Let me ask you a question: Would you be in a relationship with someone who always put you down? Would you love someone who made you feel like you weren’t good enough? Neglected and ignored your needs? Would you tolerate that person if they were a constant source of discouraging negativity? Of course not. Why would you ever take that kind of treatment from another human being? You wouldn’t… but would you take it from yourself?
Self Image – Self Love
Sadly enough, some of us do these things all the time. We listen to that little voice in our head telling us “I’m not good enough”. Our inner bully, that loves reminding us of how little we are worth. Sometimes it whispers the depressing statement of “I can’t do that.” We hear that voice speaking to us about our personal an professional lives, cutting us down short of our happiness and career advancement. When it comes to a romantic interests, we often lose out when that inner bully tells us “They would never be interested in me”. Whatever the case may be, sometimes our own worst enemy is that ever persistent voice that reminds us of our shortcomings, failures and insecurities. It’s not a hard habit to get into, and even the most confident and successful among us have to work hard to face their self-doubts. You have ask yourself: How much does this sort of thinking affect me in my life? You might be surprised at the answer.
By our nature as people, we are self-fulfilling-prophecy machines. We project our perspectives about realty onto the world around us, drawing deep down from the recesses of our subconscious mind. Our Core Belief Systems are the truths we hold about life, and whatever we believe to be true, our minds will work hard to make true. These beliefs shape the way we see the world, framing our entire day to day experience. Since the mind cannot tell the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined, our perceptions, false or not, are indistinguishable from truth. So when we tell ourselves we aren’t worthy, when we believe were not good enough, it’s hard to argue different.
Consider your own self-image for a moment. How do you really picture yourself? When you look into a mirror, what do you see? Is it a true reflection of yourself, or simply how you view yourself?
If it’s anything negative, throw it away. It won’t offer you anything good in life. Instead, focus on what is positive. Instead of hearing the reasons why we shouldn’t love ourself, we should learn to tune into the reasons why we do; because the more positively you think of yourself, the more you love yourself- and the more confident, secure and happy you will be.
Another aspect of our relationship to our self is our self-intimacy. Sure, we may know what we like and what we want, but do we know why? Being appreciated makes us feel good, but WHY does it make us feel good? Most of us have a pretty good idea about who we are but do we know why we are? This is the difference between knowing ourselves on the surface and truly knowing ourselves as we would our best friend.
When it comes to knowing myself, I enjoy journaling as a way of self-discovery. I put down on paper my most personal thoughts, as if I were speaking to a trusted friend. I make lists regularly, of my goals, hopes, fears, dreams, or simply record my thoughts as they pour out onto the paper. Later down the road, reading my old journal entries gives me insight into myself. I can flip through the pages and read something I wrote a year prior and I’m always amazed at how much I’ve changed and how far I’ve come in that time. It creates the sensation of being removed from what I was going through at that time, almost like it was happening to someone else. In this way, the perspective I gain helps me better connect and relate to the people in my life. Ironically, by understanding myself, I learn to understand others as well.
When you become intimately knowledgeable of yourself, understanding what makes you tick, where your fears and desires come from, it helps put you in better control of yourself. You’re no longer a victim of your insecurities and ego, no longer at the whim of your emotions and restless thoughts. When you master yourself, you rule your world.
As with any relationship, it’s important to have quality time. Time spent alone, away from the distractions of our over-stimulating modern environment. Time where we bond, talk, share experiences and delve deep into one another’s hearts and minds. Connecting with one another is the foundation of any lasting and meaningful relationship, but wow often do most us of do this for ourselves?
It can be as simple as a daily solitary walk to be with your own thoughts, or as spiritual and devout as daily mediatation and yoga. It’s easy to forget that making quality time for yourself is just as important as doing it for your significant other. The less time you spend with yourself, the more out of touch you will become with who you are.
Being faithful and honest
When you make a promise to yourself do you keep it? Maybe you promised yourself you would quit smoking, or start exercising. Be better with your finances and save some money for the future or spend more time doing the things you love. It’s easy to get distracted or find excuses not to put in the effort or make the time, but if someone else was constantly breaking their promises to you or ignoring your needs, how would you feel about that?
Think about it long and hard. When it comes to your relationship with yourself, where do you stand? Do you love and nurture yourself. Do you remind yourself of how beautiful and talented you are? Do you keep your promises? Or do you treat your own goals and desires insincerely?
Are you treating yourself the way you would treat someone you love?
Be good to yourself. If you deserve to be loved and treated well by anyone, it’s you!
-The Single Man