So many of us are terribly hard on ourselves. I think we believe if we just tried a little bit hard, buckled down a bit more, were more self-critical we could find a way to be better. Sometimes this comes from growing up in an abusive home, where kids learn they are not worthy and that it is their fault. These kids are then left forever in search of how to correct their flaws so that others will love and approve of them. However, we cannot ultimately control how others view us. This attitude leaves them with all the power and often leaves us feeling bad about ourselves until we can learn to let that go.
Approving of oneself doesn’t mean getting self-center or giving up on self-improvement. It does mean learning to love oneself, flaws and all. I work a lot with folks who have long histories of trauma and social rejection going back to childhood and this is a big focus, helping them learn to accept themselves.
I have found that EMDR therapy is profoundly helpful in changing the way you view yourself and your past.