If you’ll forgive me, I’m going to make a few assumptions about you:
– You know what you should be doing, and you’re not doing it.- If you DID do it, today and daily, you would create an entirely better life for yourself.- You experience a lot of conflict with yourself.- You know you should be kinder to yourself, but you’re not.- You feel insecure, you feel that you’re not where you should be in life.- This makes you feel guilt, shame, and regret.
Is this you? Please don’t worry; it’s all of us.
I wanted to write a (hopefully) quick post here on creating an excellent relationship with yourself because I believe that if you can do that, then you can reclaim control over yourself and your behaviour. If you’re able to do THAT, then you’re able to guide yourself into the higher levels of success that you wish for.
A few ground rules here then:
- You can only move forward with “both oars in the water” – i.e. if you’re in good relationship with yourself.
- Part of this good relationship means good communication where you’re not just bossing yourself around, but also listening to yourself and attending to your needs.
- The more in a hurry you are, the slower you’ll go.
- You gain self-control by making and keeping promises to yourself.
I’m going to explain each of these ground rules in sequence. If you read and work with these ground rules for a good relationship with yourself, you will likely experience a dramatic shift in your ability to be disciplined and productive immediately.
One. You can only move forward with both oars in the water.
Almost everyone that I meet is in a bad relationship with themselves. So this means they abuse themselves. They abuse themselves by pushing too hard, too long, by being overly demanding, by insulting, harassing, belittling, guilting and shaming. Asking questions like “what’s wrong with me?” and “How do I get myself to do more?”
If you attempt to row your boat with just one oar, you’ll go in circles, just ending up where you started.
And similarly if you’re constantly setting unreasonably high expectations for yourself; failing; and then beating yourself up for it, then all you’re doing is just wasting your effort. Burning up all of your energy in friction.
Therefore: Treat yourself with respect. Now. And stop evaluating whether or not you ‘deserve’ respect. You absolutely deserve it and no progress will be made unless you begin respecting yourself now.
Two. Insist on good communication with yourself.
With most people that I speak to, the communication between them and themselves goes just on way: it’s them constantly making demands, barking orders.
Let this communication start going both ways. Listen to yourself! We’re all taught not to trust ourselves because we think that if we give ourselves what we want, then we’ll get soft and weak. Not all instant gratification is bad! Think about the instant gratification associated with a massage, a sauna or Jacuzzi. Or a gorgeous meal, or a good movie.
Not all procrastination is bad either! Sometimes when you’re procrastinating, it’s because your body – your being – is trying to tell you something. That you’re tired, or doing too much. Or perhaps what you’re doing is not important in the greater sense. Or perhaps you’re suppressing something, like a fear or anxiety.
Think of a relationship between a parent and his child. The parent is the boss, the parent calls the shots and says what’s what. The child is unequipped to lead, so this makes sense. BUT to lead effectively, the parent must listen to and take care of the child. The child’s needs must be met, otherwise the operation is lost.
Therefore: listen to yourself and learn how to take better care of yourself. What do you need? What are you denying yourself? Can you make any room in your day to give yourself the kind of care that would make you feel safe, loved, and acknowledged?
Three. The more in a hurry you are, the slower you’ll go.
Perhaps this is the deeper lesson behind the old ‘tortoise and the hare’ fable. The more you’re rushing to get somewhere, the slower you’ll go. Why is this? For one, you’ll more likely to make mistakes, and secondly you’ll likely take on too much all at once and then drop all of it – instead of taking on what you can manage and steadily adding to it.
So slow down! Find stability in your here-and-now. Find a way to not be in a hurry, find peace with your situation as it is. If you’re like most people, you really want to get out of your life because you strongly dislike your situation. Being at odds with your situation is a guaranteed way to stay stuck in it. So find a way to enjoy yourself in your life as it is now. This will allow you to take the time you need to change it into something better.
Therefore: Slow down, enjoy yourself, insist that you CAN enjoy yourself from where you are now. Enjoy the process of getting to where you’re going. Acknowledge that once you attain a certain level of success, you’ll just move on from there. Endlessly. There is no ONE point that you need to get to it.
Four. You gain self-control by making and keeping promises to yourself.
If you want to change your life for the better, then make a promise to yourself. If we were to get biblical we’d say that in Genesis, it was the word that came first (i.e. let there be light) and then there was light.
Begin with an intention. Say what you’re going to do. Make sure it’s something that you CAN do, even if it’s not what you believe you should be able to do. Of course you’ll be able to accomplish much, but for now there’s only a certain amount that you CAN do, so do that.
Therefore: Make a promise to yourself and keep it. Every time you keep a promise to yourself, you become stronger and your relationship with yourself improves. You can take on more responsibility as you continue to make bigger and bigger promises to yourself.
And that’s all!
Be on your own side, always. Never turn on yourself. Always respect yourself. Go easy on yourself if you fail at something. Listen to what your needs are and provide for yourself. Take good care of yourself. As long as you have yourself, you have everything.
If you need more help, consider THIS as well.