Yesterday I wrote about how to recognize and develop healthy relationships with others, today I want to talk about the relationships we have with ourselves. Realistically, this post probably should have come first since its impossible to love fully and completely without first loving yourself, yet this is the relationship that is most often ignored or not even considered.Why is it that, in society, that we will treat our friends with respect and love before turning around and showing hate and frustration to ourselves?
It may be corny but I do believe that there is wisdom in the saying, “be your own best friend.” Think about it logically: if a friend called you fat, or untalented, or stupid… well, they wouldn’t be a friend much longer, would they? And yet, so many of us believe these things about ourselves every day. Just like negative relationships with others can harm our confidence levels, a negative self-relationship can shatter a person’s self esteem. So, here come some guidelines for building a strong positive relationship with the most important person in your life… you.
1. Be forgiving and understanding, love yourself INCLUDING your imperfections.
Another saying that holds some weight? You are your own worst critic. I promise you, all the things that you worry about and judge yourself for; other people don’t notice them. Or, they don’t care. Think about your best friend; when she says bad things about herself (something like look how fat I am, or I’m so stupid I’ll never graduate) do you agree with her? Probably not. A best friend doesn’t remind you of your flaws or try and make you feel bad about yourself; instead, a best friend points out your many amazing qualities and helps you to see the fantastic person you are. Everyone has flaws obviously, I’m not denying that, but friends look past those flaws and see the unique and wonderful person that those flaws play a part in creating.
Treat your internal relationship the same way. Instead of focusing on your flaws, whatever you perceive them to be, remind yourself of your accomplishments and all of the amazing qualities you do possess. Once you make a conscious effort to avoid negative thinking it will become much easier to look in the mirror and see the beautiful, fantastic person that other people see. (Check out my post on “reframing” if you need a little help starting up some positive self perceptions) Eventually you may even come to love your flaws too, after all, without those flaws you wouldn’t be you!
One of the most attractive qualities a person can possess is self confidence. Once you love yourself it becomes so much easier to share that love with others, people who will want to be around you because of the positivity that you generate through your self confidence.
2. Encourage yourself to take chances and interact with the world.
A best friend wouldn’t tell you to give up on an opportunity, they would encourage you to push through your fear and take the chance, whatever it is. Try to apply the best-friend philosophy to major decisions in your life. Apply for your dream job, even if it may be a stretch; who knows what talent your potential employer could see in you? Go ask your crush out on a date – you never know who might be interested but just too shy to ask you out! The point is simple: don’t limit yourself. As individuals we all have a tendency to second-guess our abilities… stop it!
Good things don’t come to those who wait, they come to those who get out there and do everything they can to make the good happen for them.So why limit yourself? The bottom line is; you never know what you’re capable of until you try. So get out there and go for whatever it is you desire, you’ll be surprised by what you can achieve with just a little more self-confidence.
You can either be your own best friend or your own worst enemy, its your choice. However, the amazing opportunities, achievements, and relationships you could be including in your life will be much much harder to acquire with a negative attitude. What it comes down to is self-perception; a lesson we all learned as little kids hearing the story of the Little Engine that Could. He thought he could, he thought he could, he thought he could… and so, he did. Why don’t you try it for a week… see what happens when you think you can instead of you can’t? I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.