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5 Ways to Become Your Own Best Friend

5 Ways to Become Your Own Best Friend

Why would you want to become your own best friend? There are a number of benefits to creating your own internal support system rather than relying on your partner, friends or family to be there for you when you’re suffering. Having expectations of other people can lead to disappointment, heartbreak, and relationship breakdown if your expectations aren’t met.

We all have it in us to give ourselves what we need, without seeking it externally.

Of course, it’s great if you have a strong support network, but you could still benefit from becoming more self-reliant. And what about if you have no one to turn to for help, or if your current support people are unable to be there for you?

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Isn’t it far better to know how to support yourself in times of need? Here’s how to become your own best friend.

1. Be nice to yourself

The first step to becoming a friend to yourself is to treat yourself like you would treat a friend. That means that you need to stop being self-critical and beating yourself up. Start by acknowledging your good qualities, talents and abilities and begin to appreciate your own unique self.

When you catch yourself thinking up some nasty self-talk, stop and ask, “Would I say this to my best friend?” If not, then reframe your self-talk to be more supportive and caring.

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2. Imagine how you would support a friend in the same situation

Think about a loved one, a friend, a family member, someone dear to you and imagine that they are in the same situation you are currently facing. Think about how they’re struggling, suffering, and feeling stuck with this problem, then consider how to best offer assistance and advice to them.

Craft the words that you would say to your greatest friend and then say them gently to yourself. Allow yourself to feel supported, and give yourself what you need.

3. Honor your needs

Following the theme of considering how you would help a dear friend, you need to start taking your own advice and putting your own needs first. Do you need a day off from work? A long hot bath? An early night? A wild night? Some time to catch up on your reading, cleaning, gardening, creative projects, social life or self-care?

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Whatever it is that you need, allow yourself to put it at the top of the list rather than the bottom. Be there for yourself and make it happen.

4. Stand back from your thoughts

Just because a thought pops into your mind, you don’t need to believe it and act upon it. Not all thoughts should be believed. If you’re struggling with negative thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t cope with this” remember that it’s your choice whether or not you believe those thoughts.

“Standing back” from thoughts is a mindfulness technique whereby you imagine that your conscious awareness has taken a step backwards, out of your mind. That way you can simply observe the thoughts that pass through, without needing to engage with them. Use it whenever you’re dealing with unhelpful thoughts.

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5. Send compassion to the part of you that is hurting

Being a friend to yourself involves adopting and mastering the art of self-compassion. Compassion isn’t forceful or solution-focused. Compassion is accepting, peaceful, and loving, without the need to control or change anything.

Imagine a mother holding a child who has bumped his head. Her compassion is a strong and powerful force. She simply holds her child with loving, comforting, gentle arms and whispers “It will be alright my love.” The child trusts his mother’s words just as you will learn to trust your own words when you speak to yourself.

Imagine yourself as both the child and the mother simultaneously. Offer compassion at the same time as you open up to receive it.

Use these techniques to become your own best friend and start being there for yourself!

Featured photo credit: Untitled by Lauren Rushing https://www.flickr.com/photos/white_ribbons/5766632405/ via flic.kr

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Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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