“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde
The more time I spend living my own life and as a life coach, the more I am convinced that supporting ourselves and being our own best friends is a missing link for so many of us. How many people know how to honour the relationship with themself? How many of us are taught that the most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves? How many of us know how to be our own cheerleaders?
Louise Hay says that she regularly says to herself: "I love you & know that you are doing the best you can."
What would it be like to tell yourself this? I think at some level, most of us need a little, if not a lot more self-love. It is often at times of change or stress that this inability to love and support ourselves really comes to the fore. We tell ourselves we "should" be doing better; we think there is something "wrong" with us and compare ourselves brutally to others. So, how do we really become our own best friend? Louise Hay is an inspirational woman, but she's human like the rest of us and has the same tools available as we do. Being our own best friend is about practice; there is no magic wand. It is about gently catching ourselves when we are being tough on ourselves, telling ourselves that we are doing well and encouraging and supporting ourselves through the different situations in our lives as well as through the good times. It is about knowing that we are doing the best we can at any moment, and reminding ourselves about that when we feel we have made mistakes and forgotten that this is the case.
How we talk to ourselves is so important. If the idea of self-talk is new to you, just spend some time noticing how you talk to yourself. You might notice that you expect yourself to always do things right and really beat yourself up when you don’t feel you have met your own expectations. What do you think or say to yourself when you look in the mirror? Do you tell yourself how great you look today or how much you love yourself? Or do you look for spots or wrinkles and what you think is wrong? You may also notice that you are better to yourself in some areas of life than others. For some people their body image is their Achilles heel, whilst others expect themselves to be always on top of things at work or in every area of life, even when they are having a hard time.
"Dissolve" Negative Beliefs Around
When we dig into these areas, we often uncover disempowering beliefs that we have been carrying around about ourselves. Although it can be uncomfortable to realise what you think about yourself (or indeed because they feel so true that you can’t see how they wouldn’t be) but awareness really is the first (and a big step) to changing anything. For example, I noticed recently that I had some negative beliefs around money and my prosperity. Once I was aware of that I started regularly using the affirmation “Money flows easily and effortlessly into my life”. I can see that I am starting to believe that and shift where I stand in this regard and also see reality corresponding to my new belief as my coaching business becomes busier than ever! Dissolving bad habits or negative beliefs (as talked about in this post), rather than "breaking" them is a gentler way to deal with them.
Do Mirror Work
Mirror work is a really powerful tool. Twice a day, in front of a mirror, repeat these positive affirmation ten times:
I can feel good about myself!
I can make positive changes in my life!
I can ______ (insert whatever it is you want)
I can do it!
If you have something more specific you want to work on, you can write your own affirmations. If doubts or fears or negative thoughts come up, just recognize them for what they are; old limiting beliefs that want to stay around. Say to them gently: “Out, I no longer need you” and then repeat your positive affirmations again. That which we constantly affirm becomes true for us. Why not carry a hand mirror in your bag to make it easy to do?
Provide a Supportive Environment for Yourself
Provide yourself with as nice as an environment to live and work in (and wherever else you spend your time) as you can. Even if you don’t like where you live or work, you can affirm what you do want and learn to love what you have and make it as nice as possible in the meantime. Make the most if what you currently have and the universe will give you more. Being your own best friend means taking care of and supporting yourself and that also means giving yourself the best surroundings that you can. A bunch of fresh flowers or a clean and tidy desk to work at are all acts of self love. You could put up affirmations around your home to remind yourself what you want to affirm throughout the day. I have regular reminders on my phone throughout the day with affirmations.
Have fun with making these positive changes. If you find the idea of loving yourself (or even liking yourself) hard, take baby steps and just gently remind yourself that you are making positive changes in your life and pat yourself on the back for it. Look for things to lift yourself up about. If you find your slipping or noticing that you have been stuck in negative patterns, don’t beat yourself up. Gently bring yourself back and remind yourself that learning to be aware of negative patterns is another accomplishment!
I will leave you with this wonderful quote from Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Are you feeling stuck in your life or your business?
If you enjoyed this and are also interested in working on supporting yourself in your life or business, then book your free consultation with me here at my coaching page.
With thanks: Photo by Dia™ via Flickr