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12 Reasons To Be Your Own BFF

12 Reasons To Be Your Own BFF

The idea behind a Best Friend Forever (BFF) is someone who knows you like no other person. Your BFF is someone who has your best interests in mind, who knows and accepts you for who you are no matter what faults you might have or things you’ve done. Who’s to say your BFF has to be another person?

The thought of being your own BFF may be a little strange at first, especially because many people would think a friend is someone to rely on and give you advice. Below are a few reasons to help you realize you might not need a friend to build your confidence and be your crutch.

1. A BFF will agree with you because it’s what you want to hear.

Someone telling us we are making the right choice is helpful for our confidence. The problem with that is, we start to crave other people’s approval for every decision. This also gives us someone to blame if the decision turns out to be a bad one. When you rely on yourself to make your own decisions, you will be the one responsible for its success or failure. Making your own decisions and taking responsibility for them is a great method of building your character, too.

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2. BFFs have inside jokes.

While you might not be comfortable talking to yourself and laughing at your own jokes, you know what makes you smile. Being able to laugh at yourself might be hard for you. Look at it this way: if you’re with a friend and they they do something goofy, will you laugh at them? I think so. Why not laugh at yourself instead of getting angry or embarrassed?

3. A BFF will reassure you.

You can do this daily by being positive towards yourself. Track your daily progress towards your goals. When you work out and see your measurements change, for example, that’s something you did. Acknowledging that can build your confidence more than someone patting you on the back.

4. A BFF doesn’t know all of your insecurities.

Even though we talk to other people, we don’t tell them everything. Heck, we don’t even admit everything to ourselves most of the time. While you might appear to be confident and on top of your game, you are also self-conscious about something. It might be a fear of failure, not being comfortable with a big commitment, an addiction or something else. If you have a hard time admitting it to yourself, odds are you aren’t going to be chatty about your private problem with someone else. As they say, the first step is coming to the realization you have a problem. No one else can do that for you.

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5. A BFF won’t make you focus on things you want to accomplish.

No one can tell you your goals. They can make suggestions, but in the end, it’s your heart and dreams you follow. A BFF will encourage you when you have a goal, but their drive is more about seeing you happy. They have their own goals and dreams to follow. When you are your own BFF you can build habits to help you reach your goal. Whether or not the habits are working out more, eating better or starting that business you’ve always wanted to own, you are the one driving your own success.

6. You won’t be lonely.

Part of being your own BFF is learning to entertain yourself. I don’t mean to plop down on the couch and clear the DVR. What I mean is, you need to be able to be in a room with no one else and the TV off, and be content. This might be in the form of a hobby like reading or making something. Learning something like a new language or to play the guitar could qualify here. Many times we rely on other things or other people to entertain us. By really getting to know our own interests, we can start to find things we can enjoy by ourselves.

7. You’ll learn to trust yourself.

Trust is hard to regain when lost. We tend to be most critical of ourselves, so learning to trust ourselves is not the easiest thing once we have made a few bad choices. We will start second guessing ourselves. We start to question whether we know what it is we really want or should be doing with our lives.

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8. You won’t hold a grudge.

Other people can misinterpret your intentions. They also have their own point of view on situations and on your actions. They can be hurt and not be able to forgive you. Being your own BFF means you need to forgive yourself. In the end, we are responsible for ourselves. If we can’t forgive and love ourselves, how can we expect to love and forgive anyone else?

9. You’ll tap into powerful self respect.

Respect is earned. Self respect is something earned through learning to be happy with yourself. No one can make you love yourself. No one can make you see how great you are. These come from within. By creating the person you’d like to be, you will love yourself more. The more you love yourself and who you are, the more you will see your value and feel the self respect you’ve earned along the journey.

10. You will always be there…for yourself.

Self-soothing is a parenting technique used with infants. Self-soothing teaches the child to be calm and work through their problem by themselves. The same applies to adults. Many adults really can’t solve their own problems. As soon as something unpleasant happens, they run to someone else to have them fix it. When the other person isn’t readily available, it adds to the drama of the situation. Being able to step back and rationally look at the problem and come up with a solution is part of being an adult. Making decisions to better your life is not something you should rely on someone else for. It’s your life.

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11. You won’t back down.

No one will fight harder for your dreams than you will. At the end of the day, your goals are yours alone. Failure and success are your doing. If you want to make your goals happen, do it. It’s all you.

12. You can’t take advantage of yourself

People in our lives will have ulterior motives. They might want to piggy-back on your success. They could want to sweet talk you into loaning them money. Whatever the reason is, some people will tell you what you want to hear so they can get what they want. While you wouldn’t expect your BFF to do this, it can happen. You can’t really have an ulterior motive while doing the things you do for yourself. The only person you’d cheat is yourself.

Featured photo credit: BFF on the ice via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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