By: Simone N
How is your relationship with yourself? Is there one? Do you see yourself as an enemy or best friend? Are you kind to your self? Mean, berating? How much do you trust yourself? Your thoughts, opinions, feelings, decisions about life? How confident are you? In your skills? Abilities? Talents? Even your physical body? Do you believe you can do anything, be anything? Accomplish anything? How highly do you think of yourself? Do you value, admire what you do? What you have done? Who you are? Are yet to accomplish? Overcome? Do you have respect for yourself?
I like questions, but it does put it in to perspective of your relationship with yourself, confidence, trust and respect.
The first relationship you ever have (contrary to what most people think) is with yourself. It is also the most important, too. It is the filter through how you handle and treat your other relationships. You cannot love someone (trust, love,respect) more than you do yourself.
Let’s determine how much you love and respect and trust yourself, and how you can determine if it is enough to live a happy, fulfilled life. Then we will delve into how to develop a better , more loving relationship with yourself. Also, what it is you can be doing to stop the process of developing a better relationship.
So let’s determine if you are loving, respecting, and caring for yourself.
- Look at the state of your life. Is it full of confusion, chaos, confusion, upheaval? Do you find it un-fulfilling, frustrating, displeasing? Do you hate it? or the opposite? The easiest way to gain insight, is your life, because it is a reflection of you; your life is being lived through you (choices/decisions/beliefs/actions). Sometimes the transitions in our life create the chaos; happens to force a change, shake us up to bring out issues from within that need to be cleared/healed. It breaks down the old, paradigms, beliefs, circumstances/situations created from flawed,false ideas of self.
- How is your inner state? If you are filled with turmoil, confusion, worry, trepidation/fear, angst, hate, etc. Do you make yourself miserable when you are alone? Do you need to be distracted constantly?
If you working in job/career that you hate for example, what does that say about how you feel about yourself? Is there enough trust, respect, love for yourself? To trust oneself is to have the belief to rely on your abilities, truth, and integrity, strengths, so on. How much do you trust yourself to do what you want to do? To Be successful, do what it takes to fulfill a desired role? How about respect? Respect is to hold someone in high regard, high esteem in abilities, qualities and achievements. Do you respect your skills, abilities, talents to place a greater value on yourself and to the world? Do you hold yourself in a higher esteem to know you deserve the best, and to be happy?
If you are in a abusive relationship, for another example, what does that say about how much you value yourself/ self esteem? To consciously put yourself in a relationship or circumstance to be treated unfairly/unkindly, disrespected, and stay in it, is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. There is a part of you that says–even though you may say the contrary–“I don’t deserve better”. Although, even if you do believe you deserve better/more, have become unhappy and want to leave, but still don’t—why? There must be an issue of self-trust and confidence to not terminate the relationship. Do you have the confidence/courage the speak your truth, call for help, solicit support, detach?
So you may be asking, how do I develop a better more loving relationship with myself?( if you haven’t read the my article of developing self awareness it is a good prerequisite of this subject.Check it out: https://crossroadswithyourconfidante.com/developing-self-awareness)
- Remind yourself of the truth. (After you discover it of course). The truth of your spiritual self (essence, goodness). Define for yourself what it means.
- Highlight your strengths by using positive affirmations. Re-enforce the good of you and your life. Downplay weaknesses; mind you do not ignore them, but do not place your focus, make of a great importance. Work on your weakness, the things that need improvements, while you celebrate and focus on your strengths, a good things of your life. Anything you focus on grow, so make sure it is the right things.
- Accept who/what you are. Know the who, what, and how about yourself, and accept it. Know that is enough. Accept the things about yourself, especially, that cannot be changed (physical attributes,personality,etc). Accept your weaknesses as a part of you also, as you work on changing them.
- Learn to trust yourself. You can trust yourself! You have everything you need to make the best decisions, create the life you want. Trust yourself to do what you love/enjoy/feel good doing; as it leads to many wonderful things, a more fulfilled happy you, and life. Yes, you may have made some mistakes, but there no accidents; everything happens for a reason to learn and grow, and evolve from ( it really is no mistake). You may have to learn to trust the voice inside; as many times we confuse the ramblings in our mind for our higher self/God/intuition. Forget what anyone says, about how you cannot trust yourself! We have been programmed not to. The Life force/God /The Divine/ Universe–which is perfection– works through you, so why would not trust yourself?
- Having patience with your self, the process, your weaknesses, life. If you never had an engaging, healthy relationship, or any regard for self, it’s going to take time to develop one. Be patient in developing patience with yourself. Be patient with your self; your weaknesses, your process, learning to love yourself unconditionally.
- Do the things that make you feel good/happy. You bring the best of yourself, when are in a positive mood doing something you love. You learn more about yourself in the best way, feel better about you, and attract and expand the goodness with you. When we understand that we are responsible for our happiness, we have more love for our selves, for bringing joy and happiness to ourselves in only the way we can.
- Challenge yourself to do things you think you cannot do. Whenever you conquer something you feel you cannot overcome, do , or achieve, it builds self-esteem, confidence. You discover more about yourself (skills,abilities,capacity). You see the qualities you already possess: strength, resolve, tenacity, determination, etc.In addition, you develop more self-respect or have a higher regard for yourself.
- Be around, develop relationships with people who have a healthy self-esteem. People who take care of themselves(physically,emotionally, mentally), are balanced, have a serene demeanor, are happy, living a fulfilled life. Of course you would have to observe, get to know them first. People who are secure and happy with themselves, are a good influence.It rubs off on you. Hang around those you want to model.
OK. It is good to know what to do to be more loving to yourself, but it is just as important to know what not to do.
What am are you doing to hinder/ stop the process of developing a better relationship with myself?
- Insistent on replaying the same negative self talk tape. Criticizing, berating, tearing yourself down is what I’m talking about here. You cannot improve your weaknesses, shine in your strengths, when your sole focus is on the bad(or what you perceive as bad), how bad you are, etc.The more you speak of or bring attention to it, the worse you feel; depressed, and defeated you become.Your self esteem erodes, and eventually you do not have a desire or belief that you can do better, or see your self in a higher light. So stop it.
- Doing things that you know you are not to do. Think about how hard it must be to develop any kind of self-trust when you continually go against your better wisdom/judgement/instincts, creating unnecessary problems and difficulties; thus perpetuating the idea or belief that you cannot trust yourself, are “no good”, “suck,” “unlucky”. You cannot respect yourself if you don’t have integrity.You can keep yourself in a cycle of regret, guilt, shame, anger, and unhappiness from the (known)unwise decisions made, it is not conducive to a maintaining/developing a healthy relationship with yourself.
- Staying in connection/relationship with toxic people. This somewhat ties into the last point. If you are around someone to whom you know is unhealthy, or not a good influence on your life, but continue to maintain a close connection with this person, well, you are not helping to trust your self, and possibly eroding your self esteem. Toxic people do not love themselves(observe their life;lifestyle choices,habits). Remember you become more of what you hang around. To be around someone who has toxic habits/patterns, beliefs, it will rub off on you, in many ways.
- Not accepting self. Loving and accepting all aspects of yourself and your life is liberating, helps you you to be more peaceful, and trusting. When you do not accept yourself in all you are, it is impossible to truly love yourself, and have peace. It is especially important to practice acceptance for the things you cannot change about yourself(personality, physical attributes etc), lest you drive yourself crazy trying to change things that cannot be changed.
- No patience for/with self. Having patience with yourself; development, weaknesses, process in developing a relationship with yourself is the best thing to do as you go throughout life. As long as you do not have, or cannot accept where you are, who you are, love you in the present, you will never be able to in the future. If you put off loving you, accepting who you are in the process of becoming, for a later time, you will never do it. It is human nature to wait for “perfection” before we do—whatever.So start now.
Learning to love ourselves is a journey; it takes a lot of mess-ups, regression, and stress to finally be able to like ourselves on a decent level. Try not to feel bad about where you are in your stage in developing self esteem. Many people like you, are are in your shoes; grappling after with the reality of themselves. It helps to know that you are not alone.
Check out the next article: Developing Self; Childhood Wounds: The Cause of Self- Sabotage?