I am my own best friend. No, I’m not antisocial. No, I’m not selfish. No, I’m not ignoring or downplaying the relationships that I enjoy being a part of. But I am my own best friend. I have to be!
Have you ever noticed how you talk to the people you love – you encourage them with sentences like:
- “You’re so smart.”
- “You’re so funny.”
- “You cook/draw/speak/run (or insert any other skill here) so well.”
- “You’re so great.”
Then, listen to the words you tell yourself when you look in the mirror.
- “You need to lose weight.”
- “Your hair looks terrible.”
When you make a mistake, it’s:
- “You’re such a loser.”
- “You suck!”
You wouldn’t say any of those terrible statements to your best friend, right? And furthermore, your best friend wouldn’t say it to you. So how about applying some of that soothing balm, those soft, comforting, encouraging words that you reserve for other people, and give yourself a generous douse of affirmation and self-love.
A component of the Intentional Living course I’m taking encourages participants to identify their strengths and focus on them. Really, it doesn’t have to be a list of strengths. In fact, even though you may have several talents, and lots of things you are good at, you probably have one main strength – one thing you do better than anything else. Identify that thing and focus on it. You’re the best at running the 5K distance. Then, it’s okay if you don’t have any marathon or half-marathon medals. Focus on your 5K pace and chase the records at that distance only.
You’re the best at organizing. Then stop letting the seeds of doubt tell you that you should also be the best person to write all the organizing books. You don’t have to. That’s what ghost writers are for. There are people who are good at writing, and great at capturing and expressing someone else’s idea, who will help you with all that stuff.
I’m not a fan of Donald Trump’s politics but I am a fan of his confidence. Have you listened to his interviews? Pay attention to Trump and you’ll notice that he takes advantage of every opportunity, and creates opportunities where none existed before, to flaunt his accomplishments and his successes.
You want to talk about how he is falling behind in the current polls? Fine, but first Mr. Trump will mention that he held a commanding lead in the national polls for several weeks, and that he is leading in several other major polls, and that those that show he is leading are really the more important ones and the only ones you should really pay attention to. You want to talk about books? No problem, but The Donald will mention that he wrote a NY Times bestseller and that he wrote every page himself. You want to change the subject to talk about how inspiring his other opponents are – Dr. Carson, his main competitor, started off as a barely literate kid in Detroit and went on to become the most famous neurosurgeon. That sounds like a success story? Mr. Trump will say, sure, you’ve got it, but first, listen to the tale of how he, too, started with little and made millions, for himself and for other people, and how his achievements have garnered him influence and listen to him list all the VIPs he knows and how beautifully they will all speak of him.
You’ve got to admit the man knows how to promote himself well – he even has me talking about him today. No question about it, Donald Trump is his own best friend. Without paying attention to his political stance or his political ambitions, some of us can stand to adopt a little of that self-love.
The Intentional Living book suggests that you list some of your own positive attributes. It says to list 100. You might be thinking you don’t have 100 positive attributes. Yes you do. (I bet Trump wouldn’t have any trouble with this assignment).
But go ahead and start small. Start with 20 or 10 or 3. List 3 things you love about yourself. List 3 things your (other) best friend would probably say you do well. If you’re stuck, call him or her and ask. Then write them down. And start reminding yourself of those attributes every time you’re tempted to say something negative about yourself.
You’re special. You need to start telling yourself that more. Become your own best friend and love yourself. Believe in the possibilities of your dreams even when no one else does. Belief in yourself won’t always lead to the results you want but it will make you feel a lot better after a setback, so you’re ready to move on to the next opportunity.
I’m choosing to be my own best friend. What about you?