Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Becoming Your Own Best Friend

Becoming You Own Best Friend

Becky Stuto
January 23, 2013

Lately my schedule has been kind of crazy. Crazy schedules make me really tired. When I’m tired I have a tendency to get down on myself and the self-talk tends to lean toward the negative. I’m sure you can relate. In fact, we all have thousands of thoughts running through our minds. I’m sure you are not surprised to realize that most of these thoughts are most often directed to the one person who deserves it least – YOU! It’s okay to admit that you are harder on yourself than anyone else could be. We beat ourselves up for all the things we think we should be doing better, should be able to figure out. We blame ourselves and judge ourselves way more than we acknowledge and appreciate ourselves. I know this because I am a woman who holds myself up to very high expectations. I am a high achiever who believes she should climb mountains and career ladders in a single bound forgetting that self-compassion is as valuable as self-esteem and that the cost of forgetting that is my own happiness.

We are in the midst of a self-criticism epidemic and a self-compassion drought. Be nice to others. This is something we have all learned since kindergarten. Of course we know to be compassionate to those less fortunate or those going through tough times, that’s easy. But direct the loving energy of compassion and forgiveness toward ourselves everyday – forget about it!

The Happy Truth:

Our happiness is directly related to our level of self-compassion. Simply put high self-compassion equals more happiness. Lack of self-compassion, happiness levels drop. Believe it or not you, more than anyone, is counting on you to be there with open arms, offering unconditional compassion and forgiveness.

So how do you do that? All the years of academic study will not teach you that. Rather, it can most easily be learned through three simple, yet daring acts of love. Much like going to the gym these acts strengthen your relationship with yourself on a regular basis. Are you ready to start your loving workout?
The Happy Challenge

 Transform Comparison into Inspiration:  

When the mean girl/guy voice starts comparing yourself to another person – either by making you better or deficient – stop and ask yourself, “what is inspiring to me about this person? What are they doing/being/having that I would like to have in my life too? 

Dare: Reach out to that person right there or email and tell them what you appreciate about them! There is only one you and the world is counting on your unique expression.

Give Yourself a Hand:  

A true friend would never kick you when your down, call you a loser, or point out all the ways in which you are falling short. However, they do: appreciate and acknowledge you for being fantastic and they give you a break. As your own best friend, your job next time you’re being mean to yourself, is to transform the harsh words. 

Dare: close your eyes, put you hand on your heart, and say following Love Mantra “You are doing the best that you can, and it is enough” over and over again until you feel a shift inside – that will be your compassion turning on. And then ask yourself, “What do I need to love myself well right now?” And then you must do that thing for yourself – just like a best friend would. 

Dial a Love Life Line: 

Sometimes when you’re really feeling like crap about yourself, and you just can’t find the compassion no matter how hard you try, you have to call in special outside forces. This is the time for “dialing into love” and getting some large quantities of it flowing to you pronto. 

Dare: Call up a person who you trust and who is good at giving love and follow these three steps: 1. Out yourself and your inner critic. Say: “My Inner Mean Girl/Dude is going crazy and telling me XXX.” Just let it rant. 2. Ask them to tell you three great things about me. 3. Listen and receive those great things from them, say thank you, write these love lines down on a piece of paper and carry the love around with you for the rest of the day. 

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