We all know friends are critical to your emotional well-being. But when was the last time you thought about being friends with yourself?

Most of us have a complicated relationship with ourselves. Some of us may not like the way we look, or the way we laugh. We may wish we were better at professional networking, or better at reading people. We may wish we were more confident and less prone to put our foot in our mouths!

But many of us struggle to accept and be grateful for exactly who we are. It’s okay to seek growth and improvement – it’s a mark of maturity! But we need to be balanced in how we treat ourselves. We can accept our faults and be gentle with ourselves while understanding there is room for growth.

For most of us, we spend more time criticizing ourselves than being accepting. We nitpick, we over-analyze events, and sometimes we’re even embarrassed by ourselves!

To that end, let’s talk about some practical ways we can befriend ourselves today. Let’s talk about:

  1. Knowing and accepting your perceived “faults”
  2. Practicing gratitude for your body
  3. Journaling to know yourself
  4. Owning responsibility for your choices
  5. Make time to get to know yourself

The more you get to know yourself and chose acceptance, the easier it will be for you to simply be yourself. You can gain confidence in who you are, and you can have assurance that you are a worthwhile person – because you like you!

Let’s dive into each of these topics.

Knowing and Accepting Your Perceived “Faults”

If I asked you to, you likely give me a list of things you wish were different about yourself. These things could be physical, emotional, or mental, but they’re likely things that consistently bother you.

If you have ten minutes today, write your top three “faults.” Let yourself react to them. How do you feel when your brain tells you that you need to lose weight, or that you don’t really know what you’re doing at your job, or that you aren’t capable of handling responsibility?

Record your feelings. Let yourself feel them. Do you feel sad, hurt, or disturbed by these thoughts? Sit with your feelings for a little bit, and listen to them.

Then take a moment to objectively evaluate your feelings. How would you feel if you said these things to a beloved friend or parent? Would you ever talk to anyone else besides yourself this way? Would your friend or parent want anyone to talk to you that way? Do these feelings and thoughts reflect what is the most true things about you – that you are loveable and valued regardless of what you do?

Then for each perceived fault, turn it into an affirmation. State your value, and then say something you love about yourself. Here are some examples to get your creative juices flowing:

“I am worthwhile regardless of whether I lose weight. I love that I make people laugh!”
“I can rest secure in the knowledge that I am capable. I love that I like to take on challenges, even when they scare me”
“I can trust myself because I am careful to keep myself safe. I love that I am learning how to handle responsibility and take care of myself.”

Reflect on this process and write down any insights you have about your feelings and what’s really true about you.

Practicing Gratitude For Your Body

One of the most common insecurities people have is about their body. But it’s important to voice gratitude for it, even if there are things you wish were different. Let’s practice changing how we think about our bodies.

Think of one thing you wish you could change about your body. (Write it down, if this is helpful to you.)

Now, think of one thing you can be grateful for about that exact aspect. You may wish your thighs don’t jiggle, but isn’t it wonderful you have two working legs that have carried you through every day of your life? Your body is so strong!

You may wish your face was more symmetrical, but isn’t it great that you can use your face to smile at other people and show kindness to them? Your face can bring other people joy – and it can bring you joy to see it!

You may wish your eyes were a different color, but isn’t it wonderful that you have the gift of sight? You have seen things that have brought you joy, and you have seen beautiful things: nature, movies, sunsets, etc.

You may feel a little self-conscious during this exercise, but taking time to be grateful for your body can give you a more balanced perspective on it. And this can help you feel better about yourself! 

Journaling To Know Yourself

For the next three days, take just a little bit of time and get to know yourself by journaling. Think of one thing that happened yesterday that made you happy and journal about your feelings about it. Or, if it’s helpful to you, simply journal as a way to release any pent-up fears or worries you have. Sometimes just getting them on paper can be cathartic!

After the three days are complete, look over what you’ve read. Be mindful to be grateful. You may wish that you had written some things differently, or that you had focused on different topics, but try to be accepting of what you have read.

Observe some positive things about what you’ve written. What do you notice about yourself and the way you observe the world around you? What can you be grateful for?

Owning Responsibility For Your Choices

Getting an outside opinion about an important decision can be a good idea, but not when it’s at the expense of your true thoughts or feelings.

When you make any decision this week, make a habit of checking in with yourself. What is it your feelings are telling you? What is it you really want in this situation? Is there a difference between what your feelings are telling you and what is true about the situation?

Practice listening to yourself and making choices that are in your best interest. Learn to trust your gut and your instincts by making small choices, like where to eat or what to eat. Practicing in small ways can help you have confidence in your outlook on life, and can help you get a better sense of what is truly important to you.

Make Time To Get To Know Yourself

One of the best things you can do for yourself is spend time alone with yourself, accepting and observing whatever thoughts come to you, and releasing them.

Carve out just a few minutes in the morning or evening to check in with yourself and listen. What is your body telling you about today? What is your mind telling you? If you have extra time, record your observations and then affirm yourself. Here are some examples:

  • I feel mentally spent, but not exhausted. I must have balanced my day well today! I’m so proud of myself for growing this way.
  • I’m sore from that walk I took today during lunch, but I’m not in pain. I did a great job showing care to my body by not pushing myself too hard.
  • I feel too wound up and it’s hard to relax this evening. I need to take some time to work through what I can and can’t control so I can relax and go to sleep.

Knowing yourself is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Knowing and accepting yourself can lead to a deep sense of security in who you and what you truly want. Nurture yourself today by:

  1. Knowing and accepting your perceived “faults”
  2. Practicing gratitude for your body
  3. Journaling to know yourself
  4. Owning responsibility for your choices
  5. Make time to get to know yourself

We’re here for you to support your growth in this area. Would you like to talk? Simply schedule a consult with us today.

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