3 Steps to Start Improving Your Relationship With Yourself
Let’s talk about our relationships: we have a whole ton, you know! Family, friends, acquaintances and lovers, pets and randomly awkward co-workers… It can get a bit suffocating at times, I know. But don’t worry, there is (much like with anything else) a bunch of information out there for those willing to search for it, with tips on how to successfully juggle all of those. However, what I’ve noticed is that having that much of a focus on the outside kind of makes us neglect one of the most important relationships we’ve had since birth: the one with ourselves.
Do you talk with yourself often? Before you wave me off as someone who talks to themselves (I really do), let me clarify: I don’t mean do you talk to any random voices and/or other personalities in your head, but rather do you take time to be with yourself often and reflect. We’ve already established that spending some occasional time thinking and reflecting on what’s happened and how we feel about it can help us learn, but what about what we really do in those moments of contemplation? Do we look forward to them or do we consider them a necessary evil? If you’re leaning towards the latter you’re not alone. Life is hectic and being conscious of the fact that we need to work on ourselves and grow can be a really nagging thought to ruin our lazy Sunday in bed.
I’ve come to notice that in the majority of times we don’t really feel like spending that little bit of time and effort on with ourselves is because we’re not in a good place with ourselves right now. I mean, think about it: do you particularly enjoy spending time with someone you don’t like? Thought not. So why do we not like ourselves? The reasons can be as different as you and me: maybe we got through a tough situation that hurt us or maybe we think we might have handled something better than we did or we might just be slipping up on our New Year’s resolutions once again.
Well, guess what: it happens. We’re not perfect and we never will be and we should stop constructing our lives thinking that we are. More often than not what we try to enforce on ourselves is just a bunch of social stereotypes and not necessarily what we need; and when we consciously cling to what we don’t need, everything about us rejects it even more. The point of this post is to help us realize when we do this and stop. Instead, we might try sitting down with ourselves and having an honest discussion regarding what it is we truly want right now: from what we feel like having for lunch, all the way to what we (really) want to change about ourselves. Being honest with ourselves is like a much needed breath of fresh air, and it will help our relationship with us tremendously. Here’s what we can do today:
Do a life-audit. Make a cup of tea and sit down to talk with yourself. Discuss all the things that happened lately. Which ones you liked and which ones you’d rather forget about (especially the latter). Talk about what the biggest difficulties are that you’re feeling. Talk out loud if you have to. What works for you and what doesn’t anymore ? Chances are that your inner you already knows all the answers to these but you just haven’t talked to them in a while so you don’t know. Reach inside and open up about what worries you and all the stuff you’d really much rather throw out the window right now.
Open up. Sometimes when we’re not in a very good place with ourselves we tend to get stagnated and return to the same things we’ve always done, even though they don’t work for us. We just kind of freeze in time. Now that you’ve thrown some stuff out you have a bunch of room for new things in your life. Think about what you can do to become more receptive to new ideas and life-paths: figure out what stimulates you now (not yesterday or two years ago) and do a little research on it. Learn something new and see how that makes you feel. Do you want more of it? If not, move on to something else until you find what you and your inner you both agree on.
Forgive yourself. Let the past be the past. You can’t go back and change it anyway. Consider that you did the best you could at the time and move on. Every past situation is a lesson we can learn from and you know, we never learn from positive experiences. Think about that: if you did everything you were supposed to back then and everything went great, how would you have known that that was it? The best way you can treat your past you is to learn from them, shake hands and move on to the new you that’s with you right now.