Marissa Explains It All

6 Steps To Stop Being Your Biggest Hater

I spent about ten years of my life living in a dark, cavernous cave I created in my mind. This cave constantly echoed all my greatest fears and anxieties. It resonated these absolutely insane thoughts I had developed about myself– I was never good enough or cute enough or talented enough. Looking back, I honestly don’t know how I came to think these things about myself or why I believed that they were true, but I did. The lack of self-esteem and the incredible amount of stress I put on myself affected not only my goals, but also my health. I was the queen of my own Playa Hater’s Ball.

Any of this sound familiar?

Well, I’m here to say, STOP IT.
You need to stop it, stop it right now!
No ifs, ands, or buts, you just need to stop!

If you’re still stuck in your cave, then this may seem like an impossible task. Newsflash: it is entirely possible. The world is full of people who are going to try to hold you back, don’t let yourself be one of them. A simple way to thrive in this world is to learn to be your own best friend. It’s going to take some work and some patience, but the outcome will be a peace of mind you never thought possible.

So, if you’re ready to turn your cave into a limitless sky of possibilities, let’s get started.

Note: Do not come to me next week crying about how you’re still in a cave. This is like a gym routine, people. You do not lose fifteen pounds by going on the Elliptical for twenty minutes, twice a week. Be prepared to do serious, conscious work and you will see serious results.

1. Become aware of your negativity and your choice to participate in it.

Some of you may know you’re negative, others of you may not even notice it. Here’s the best indicator in the world: ask yourself, “Would I let someone say this to my best friend?” In my case, my sister is my best friend. And if anyone in the universe tried to tell her she couldn’t do something, or that she was ugly, or anything other than that she was a beautiful spirit inside & out, I’d probably find something within grabbing distance and stab them.

I’m sure you feel the same way about your best friend. You’d never let anyone tell them they were fat or dumb, so why do you tell YOURSELF that?! When put in this context, most of the negative thoughts our brains have become shocking. It’s embarrassing how badly we treat ourselves some times, and for really no good reason. Nothing positive comes out of these sorts of thoughts– it doesn’t motivate you to be better or to try harder. It usually just creates more negativity.

Realize that you are choosing to participate in these thoughts. You have a choice to not think them, even if it doesn’t seem like it. The cave is dark and scary, and sometimes to think you’ve chosen to be there seems preposterous. It’s not. It’s true. Once you make the realization that you can choose to have a better perspective, the quicker you will have one.

2. Recognize the difference between your ego and reality.

Look, your ego is a crazy and fragile thing. Sometimes it makes you feel like you’re on top of the world, but it is also what makes you your biggest hater. Your ego uses fear to keep you tied to it, and those racing thoughts your ego produces are not real. They are usually based on future fears that will never happen, and you basically just have to stop paying attention to them. Seriously, just ignore them. Much like step one, the more attention you choose to give these thoughts, the more power you are granting them. Just tell them to STFU.

3. Break the patterns.

Once you have become aware of negative thoughts, they’re pretty easy to detect and you’ll probably be surprised at how often you think them. These patterns can be as simple as constantly saying “I can’t”, or “I don’t know”, or “I guess”. They can be as complex as telling yourself you won’t leave your house if you don’t fit into a certain pair of jeans. The point is, as soon as you recognize you’re hating on yourself (IE: saying things to yourself you wouldn’t dare say to your BFF), you can break the patterns.

An easy way to break the pattern is when you start to think something negative about yourself, turn it around and make it a positive. When you think you can’t do something, turn around and say, “I can do this.” Sure, maybe you try and fail, but telling yourself you can and putting yourself out there will help build confidence and vanquish your fear of failure.

If your negative thoughts are tied to certain actions, replace the action with a healthy alternative. For example, I’m a stress eater. But instead of eating an entire box of frozen burritos because I’m stressed and then basically putting myself into a whole other self-induced anxiety attack for eating said box of burritos, I eat a bowl of cherries. Replacing the totally unhealthy frozen snacks with something delicious and good for me, I save myself the anguish of punishing and bullying myself (which I normally would) for eating ten Tina’s burritos.

(For those of you who have never had to buy Tina’s burritos, yeah, they’re $1 in your freezer section. Great for broke college years, terrible for your health.)

3.5. Be your biggest fan.

Just totally give over to fully supporting yourself. Even when it seems ridiculous, laugh at your own jokes, encourage yourself to try new things and daydream about your amazing future. Tell yourself you’re beautiful, dance around naked regularly and talk to the cute boy at the party, because what’s the point of not?! Give yourself the chance to believe that you can be everything you’ve ever wanted to be, because the truth is, you can be as soon as you stop telling yourself you can’t.

4. Focus on goals & work you love.

Now that you are your own cheerleader, go after goals, ambitions and work you enjoy doing. Not only will this strengthen your confidence by being brave and pursuing your passions, but by doing what you love, you are bound to excel. Take pride in this work and recognize your achievements, no matter how small they seem. Do your best not to compare yourself to others, and have faith in your own path because it is yours & yours alone. No one will ever walk it besides you, so know that it can take you where you want to go as long as you believe in it and yourself.

5. Develop healthy lifestyle habits.

A quick way to boost your self-esteem is by living a healthy lifestyle. It’s incredible how much exercise and eating right can help. Not only does it help you gain a better self-image, but it also helps get expel a lot of the pent up anxiety you can incur throughout your daily life. Find an exercise routine you truly enjoy and eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Being active and eating clean food will help you feel good all over, mind & body. I’m not trying to mom-out on you, but if you think all the preservatives and chemicals in processed foods can be good for you, girl, you need more help than this post has to offer.

It’s also a good idea to pick up some exercises for your spirit, like meditation or yoga. As with anything, practicing to silence your thoughts and quell your fears through these exercises will make it easier in your daily life, and c’mon, who doesn’t want to fall asleep without a thousand worries bombarding you?!

6. Be the best friend you’ve always wanted.

And now, after all that, this is the easy part. See, once you master the other steps, being your own best friend will come naturally. You won’t have to try because practice creates habits and habits create lifestyles. You won’t continually beat yourself up. You won’t constantly second guess yourself. You won’t be stuck in your cave.

When you’re having a bad day, you’ll be able to look into your sky and beyond the clouds, because you know that they’re only temporary. You know that beyond the storm is another day, full of promise. You will know you’re a beautiful person inside and out, and will be able to remind yourself when you’re just PMSing. Never stop telling yourself to go for it, and never think twice about standing up for yourself, because you will always have a best friend who supports you.

  • Ashley Lynn Cook

    RIGHT ON! We are too hard on ourselves! I blame magazines, media and our moms lol. But your absolutely right, I mean, we need a positive attitude to get somewhere in life, if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. I’m awesome! and you’re awesome Marissa! and Hello Giggles is awesome! <3 feel tha positivity ya'll 😉

    • Marissa A. Ross

      Yes, media is very much to blame, among other things. But it doesn’t matter where it comes from, what matters is putting an end to it! Thanks for reading. I use the “if you don’t believe in yourself…” line on myself all the time!

  • Jenny Lonussen

    “Here’s the best indicator in the world: ask yourself, “Would I let someone say this to my best friend?” ”

    ^That’s really good advice and a great indicator. I really like that you kept this article somewhat light and funny inbetween; “I’m not trying to mom-out on you, but if you think all the preservatives and chemicals in processed foods can be good for you, girl, you need more help than this post has to offer.” -but at the same time made a great and important point.
    Well done :-)

    • Marissa A. Ross

      Haha, thank you! I try not to be a sergeant with my advice. :)

  • Lauren Nespoli

    This is such a great post! I’m probably my own worst enemy most days, but one of my goals for the summer is to stop being so horrible to myself. I’m much nicer to other people than I am to myself and it’s not fair to me so I decided it’s time for me to start to change that. Thanks for the tips; I’m definitely gonna come back to this page when I’m not rushing to work and write them down! :)

    • Marissa A. Ross

      It’s a great summer goal, and I know you can do it! Seriously, life is so much easier when you’re not making it so hard.

  • Mary Sizelove

    … Playa haters ball :) hehehe. Nice one.

    • Marissa A. Ross

      Love me some Dave Chappelle! 😀

  • Amber Bailey

    This is my life every day! My perfectionism mentality kills me! If I’m not the most beautiful person in the entire world then I’m ugly, if I’m not the best painter in the world then why even try, if my house isn’t the cleanest,,, etc., etc., Those may be exaggerated, but that’s the stupid way my mind can work. I’m aware and I’m working on it, and now that I have a daughter I am trying to break this so I don’t pass those habits on to her. I use the daughter test instead of the BFF test.

    • Marissa A. Ross

      Yes! You can’t let your daughter live like we do. It’s too exhausting! I’m glad you’re working on it though, being a perfectionist is such a drag!

  • Trina Hernàndez-Estrada

    This is GREAT! I, too, was stuck in a dark dark cave. While these steps to loving myself were totally helpful, I also found my faith to play a big role. Like you said, doing the above is like a gym routine. You just gotta keep at it. ♥

    • Marissa A. Ross

      For me, it’s my faith in the universe! :)

  • Jessica Day

    Wow. There couldn’t have been a better post for me to read after the terrible, tear inducing morning of self-loathing I’ve had. I love this so much, and can’t express how much reading it meant to me today.

    • Marissa A. Ross

      I’m glad it came at a time you needed it. No more self-induced tears! Hope you have a better day, girlfriend. xo

  • Kourtney Christine

    You probably just saved my life. Im going to start dancing naked regularly. I think this could help my problem.

    • Marissa A. Ross

      You’d be surprised at what a difference it makes! lol

  • Sepideh Zarrinkelk

    Ah this came exactly at the right moment.

  • Erica Jayne East

    Thank you for posting this. I have been hating on myself for most of my twenties. I’m really going to try to put your advice into action….starting now.

  • Margot Juliette Storch

    This is great, and something I really needed. I don’t think about how negative I can be to myself, and this article really opened my eyes to it. If I can be a kind caring friend to others, why don’t I act the same way toward myself. This has definitely helped me realize that the only way I’ll get where I want to go and have the things I desire is to support myself and love all that I am. Thank you. :)

  • Elizabeth Leslie

    I’m a baby therapist (code for: in training, have no idea what I’m doing, but learning) and I think this is AWESOME. Like, print it out and give it to my clients awesome. This essentially outlines my take on loving yourself and how I might try to help a client who struggles with self criticism. You’re putting me out of a job and I love it!

  • Becca Sands

    I absolutely love this post. When I was in high school, I did little things to help me feel better about myself, and they worked. I genuinely smiled at myself once a day in the mirror and tried to find something I liked about myself that day. Usually it was, “Ooh, my hair isn’t too frizzy!” or, “Ahh, that zit went away.” After that, I tried to compliment someone once a day. A real compliment, and it couldn’t be a close friend (they’re too easily to compliment). Complimenting a stranger, or an enemy, pushed me to see beyond my immediate judgments and help find what was great about other people, and in turn, it helped me find great things about myself. I also wrote down three good things in a journal every day. Nothing bad was allowed. At least 3 positive things about the day. I stopped thinking about the bad and started looking for the good. It was awesome.

    All of that was great for me when I started, but taking your routine definitely will push me further, and for that, I am VERY grateful! Thanks for this awesome post!

  • Jennifer Still

    No one gives advice like you, gurl. <3

  • Molly McGrane

    damn girl! you GET IT! i moved out of a house full of negative energy and into my own tiny apartment last year (my senior year of college). it was so lonely at first, but the more i got to know about myself, the more i cared about myself. i started getting healthy, i started treating myself to fresh flowers and movie dates and day trips. i became one of the best friends i’ve ever had, and i’m SO grateful for my life every single day. it’s so liberating to know that you can support yourself financially, physically, mentally, and spiritually. i think every girl would benefit from a little solo time!

  • Caragh Poh


    • Marissa A. Ross


  • Meredith Bagdazian

    So great! I’ll admit I am pretty good at some of this, but when it comes to guys, I’m always echoing Eeyore: “nobody loves me,” “why would he want me?” etc. Uggh, gotta stop!

  • Diana Zapata

    This reminds me of Gala Darling’s Love and Sequins series!! I’ve been getting better at these things but every once in a while I still have to remind myself to stop being such a negative nancy.

  • Anne Vierra

    i love you.

  • Dayeanne Terese Hutton

    You and this are lovely to the extreme. I always fall into that nasty trap of comparing myself or life to others, which is just…you know…dumb. I’ve also discovered a noticeable difference in my mood when I’m doing yoga somewhat regularly versus not at all.

    Oddly, this is a quote from a Nike ad, but its fabulous and I personally have it taped to the wall of my closet haha :
    “All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you’re not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you’re the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no’s become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly.

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