Sometimes the most toxic relationship we ever get into is the one with ourselves. We beat ourselves up, call ourselves names, point out our faults, and question our own worthiness of love and happiness. We talk to ourselves the way an abusive partner would, by flooding our minds with doubtful, cynical, hateful, oppressive, and disempowering thoughts. The more often this happens, the more disassociated and discontented we feel about ourselves and our lives in general.
On the other hand, our relationship with ourselves can be healthier and friendlier. We can nurture ourselves by taking pride in our efforts and accomplishments. We can acknowledge our strengths and reaffirm that we are worthy of a good life. We can recognize when we do well, when we try our best, when we stand up for what we believe in, and when we authentically connect with and help out our fellow human beings. When we do this, our self-talk focuses on how deserving, capable, trustworthy, and, yes, loving, we are.
Which of these relationships we have with ourselves—either the toxic or the healthy one—depends entirely on whether we believe in ourselves. Clearly, if we believe in our own sense of self-worth and adequacy, we’re much likelier to have a happy and healthy life. If, on the other hand, we don’t believe in ourselves, we’re likely to contaminate any opportunity for such a life.
So what kind of relationship do you have with yourself? Are you your own worst enemy or your best friend? Do you believe you deserve to fail or to succeed? Are the thoughts playing in your head hurtful or helpful?
If you don’t truly believe in yourself, it’s critical that you start to transform your mind-set—right now. You have to stop focusing on your weaknesses and start focusing on your strengths. You have to give yourself a little credit for all that you’ve been through and all that you’ve accomplished. You have to realize that God put you on this planet because He thought you were worthy of life and happiness.
If this all sounds like some kind of self-help self-puffery, then you might be interested in knowing that people who say they believe in themselves tend to live longer, live healthier, live with more financial abundance, and claim higher levels of life satisfaction. And what’s most interesting is that these people aren’t just born with some kind of mental focus on how great they are. In fact, most of them report that they actively work on taking risks, stretching themselves beyond their comfort levels, thinking positively, and working hard to gain the kind of confidence and competence that can only come with trying and mastering new things. In short, they become confident because they choose to believe in themselves and work hard to become competent at something.
So what choices are you making? Are you choosing to give yourself some credit, to put yourself out there, to try new things, to trust that you can handle the world’s challenges with grace and strength? Or are you beating yourself up and shooting yourself in the foot with negative thoughts about yourself before you even leave the gate? Your answers to those questions are likely correlated to the level of life satisfaction – ie happiness – that you experience.
So why not give yourself a break, trust in yourself again, and recognize the strength and tenacity and hard work that have gotten you this far in life?
It’s your time to believe in yourself again my friend.
It’s time you focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses.
It’s time you remember how far you’ve come.
It’s time to give yourself a break, and to reconnect with who you are.