To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heres ten ways you can begin to cherish the wonderful individual that you are:

Recognize your uniqueness There is not a single person on the planet who has the same mix of experiences, personality traits, strengths, talents, abilities, skills and desires as you. No one can replace you. It is not possible. Make a list of all of the above about yourself. Get a clear idea of who you are and what you have to offer. You have an individual purpose on this planet that no one else shares. If youre really stuck when listing your qualities, ask your close friends and family to help you.

Be compassionate with yourself Self-compassion is even more important than self-esteem. If you are able to be compassionate with yourself, regardless of what has happened, or what is going on, you will be able to manage any situation. Being compassionate with yourself involves acknowledging any uncomfortable feelings you may have. Sit with them and feel them. Recognize that you share these feelings with every human on the planet. Give yourself love, whatever you are feeling you deserve it as much as everyone else.

Deal with your gremlins All of us have insecurities, some of which may be attributed to experiences in our pasts. See a therapist, or a life coach, who will support you as you begin to get to know yourself. Heal ancient wounds and move into a more self-loving space. If a therapist, or coach, is out of your budget, join a support group or online forum. Ensure you use these groups to explore your feelings and take positive action. Dont use them to dwell on the negative or to justify staying stuck.

Practice affirmations and positive self-talk Using positive affirmations repetitively, like mantras, will enable you to shift out of negative thinking patterns. Overtime you will become more comfortable with this self-supportive way of thinking. Encourage yourself, rather than being self-defeating. Praise yourself, rather than being self-critical. Tell yourself I love you. Be your own best friend.

Challenge yourself to do something that supports your growth daily The more you do to face your fears the more you will learn to feel confident and proud of yourself. Stretch out of your comfort zone. Learn new skills and meet new people. Keep movement in your life. Be kind with yourself and practice self-compassion as you gently expand your horizons.

Meditate daily Daily meditation will help you to feel connected with who you are. By turning your focus inwards you begin to be able to hear the quiet voice of your own heart desperate to be heard amidst the cacophony of external noise. Daily meditation will help you experience a sense of connection with the world. In the still space, as you breath, you will feel around you the vibrancy of this amazing planet and know your connection to this miraculous, living organism.

Surround yourself with positive people You want to spend your time with people who are energizing and supportive of who you are. Find people who are positive about the world. Spend less time with those who drain your energy, or who always seem to want something from you. Stay away from constant moaners. Dont invest in the opinion of others, especially if they do not have your best interests at heart.

Find the things you love to do The more you find your place in the world, and the people, environments and things around which make you feel most alive, the more relaxed you will be with who you are. Find the things that make your heart sing and spend some time doing them. Find the things that make you laugh and incorporate them into your days. Dont ignore your passions! Run headlong into them!

Recognize our shared humanity Everyone has moments when they doubt their abilities. Everyone has experienced feeling socially awkward. Many of us have had to fake it until we make it. We have all, at times, felt inadequate, incompetent, silly, humiliated and afraid. Know that these feelings are not yours only. Every emotion is part of the human condition.

Dont judge or criticize others If you are criticizing and judging those around you, likelihood is you are also doing the same to yourself. Or, you cannot bear the behaviors in yourself and so you project your own insecurities onto other people around you and condemn them for it, instead of yourself. The more generous you are with others, the more generous you will be with yourself. Be kind in your treatment of others, and they will be kind in their treatment of you.