When listening to the latest #girlbossradio podcast with Sophia Amoruso this morning (you can find it here), while enjoying my morning jog – there was one thing in particular that caught my attention: At some point they started to discuss the topic of self-love and self-respect, and they talked about why you need to become friends with yourself first and foremost. And the longer they kept talking, the more surprised I was about how obvious their discoveries had been to me already… And I’m not trying to show off or anything now – it’s just something I have learnt so much earlier in life already and it’s become so normal to me. So, I realised that I’ve been rather oblivious to the fact that this very important aspect of self-love wasn’t as obvious to everybody else as it was to me! It was eye-opening actually. And to be honest, I’m very happy about the fact I figured this out, because that gives me the opportunity to (hopefully) provide you with some useful tips and ideas about how to achieve self-love – covering this very aspect.
So, while I’m still young, still learning (will be for the rest of my life anyway) and not nearly as wise as some other people on this planet – I do have already gained quite a bit of experience regarding the topic of being your own best friend, over the years. This is due to the fact that I started figure skating at a rather young age (6 years old) and that this meant to become somewhat of a lone fighter. Because you train on your own (and with your trainer, of course) most of the time – and only looking at your own skills to improve and work on. And the focus and discipline required to do this, can only be developed by yourself over time. This means that simultaneously – next to all the jumps, pirouettes and performance skills – I had to acquire the necessary, personal skills to enable myself to advance. Skills like focus, discipline, strength of will, stamina and patience (still working on the patience bit, but let’s keep that aside for now). And while fighting for every next step to achieve – I gradually came to the conclusion that doing so as a team makes things easier and much more fun. But since figure skating isn’t really a team sport (except for Synchronised Skating, SYS) and I didn’t plan to go into pair skating either, I had to come up with a different solution – and a different partner. Which I eventually found in – myself.
And this was the perfect match! Who else knew me as well (my priorities in life, my strengths and weaknesses, things that make me happy, my passion, my insecurities and so on) and would be as much on my side? Nobody but me. And maybe it was the kid in me, naturally treating myself like a true friend – with respect, understanding and love that means. Because that’s how you treat someone you appreciate, right? So here comes the take-home message: The most suitable and ideal partner for yourself are you. But like with any other relationship, you also need to work on this one from time to time. So, whether you have to befriend yourself now first or whether you’re already quite happy with yourself – you’re constantly evolving and so is the team. Keep that in mind.
And for those of you who have never thought of it this way but are unhappy with yourself, picture this: If you have this little devil in your head telling you you’re not good enough or don’t deserve this or that – being very unreliable and destructive – you wouldn’t want to befriend this person in real life, would you? So, why do you let it happen to you on the inside? Get rid of that shitty voice (or gradually shrink it until it has vanished into thin air) by building a strong, respectful and supportive relationship with yourself. Don’t wait until it happens to you (because it won’t) – make it happen! Find the helpful and positive part in yourself and work on that – treat it like your friend (talk to yourself if you find it helpful – I sometimes do!), because it is. It’s your best friend. And it’s always been there – waiting for you to be ready to join in. To achieve great things and grow as a person.
I really hope you’re getting my point here because this is important. If you do have questions or need further explanations, feel free to get in touch!
Photo credits Lars Karlsson