As part of my six-week program, I teach the importance of having a good relationship with yourself. Since relationships are simply our thoughts about another person, it’s important to have positive, encouraging thoughts about yourself. All human beings, simply by virtue of being on the planet, have worth. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I believe that we are God’s children, and that he loves and values us very much. I am a child of God, and His Spirit dwells within me. In other words, we have intrinsic value that nothing we do can change. “…the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” (D&C 18:10)
So, why is it so hard sometimes to be kind and accepting of ourselves? Sometimes we echo unkind things that have been said to us. If we experienced negative criticism from significant people in our lives, their words become ingrained in our minds. Also, it is part of our human nature to look for what’s wrong. We instinctively focus on what needs fixing. Sometimes this drive for perfection and improvement can make us very critical of ourselves, our body, our appearance, our past mistakes, or our current choices. We are sometimes more cruel to ourselves than we ever would be to another person. We certainly wouldn’t say the harsh things to a friend that we sometimes say to ourselves.
Loving ourselves is the foundation of our loving other people. If we can’t love the person we are always with and have the greatest responsibility for, how can we love others? Even if we somehow manage that, imagine how much greater our love for others will be when it comes from a place of confidence, knowing that we have our own back, and are our own best friend.
If we want to have a good relationship with ourselves, we have to think good thoughts about ourselves. How can we become better at loving ourselves? It starts with recognition. Notice when you have a negative thought about yourself. Make a mental note of how often that happens. Next, when you notice a negative thought, try to think of a neutral or positive thought. For example, if you have the thought, “I hate my body,” you could neutralize it by saying, “I have a body.” In time, you may be able to believe a thought like, “I’m learning to like things about my body.”
Another thing you can do to change the pattern of negative self-thoughts is to make a list of things you like or appreciate about yourself. See if you can come up with a list of 12 things you like about yourself. Once you have the list, look at it objectively and realize what a wonderful person is described by that list. If you want a greater challenge, try coming up with 100 things you like about yourself.
To learn more about improving your relationships by changing your thoughts, sign up for a free consultation video meeting. It will be a pleasant experience. You won’t be pressured into anything, and you will learn tools you can use right away.