Change inner critic to inner friend

How To Be Happier With Yourself

Article last updated on August 16, 2021

I’ve always wondered how I could be happier with myself because I can notice that I have an “inner critic” that is pulling me down to be less happy with myself.

One thing I have noticed is that being happy doesn’t mean being carefree; rather, it means having peace within yourself.

Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.
Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.

Happiness comes from knowing who you really are and what makes you truly happy.

Change inner critic to inner friend

That “inner critic” will always be there, and we need to turn it into an “inner friend”.

I personally believe that being happy with yourself is a common trait among most of the really successful people in this world.

They don’t need others’ approval; they don’t need to be praised, and they are not preoccupied about how others will judge them. They are just happy who they are.

You can never be truly happy until you stop being critical of yourself.

There is no formula that you can follow to be truly happy with yourself, but these steps will surely help you to learn how to be happy with yourself.

Learn How To Be Happy With Yourself

Learning how to be happy with yourself starts with self awareness.

You can divide self awareness into internal and external self awareness, but being happy with yourself requires both aspects.

When we are not self aware, “our thoughts and emotions control us instead of the other way around.”

Learning how to be happy with yourself means that you will start understanding yourself better and what makes you truly happy.

Stopping for a moment, reflecting on the current situation and being more self aware will help you to be happy with yourself.

Not only will you become more compassionate and loving towards yourself but you will also understand how to deal with your emotions and thoughts.

So, first and foremost, how to learn to be happy with yourself starts with awareness.

  • Be aware of your negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is your inner critic. If you are always criticizing yourself, if you cannot take criticism well, and if you do not give yourself recognition for the things that you do, then be sure to watch out for these red flags.
  • Be aware if the things you are saying to yourself, are true or not. Be careful what you say about yourself, it may not be productive. In addition, if you are always talking to yourself about why you cannot do something, it will create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Try to turn it around and focus on how I can do this or how I can learn this instead.
  • Be aware of your thoughts. We tend to think more than we realize, and the things that come into our mind are mostly the things that have been there for a long time. Be aware of your thoughts; notice them when you feel anxiety or sadness coming up in yourself. Learn how to be happy with yourself by simply just being aware.

Consider yourself as a student of your own life.

Think about what you’re doing, why are you doing it and whether it is meaningful for you or not.

You will learn more about yourself when you take time to be aware.

Just like the way we study in school or universities; we need to have discipline and persistence to study ourselves.

  • Be mindful of the things that make you happy and those that make you sad. In this way, you will start to notice patterns in your thoughts and feelings which can be clues to important insights into who you are and what makes you truly happy.
  • Be mindful of the way you treat yourself. How do you treat yourself right now; are you hard on yourself, critical and unforgiving when it comes to self criticism?
  • Be a good friend to yourself. Be the person that you would like to be your closest friend, so if you treated this person as badly as you treated yourself; what kind of relationship do you think will develop over time between you and your inner critic?

Now stop being hard on yourself.

Learn how to be happy with yourself by being more forgiving and accepting of your mistakes, failures or bad experiences.

Remember that you are doing the best that you can at this moment and when you’ve made a mistake.

You shouldn’t let it overwhelm your life, because in most cases those things don’t really matter in the big picture.

Think of all the people around you who you know are kind and caring.

They didn’t come out of the womb as perfect beings but they learned something along their way, just like you need to learn how to be happy with yourself.

I think that the number one thing we should all learn is how to have compassion for others and for ourselves.

Compassion is the key to end suffering and a bad mood.

Compassion is not always easy but there’s a big reward at the end of it; love, appreciation and ultimately happiness.

You can’t offer anything to anyone else if you haven’t learned how to have compassion for yourself.

So be compassionate with yourself and learn how to be happy with yourself.

This is a powerful tool to combat negative feelings for your daily life.

Just recognize that happiness is an inside job. What we really need to do is change ourselves because no matter what happens in our life, there’s always more to learn and more to be happy with.

The important point is this; you can’t depend on other people or events to make you feel good about yourself.

You have to learn that the only thing that makes you happy in life, is YOU.

You are the one responsible for your own happiness, no one else.

You can’t be happy with yourself if you aren’t able to forgive and forget anything that makes you unhappy.

You need to accept what happened in the past and let it go.

If you’re not able, then acknowledge where it’s coming from but don’t give too much time to thinking about those things that bug you.

Instead, think about the most important things in your life. Those that make you happy and those that bring joy to you and others around you.

Be happy for yourself

There is a difference between being happy for a situation that is making you happy and being happy for yourself.

You see, you do things that are important for you, no matter how small they are.

It could be something as simple as planting your own herb garden; you know that it will make you happy, so you do it.

You don’t have to wait for others to give their approval when you’re doing things that make yourself happy.

You simply do them because they mean something to the person who does them and if your friends or family don’t take time to understand why you do certain things, then that’s their problem.

Deep inside every one of us is our greatest ally; love for ourselves.

We often just need to be reminded of how important we actually are and that no matter what happens in life, we still need to love ourselves.

Take a deep breath, get to know yourself better and learn how to be happy with your life by learning to love yourself, flaws and all.

Learn to be happy by yourself. Take time to learn about yourself and who you are by just walking in nature, spending time with animals or simply just doing nothing on a daily basis.

Learn how to be happy and be grateful for what you have instead of wanting more.

The more we want, the less we appreciate what we already have.

We all have a lot going for us, we just need to remember that.

We all have the ability to be happy and we all have the ability to love ourselves, it’s our choice if we choose to do so or not.

Be kind with yourself, be forgiving and be accepting of who you are as a person and what makes you happy.

Be happy in yourself

There are a couple of myths about being happy in yourself that we need to acknowledge and dismiss.

The first is that you can’t be happy in yourself until you have the ideal physique. That’s a myth.

You can be happy in yourself with what you’ve got right now and not everyone will like what we see on the outside, but that doesn’t mean anything.

We don’t have to strive for someone else’s approval to be happy with ourselves.

People that don’t have an ideal physique but are happy in themselves have found an inner peace within themselves and they don’t worry about what other people think because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter; we only have one life to live on this earth so why waste it by worrying too much about how others view us?

We all worry too much about our looks instead of investing time into knowing who we really are as a person.

We need to love ourselves regardless of what happens on the outside because if we don’t take care of ourselves on the inside, then we’ll never be able to feel good about ourselves.

While it’s important to take care of our health, we shouldn’t ignore the things that make us happy and bring us joy because those are things that are going to help us find inner peace within ourselves.

Take everything you’ve got right now and make yourself happy with what you have while striving for the healthy and fit body you want. You can do both at once.

Happiness doesn’t mean being thin or having a perfect exterior, it means feeling content with who you are as a person on the inside and doing your best to get there without ignoring the other parts of yourself.

Confident people have both physical health and emotional health sorted out which leads to happier mood and positive body image.

Also, another myth when it comes to being happy within yourself is thinking that once you get to where you want to be, then the rest of your life will be perfect.

There’s no such thing as perfection and there are still things we need to work on within ourselves; it never ends.

Once we’ve found a healthy level of happiness in ourselves, then we can start working towards other goals in our lives and still not worry about thinking that without those goals, we’re nothing.

We’re always going to have something that’s going to make us feel self-conscious or unfulfilled because that’s just how human nature works.

There’s always more room for improvement.

Happiness level goes up and down throughout our lifetime, but one thing is certain…feeling of gratitude will always increase happiness in life even in difficult times.

When you understand the benefits of mindfulness and how to be happy within yourself, your social connections are expanded and you become a bright person living a happy life.

How To Be Happy With Yourself Books

If you want to learn more about being happier with yourself by knowing how to love yourself better, there are several books on Amazon that will give you tips and advice on how to do it:

The Power of Self-Compassion by Mary Welford. This book gives you a practical guide on how to become self-aware and love yourself before being able to share that love with someone else.

I especially love where the author talks about loving yourself first and foremost. It makes sense since most of us tend to focus on external factors like appearance rather than internal ones like thoughts and feelings.

The author also shares some great exercises to practice throughout the book which helps me understand her point even further.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. In this book , he talks about seven habits that everyone should follow if they want to live their lives effectively.

In this book, I especially love the chapter about “Be Proactive”. He says that most people wait until problems arise instead of taking action to solve them.

If you take control over your own actions, you won’t end up waiting for others to act first. Instead, you’ll be proactive and take charge of your own destiny.

Happiness Is an Inside Job by Sylvia Boorstein. This book shows you how to live a fulfilling life even if you don’t know exactly what you want out of life yet.

There is a section called “Achieving Happiness Now” which explains how to find joy right now. You may think that finding joy requires having everything figured out but actually, it doesn’t.

All you really need to do is focus on doing one small positive activity every day.

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. This book targets how loving ourselves makes it easier to love other people.

It also teaches you how to accept who you are as well as teach others to do so too. Hence, when you love yourself, you automatically begin to treat others kindly.

23 Applicable Ways to Be Happier With Yourself

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you need tons of friends and a busy social calendar in order to be happy. But there are many reasons for happiness when you’re alone.

Here are some applicable ways to be happier with yourself:

  1.   Think about the person you want to be.
    • What are some of the qualities you admire in other happy people? Are there specific goals and achievements that resonate with you?
    • You won’t always be happy, but when life gets tough, it can help bolster your resolve and inspire you to be your best self.
  2. Focus on one thing at a time.
    • It can be easy to get overwhelmed by life’s many demands and responsibilities, and fall into the trap of counting how many things you haven’t gotten done rather than thinking about what you’ve achieved so far.
    • To be happier with yourself, just focus on the present moment and whatever you have to tackle right now, whether it’s a looming deadline or last-minute party prep.
  3. Declutter and simplify your life
    • Get rid of the things around that make you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, and streamline your routine.
    • Organizing a simple life will help you focus on the things that matter, making it easier to find happiness in yourself.
  4. Say “yes” more often – and mean it.
    • Living by a set of rules or prescribed boundaries can sometimes make us feel limited or restricted from opportunities that could be beneficial for us and make life more interesting.
    • Saying “yes” more often—to opportunities, challenges, and requests from friends or family —will help you grow personally and open up a world of possibilities, making it easier to find things that bring you joy.
  5. Follow your heart, not the crowd.
    • To be happier with yourself , you need to have confidence in your own self-worth and know that you are enough.
    • When there is no one around, take this opportunity to recharge and reconnect with yourself while ignoring the voices of others.
  6. Focus on the process, not the outcome.
    • If you focus on outcomes, and try to predict how things will work out, you’re still going to be disappointed sometimes, the trick is focusing on specific behaviors instead – what you plan to do and what it will take to get there.
    • When you deliberately choose a positive behavior, you have more control over whether or not that behavior actually happens.
    • By focusing on your actions – not how they might pan out–you can be happier with yourself when good things start happening as a result.
  7. Look for the silver lining.
    • When something bad does happen, look for the silver lining. A friend might cancel your plans, but that gives you an excuse to watch your favorite movie instead.
    • This strategy is known as cognitive reappraisal, it’s the idea that you can consciously change how you think about things in order to get different results.
  8. Try planning something fun for weekends and evenings out.
    • You’ll have more time to be happy with yourself if you don’t rely too heavily on friends, family or colleagues for nighttime activities, and plan something regularly scheduled (even if it doesn’t always pan out).
    • Pick a night each weekend planned ahead of time when you’ll do some solo activity like going to the movies—with no guilt about not seeing anyone else around.
  9. Get over perfectionism.
    • Doing something perfectly can be good, but obsessing about doing something perfectly can often backfire if you set yourself up for too high a standard to achieve.
    • If there’s a presentation at work or an important date coming up where you’re expected to look great (like a wedding or job interview), remember that nobody’s perfect all the time – including you.
    • One of the biggest hindrances to happiness is our relentless pursuit of perfection. Perfectionists self-handicap, procrastinate and worry about making mistakes.
    • Remember that nobody expects you to be perfect – and trying to look or act like it may just make you miserable instead.
  10. Set goals – then reach out for help when you need it.
    • You don’t have to go at it alone all the time: Ask a friend, family member or colleague if they’ll do some goal setting with you as a way of building positive habits.
    • The point isn’t to necessarily rely on their advice (you can always take it or leave it), but to surround yourself with happy people around you who support your efforts.
  11. Keep track of how happy (or unhappy) certain people make you feel – and why.
    • Take note of which friends make you feel good when they’re around (and why) and which ones bring you down.
    • Remember that friends come and go – but your list will remind you of who’s worth keeping around for when the hard times hit.
  12. Live in accordance with your values.
    • Even if it means losing money or prestige, doing what you value is far more important than doing something that’s just going to make you unhappy in the long run.
  13. Work on your strengths.
    • If you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t make use of any of your talents, it can put a strain on your well-being and sense of purpose.
    • On the flip side, if you feel like you’re not being challenged enough at work (or school), it may be time to reevaluate what you have yourself doing. Identify your strengths and look for opportunities to do more things that tap into them – and stop worrying about areas where you might need improvement.
  14. Spend time outdoors.
    • Enjoying the sunshine and taking some time away from your desk is proven to improve both our physical and mental health: Sunlight boosts serotonin production, which affects your overall mood.
  15. Look for reasons why things are good.
    • In order to build a resilient mindset you must be able to reframe negative events and see the silver lining – otherwise you become too overwhelmed with stress and won’t be able to function properly.
    • Learn more about how to reframe situations in my article on why positive thinking is so much (and what works instead).
  16. Take a step back from social media.
    • It’s okay to be online but don’t let it take over your life.
    • Social media is just a small part of our lives and taking a step back from it can help us worry less about what others think about us.
    • Stop comparing yourself to other people on social media; stop worrying so much about their lives because they’re not here with you and they’re not going through the same things you are.
  17. Learn how to accept compliments without deflecting them.
    • That means smiling and thanking the person for saying kind words instead of quickly brushing them off like it’s no big deal or acting shy.
    • Accept compliments from others as well as giving them when we receive one ourselves.
  18. Accept change when it comes up instead of fighting it.
    • Fighting change just makes us unhappy. We can’t stop change from happening, but we can know that even in the midst of a changing environment, there are things that stay constant and make us happy; things that bring us joy.
  19. Get enough sleep every night to be healthy and avoid feeling groggy and unproductive throughout the day.
    • Everyone is different but most people need 8 hours of sleep every night for their bodies to rest properly.
    • You’ll feel better if you get enough sleep all around; tiredness isn’t happiness at all.
    • Don’t let tiredness bring down your moods when it could stay constant instead by getting more quality sleep.
  20. Learn how to accept change instead of fighting it.
    • Fighting change is one of those things that prevents us from being happy within ourselves; we don’t always have control over everything in life so why fight against what isn’t at our reach?
    • Change happens whether we agree with it or not so there’s no use in trying to change it.
  21. Don’t worry about past mistakes that made us unhappy, learn from them instead and move forward.
    • We all make mistakes so don’t let the past mistakes that made you unhappy get to you.
    • Learn from them, acknowledge what you did wrong so you don’t do it again in the future, and then forget about them altogether.
  22. Find ways to relax yourself when stressful situations arise.
    • You do things such as going for a walk or hanging out with a friend, meditating if you can manage it by getting your breathing under control, etc.
    • Stress is an inevitable part of life but we have to find ways to make ourselves happier by relaxing during those times instead of keeping our stress bottled up inside which will only make us feel worse than we already are feeling because now we’re worried and stressed on top of everything else we’re dealing with.
    • Nothing good happens when we’re stressed and unhappy at the same time so try to find ways to avoid it as much as possible by finding ways to relax whenever you can.
  23. Find things in life that are small pleasures.
    • These small pleasures can simply be going out for dinner, watching an episode of your favorite TV show, or playing a game with friends; anything that has any sort of benefit to our lives whether it’s big or small but just a little something special is enough sometimes.
    • Having little things like this in our lives add up into making us happier as people when all those little things slowly accumulate from day-to-day until they turn into bigger things over the course of time.
    • Having fun with what we do no matter how small it might be helps us appreciate even the smallest things in life so finding ways to have as much fun as possible is always a good idea for our well-being.
    • The more we appreciate what we have in our lives, the happier we’ll be with ourselves.

Questions On How To Be Happy With Yourself

Why is being happy important?

Being happy is very important because without having some kind of positive emotions in our lives, we won’t be able to live properly.

It doesn’t mean that we should go around acting crazy and laughing all the time though.

Being happy means that we enjoy whatever we do and wherever we are.

If we aren’t happy, we tend to become depressed and anxious.

So, why isn’t everyone happy all the time?

Well, there are many reasons behind it. Some people may not know how to express their feelings appropriately while others may lack self-confidence.

There could also be other factors involved too. But regardless of the reason, one thing remains true: Happiness is essential for living a healthy lifestyle.

How does being happy help me?

Happiness gives us energy and motivation to keep moving forward towards achieving goals.

When we are happy, we don’t get tired easily. We are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

In addition, happiness leads to better relationships with family members and friends.

Happiness improves concentration levels and memory retention.

People who are happy are usually healthier physically and mentally.

They sleep better and eat healthily. They exercise regularly and take care of themselves.

What do you do to make yourself instantly happier?

Honestly, it doesn’t work every time, but this is the one thing that “recalibrates” me back to more happy state – and that is is having gratitude.

Gratitude is basically appreciating everything that happens in our lives.

That shifts my perspective away from negative thoughts about myself and toward positivity.

How do I convince myself to stay happy despite several problems in life?

You are not alone with this problem and there’s no need to feel bad about yourself or your situation.

It happens to everyone at some point of their lives. You just have to learn how to deal with these situations.

As long as you try to find solutions to them, then you will eventually overcome any obstacle.

You don’t need to convince yourself to stay happy, you need to realize that problems are part of life and they happen to everybody.

Just remember that if you’re going through something difficult right now and you shouldn’t let those troubles affect you negatively.

How to be happy when I am ignored by everybody?

I have been thinking this way for a long time. This is just your perception about the current situation.

The only way out of this situation is to start helping yourself first. Start doing things that matter to you.

Do good deeds and give back to society. This will show people that you actually care about them. Then, you’ll see your perception will change.

I have noticed that close arms and close mouth don’t get anything back.


Being happy with yourself is one of the best things that you can give back to yourself and others.

I have discovered that happiness is contagious and it gives you motivation to be prolific, loving and permissionless.

It is your duty to be more compassionate towards yourself, put things in objective perspective and start living more happy.

If you allow that your happiness depends on others and external situations, then you have conditioned your life quality based on things that are outside of your control.

Take ownership for your happiness because you can.

Marko Matijasevic

Marko is performance-based growth strategist, focusing on business growth while maintaining a strong emphasis on authenticity in every individual he works with.