousy? Feelings of inadequacy? Your anxiety? Feeling less than others? Your lack of being successful, rich, pretty, intelligent? Oh, the list is endless!


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2. Identify your pet peeve about yourself

I want you to fully acknowledge you are doing this ‘feeling bad about yourself’ in a very conscious way. When you use these questions above to get a reality check with yourself, you will be able to get the "Aha!" moment I will describe below. That’s when you’ll be able to stop.

3. Break the unconscious habit

I’ve been a strong self-love advocate for many years because I grew up doing the exact opposite, probably like you. Unconsciously, I was feeling bad about myself most of my life. I didn’t think about it. That’s just how it was. I hated myself, felt embarrassed about myself, didn’t like myself, and simply felt bad about being me!


It felt horrible, but I didn’t know there was another option. I had resigned to this feeling. I had bought into the belief this was the truth about me. It had become an unconscious pattern.

As I’m writing this, I feel an immense compassion descending over me. How could I be so hard on myself? Well, those days are long over now. I know they will be for you, too.

4. Imagine yourself feeling differently

When you unconsciously carry such low esteem about yourself, you cannot even imagine it can be otherwise. I remember that clearly, but I know better now and, I promise, you don’t need to live like that for the rest of your life. It’s not so hard to make these behaviors conscious.

It’s just a matter of being willing to admit to yourself what you are doing consciously. Once you do, I have a very special remedy called "self-love" that will take care of the rest by applying it daily.


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Here's how I learned to love myself

After too many years of feeling bad about myself, one day I had some kind of a wake-up call. My self-criticizing, self-doubting, beating-myself-up behavior was suddenly staring me in the face. Whoa!

I suddenly felt what I was doing! I felt the impact of my harshness. I became aware of how I treated myself. Trust me, it didn’t feel good, and it wasn’t just an, “Oh, yes, I know I do that.” No, I felt it and it hurt! It hurt bad, and I wailed.


If it weren't for this wake-up call, where I finally felt the impact of that self-loathing, I might still be doing it today: Unhappily minding my own business, unconsciously feeling bad about myself.

Happy owman in the park don't feel bad about themselves Alfield Reeves via Shutterstock

I’m the first one to admit it doesn’t feel great to realize and feel such unkind behavior towards yourself. But, it’s completely worth it. Becoming deeply aware and feeling how you treat yourself is what it takes! It’s not a mental thing. It’s a deeply felt thing.


How would you feel about bravely touching in on the hardness around these painful feelings and bringing some curiosity and kindness to them? What would it take for you to take that step and be open to yourself in a softer way? A kinder way? A curious way? An empowered way?

When you feel ready and able and willing to admit to yourself how you are treating yourself and how bad you feel about yourself, you will be able to change your life forever. Oh, yes, for the better, that is. It will give you the power to stop this unconscious momentum and take your foot off the ‘full throttle.’

It’s like an out-of-control freight train going in the wrong direction. You need to fully realize that you are going too fast and in the wrong direction before you can do something about it.

In the case of the freight train, it needs to stop accelerating, pull the brakes, and slow down. Then, it can begin to stop. Slowly, little by little, until finally, it completes its stop. Finally! Now, it has a new perspective because it’s not going so fast. When we can stop like that, we can notice what else is possible.


Then, we can turn around and go in a new direction.

Your awareness of what you are doing will make you take your foot off the pedal and start slowing down. This slower speed invites more awareness.

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My real-life sequence

After my wake-up call, I had a new awareness and frankly was a little shocked at what I realized. Holy Cow! This slowed me down and made me even more aware of my self-loathing freight train. Now I felt it. Deeply. It hurt to treat myself that way.

I made a conscious choice: Every time I caught myself going down the familiar spiral again, simply out of habit, I would stop. I would say, “No!”

I caught myself in the cycle

When I would catch myself putting my foot back on the gas pedal, I took it off right away before one more unkind thought about myself would get through. I would put my foot on the brakes instead of saying, “No more!”

@freespirit.beautea The awareness of negative self talk was always the first step I took with my client to help open up their “awareness”. It’s IMPORTANT to remember that you are OBSERVING and NOT identifying. No shaming or guilting yourself allowed 😆 always observe with CURIOSITY! 😊#teamagic #soberlife #selftalk ♬ original sound - Kat Scott ✨Tea Queen

Eventually, I came to a full stop. No longer out of control, I could take my time to learn what I wanted instead. What direction do I want to go? Oh, that felt so loving!


I started turning everything around

I started building a new track to travel on. This track is the opposite of what I was used to. Here I take my time; I choose to love who I am no matter what; I feel empowered and I have dismantled the tracks that lead to, eh, what was that again? It’s just a faint memory now; something I never dwell on anymore.

Feeling bad about yourself goes much deeper than skin deep. It has penetrated your cells and bones and unconsciously runs a barely audible recording all day long. 24/7.

Because of the depth of this ‘feeling-bad-about-yourself’ pattern, you can’t just take it off like you would an old t-shirt you don’t like anymore. These feelings of shaming, judging, criticizing, and loathing yourself are more like skin with deep tendrils.


Don’t worry! There is hope. The hardest part is already over. True self-love can take it from here and dissolve these tendrils with daily applications.

Celebrate you

  • You are aware now
  • You are conscious of what you are doing and can engage your divine power to choose.
  • You can now choose to take your foot off the pedal and put it on the brakes.
  • Soon, when you have slowed down enough, you’ll get curious about what you want to do now and take the time to listen to yourself and find a new direction that feels good!
  • You never need to choose to go back to feeling bad about yourself — ever

When you follow these steps, you can stop an out-of-control freight train. Pretty powerful, isn’t it?

When you feel ready, you can step into the next phase of your life where you’ll learn to choose how to listen to what matters to you, honor what you hear, and act on what feels good.


I told you: You don’t need to feel bad about yourself forever.

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Pernilla Lillarose is a self-love mystic mentor and certified Hakomi practitioner.