99FM – Your Inspiration Station

Building Tolerance Towards Yourself

by Karen Powell

The idea of needing to build tolerance towards yourself implies there’s something wrong with you, or that you’re struggling to reconcile something within yourself.

You might be feeling a lot of guilt for something you’ve done (or failed to do) and you’re having a hard time forgiving yourself. So let’s look at the feeling of guilt first.

There’s information in every one of your feelings. For example, sadness acknowledges the loss of something that you loved or valued. Anger speaks up for your boundaries that have been violated. Happiness points the way to your preferences.

What information does the feeling of guilt or shame hold?

I believe shame has two separate functions. Either it’s showing you that the thing you’re feeling guilty about does not line up with your moral compass, and it’s, therefore, directing you away from doing this thing again. Or alternatively, shame is an indication of low self-esteem.

The way to tell the difference between the two aspects of guilt/shame is to ask yourself this question: Is the thing I’m feeling guilty about out of alignment with my morals and/or values?

If the answer is yes, you know you need to make a different choice next time so that your behaviour is in alignment with your morals.

If the answer is no, then it’s time to dig a little deeper and ask yourself a couple more questions such as: Do I feel worthy? Do I feel deserving? Why or why not?

When you feel guilty because you don’t feel you deserve something this is often an indication of feelings of low self-worth.

When you’re able to give unconditional love to yourself then you’ll be able to give unconditional love to others. Being tolerant and forgiving to yourself is the key to peace in the world.

Here are some practical ways you can work on your self-esteem in order to help you build tolerance for and acceptance of yourself :

*Feel your feelings, no matter what they are.

Denying how you really feel causes fractures in your authentic self and makes you feel unworthy of being you.

*Stop being verbally abusive to yourself.

Stop saying things like “I’m so stupid.” “I’m such an idiot.” “What a dumb mistake.” These kinds of words go straight into your heart and do untold damage.

Self-love is motivating and builds you up. Shame drains your energy and depletes your reserves.

*See the good in yourself.

Look into a mirror and look straight into your eyes. Tell yourself affirming statements such as “You’re doing the best you can.” “I’m proud of you.” “I love you just as you are.” This is going to feel crazy awkward the first time you do it! Then the second time you do it it’s going to feel just plain awkward. The third time it might feel a little less awkward. And the fourth time you might just feel a connection with yourself that brings you to compassionate tears.

*Ask 10 of your friends to tell you three positive traits they see in you.

Write these all down and soak them in. You might not believe someone when they give you a compliment, but when several people see the same good thing in you, you will begin to own it.

*Before you go to bed each night answer these five questions:

  1. What am I proud of today?
  2. Who did I help or inspire today? How?
  3. Who helped or inspired me today? How?
  4. What did I learn today?
  5. What am I grateful for today?

*Forgive yourself.

Imagine your life as a pathway up to a mountaintop. If the foot of the mountain symbolizes the day you were born and the top of the mountain symbolizes your last day on earth, imagine where on that mountain you find yourself today at your present age. Imagine yourself slowly and steadily walking up that mountain to the present day. Imagine stopping on the pathway, turning around, and looking back on the path you’ve been walking since your birth. Reflect on your journey so far. What obstacles, hardships, and challenges have you overcome to get to the point you’re at right now? What lessons have you learned? Who have you helped along the way? How did you help them? Who has helped you? How? In what ways have you grown as a person? What do you know about yourself now that you didn’t know earlier in your journey? What can you do differently going forward with the knowledge you have obtained along the way?

We do the best we can with the knowledge and resources we have at any given time. Sometimes we make mistakes. Mistakes are part of learning and part of being human.

When you’re able to give unconditional love to yourself then you’ll be able to give unconditional love to others. Being tolerant and forgiving to yourself is the key to peace in the world.

“Be kinder to yourself, and then let your kindness flood into the world.” -Pema Chodron




Vtoriia Photography ©






Karen Powell is a Creativity Coach with a passion for helping creative influencers, entrepreneurs and artists realise their biggest dreams. She does this through her life-changing in-person workshops and online courses.

For more information about Karen Powell, click here