Monday, August 1, 2011

Being Our Own Best Friend

Unhealthy Attitudes Toward Ourselves:

We sometimes behave as though we are our own worst enemy and harshest critic .  We tend to do this by engaging in negative, self defeating attitudes toward ourselves.  This only results in anger at ourselves, anxiety, low self-esteem and behaviors that are often in direct opposition to the very things we want.  Examples of such negative and self-destructive attitudes are:

  •  "Shoulding" on ourselves with self statements, such as "I have to, ought to, or must"   
  • Refusing to forgive ourselves by holding onto blame and shame for past mistakes   
  •  Underestimating and devaluing our talents, abilities and positive qualities  
  • Having difficulty acknowledging and enjoying success and accomplishments   
  • Comparing ourselves unfavorably to others and worrying about their view of us

Healthy Attitudes Toward Ourselves:

When we behave as our own best friend, we display reasonable and realistic attitudes toward ourselves.  Just as we would treat a loved one in a healthy fashion, we are able to exhibit self-worth, reasonable expectations, and compassion toward ourselves. The benefits of possessing healthy self-love include generally feeling happy and good about oneself.  This enables us to have the energy and positive expectations to strive toward success; to bounce back from adversity, including past failures; and to take good care of ourselves.  Therefore, it is important that we refrain from the negative thinking, noted above.  Ways to adopt a positive, healthy, self-motivating mindset include the following:

  • Focusing upon and utilizing terms like, "I want" when thinking or talking about goals and aspirations 
  •  Forgiving ourselves for past mistakes.  Learning the lessons that help us to grow and not repeat them
  • Being persistent; not giving up; viewing failure as opportunities to inform us of what to do differently 
  • Identifying our positive qualities and skills; feeling good about them; and utilizing them in healthy ways  

  • Allowing ourselves to feel good about our accomplishments and accepting the credit we have earned
  •  Developing a strong sense of self; measuring ourselves by our internal standard; not by that of others.


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