‘You are your own best friend and worst enemy; only you can take yourself higher or make yourself fall even lower’ – Dr Prem Jagyasi (Global speaker and author)
So what do we mean by ‘be your own best friend’? Well, in a nutshell, if you wouldn’t say something to your friend, don’t say it to yourself. We are often extremely good at putting ourselves down, telling ourselves we are hopeless at something or maybe that we’re unattractive, not clever enough or not worthy of something or someone. We wouldn’t dream of saying that to our friend, so why do we say it to ourselves? In fact if you had a friend who spoke to you like that, I hope they wouldn’t be your friend for long!
You might call it self-sabotage or destructive behaviour. Lots of us do it, particularly women but not exclusively. Some do it out loud in an attempt to receive compliments or validation from others, but many more do it silently. As the quote above says, we ourselves decide whether to help or hinder ourselves and our progress. So make a conscious decision to take yourself higher, boost your self-esteem and positivity and accept who you are.
If we love ourselves, than we can love others fully without expectation. We can rely on our own judgement and provide comfort for ourselves when we need it. We can learn to live happily without feelings of insecurity or loneliness.
Of course, it’s great to have friends; they bring all sorts of positive benefits into your life. We can laugh with them, have fun together, reminisce about shared experiences, talk things through, debate the hot topic of the day, express our true feelings, dreams and worries and know they will always be there when you need them. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have good friends that I can do all those things with.
But our friends have their own lives and, whilst a good friend will be there for you when they can, at the end of the day, it’s so important to be your own best friend. Remember that you can never expect other people to make you happy or whole, only you have the power to do that.
So how can you be your own best friend?
Get to know who you really are. What do you like and dislike? What motivates you? What are your strengths? Getting to know yourself is the first step towards liking yourself and developing self-awareness. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and see what you enjoy.
Treat yourself the way you would treat your friend, with kindness, compassion and understanding. Don’t beat yourself up. Acknowledge your good qualities.
Respect yourself. Set boundaries and don’t be a doormat. Know your own worth. Don’t allow others to take advantage.
Accept your limitations. Be patient and don’t expect everything to happen straight away. You’re not a failure just because something didn’t work. Maybe you set the goal too high or maybe it was unrealistic. Start small, remember those tiny tweaks!
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself treats, breaks or rewards. A long soak in the bath, time to read a few chapters of a book, a couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate, a bunch of supermarket flowers, an early night Praise yourself when you achieve something.
Honour your needs. Sometimes you need to put yourself at the top of your list. It’s not easy when there are so many demands on your time but if you don’t put your needs first, you can’t support others. Think about the plane analogy. You have to put your own oxygen mask on first.
Accept your uniqueness. We are all different and that’s a good thing! Your quirks and uniqueness makes you the person you are. Embrace it! Think how boring it would be if we were all the same!
Use positive language. Only say, out loud or to yourself, positive things about yourself. Use affirmations. If you are facing a difficult situation, think about what you would say to your friend if they were in a similar position.
Stop believing your negative thoughts. Accept that they are just thoughts, not reality. It’s your choice whether you believe them so make a conscious decision not to. Just notice them, let them pass through but don’t engage. A friend once told me to imagine your thoughts like cars on a busy road. You see them but you don’t have to get in.
Believe in yourself. Your dreams, your goals, your plans for life, believe in them and believe that you are more than capable of achieving them.
Love yourself. Remind yourself that you are an amazing human being. No matter what has happened in your day or your life previously, what is happening around you, or what someone else has said, you are an amazing person who absolutely deserves happiness.
I really hope these ideas help! If we can love ourselves and be our own best friend, life will be happier and calmer, we will be less judgemental, feel less hurt or lonely, and be better able to help others.
Whilst I was looking for a quote for this post, I came across this which might help those of you who are struggling with events from the past:
‘Stop the negative self-talk. Stop beating yourself up over past failures or mistakes. You are not your past. Stop echoing the voices that have hurt you over the years. You are not the problem. They are. Don’t over echo their voices in your head again. You wouldn’t treat your best friend that way, so do not ever do it to yourself. Treat yourself with the same kindness and the same encouraging words that you would offer to your very best friend. Love yourself, encourage yourself, pick yourself up and dust yourself off when you fall, and most of all love yourself. Be your own best friend’ – Topaz.
So this week your tiny tweak is to stop every time you find yourself thinking something negative about yourself and think ‘would I say that to my best friend?’. I can pretty much guarantee that you wouldn’t! Let me know how you get on. Have you been your own best friend this week?
Until next time xx
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