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6 Easy Ways To Love Your True Self

6 Easy Ways To Love Your True Self

The phrase ‘your true self’ is something that gets thrown around as part of neo-spiritual terminology for the soul, the spirit, the ether, whatever you want to call it, but it’s actually a little less spiritual than that. Your true self is the very core and fundamental tenant of your personality and your imprint as a human being.

However, actually bringing forth and loving your true self can be pretty darned hard, particularly when we’re being bombarded all the time by products that promise physical perfection and emotional serenity that is shallow deep. If you’re looking for a personal haul over and fancy getting in touch with your true self, here are six easy ways for loving your true self.

1. Forgive yourself.

We all do bad stuff, we all make mistakes – both big and small – and there’s no chance of going through life without making one. We’re human, we’re flawed, and the guilt we take on after making mistakes can stop you from loving your true self. The first step towards loving your true self is to accept the mistakes in your past and draw a line under the sand.

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Simply, you cannot change what has happened in the past, but you can change how you feel about it and how you let it affect your day-to-day life. Think about your biggest regrets and mistakes and feel good in the knowledge that you’ve learned from them and you won’t make those same kind of mistakes in the future.

2. Love yourself.

It’s a bit of a trite sentiment, but it’s one largely rooted in both self-care and common sense: love yourself. In order for you to appreciate and reach the best version of your true self, then you have to love yourself, as you are, right now. In this very moment. It seems hard and a bit of an obstacle sometimes because people are generally so critical on themselves that it seems impossible, but have faith.

Loving yourself is the way of opening up your true self because your true self will never be ‘true’ when it’s under a situation of anger, hate, sadness and self-criticism that swamps you in a big cycle. Go look in the mirror and see the person in there, away from the faults, away from the human errors and failures, and see the human being within. Then go and say those three little words. I dare you.

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3. Be kind to yourself.

Be kind to yourself, reader. There is something universal in the idea that we have to be kind to other people, kind to those of us who share this world we live in, and yet somehow we miss the point that we are supposed to be kind to ourselves. In a world where more and more pressure is put on people to be everything all at once – successful, kind, smart, confident, serene, strong, sensitive, and so forth, it’s absolutely impossible to be all of those things at once and to juggle all of our demands and expectations at once. Your true self can’t be there if you’re busy being incredibly harsh on yourself by strict, impossible standards.

If you wouldn’t say what you think about yourself to a friend, then don’t think it. Embrace your awkward, human faults because they’re yours and they’re what makes you unique. Kindness is something that needs to be practiced both outwards to your fellow beings and inwards to yourself. Your true self needs to flourish and become the best version it can be under compassion and kindness. Let’s all be kinder to ourselves. Deal?

4. Treat yourself.

I cannot relay how much I want people to treat themselves – life is too short, a blink in the eye of the universe, to be miserable and self-denying. That isn’t to say you should live beyond your means, but treating yourself a little and often is one of the best ways to nurture a compassionate relationship between you and your true self.

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Whether it’s a book, a glass of wine or a sweet candy from your favorite store, go ahead and treat yourself now and then because being super-restrictive all the time will produce no real positive results.

5. Express yourself.

Don’t start feeling that your true self isn’t what your heart desires – it absolutely is and you should express yourself in whatever way you want, as long as it doesn’t hurt another person. Self-expression is one of the greatest things that you can do and it speaks absolutely from the heart. Expressing yourself also helps explore who your true self really is and isn’t.

Go paint, read, write, draw, dance, explore – do whatever it is that makes you happy.  Expressing yourself is one of the sure-fire ways to ensure that your true self is being explored and adhered to. Keep the fires of your curiosity blazing and it will help you with actualizing your true self.

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6. Invest in your true self.

Keep working on your true self. It seems a little like a corny, like a tired New Year’s resolution cliche’, but investing in yourself is incredibly important because it shows that you are emotionally and spiritually entrenched in loving and honoring your true self to the best of your ability. Your true self needs investing in so it can grow, evolve and make you the best person you can be.

Think about those dreams you keep close to your heart and work on making them happen. Learn that language you’ve always wanted to learn, take that class, do that brave and scary activity you’ve always wanted to do. Invest in those things and by doing them, you will transform into the kind of well-rounded, healthy human being you’ve always wanted to be.  The kind of human being who is deeply in touch with their true self.

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Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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