Do you feel good about yourself inside of your closest relationships? Do you feel like you are an asset in your relationships or a hindrance? Do you often say to yourself “he or she just doesn’t understand me!”
If you feel like I am speaking directly to you in the questions above, then you could benefit from the information that I am about to share. As a previous guest speaker at the University of Nebraska –Omaha campus my topic was Healthy Relationships 101. During my talk, I spent a lot of time speaking about the importance of self care because I know (based on experience) that relationships are not their healthiest unless we each take personal responsibility for ourselves first. Practicing self care helps us to establish and maintain a healthy self connection with our body, mind, and spirit. And when we better understand ourselves and know what we want, we can better understand others and bring our unique gifts to relationships.
After my speech, a student approached me and asked if I could provide a little bit of guidance about what her next steps might be around self discovery and finding balance and happiness within herself. If you are seeking healthier, more fulfilling relationships like she is then start by finding balance and happiness within yourself first. Focus on the following three things:
Determine what you like about yourself as well as what you don’t like about yourself
This will help you figure out what you are willing to keep and what you need to change or release. For example, let’s say you make a written list of the following qualities that you like about yourself –you like to read, you are an excellent writer, and you like to exercise. Then, you make a list of things that you don’t like about yourself including: you don’t put 100% effort into your study habits, you get into a lot of verbal arguments with your friends and have a hard time managing your emotions, and you are impatient. This one exercise will help you to focus on who you are which includes your strengths and your areas for improvement. During college, most of us don’t take the time to write about ourselves on paper because we spend a lot of our energy and writing efforts on specific school subjects. This one exercise will help you focus on yourself.
Pay attention to what others say about you
If you get stuck in the first exercise above (especially with things you like about yourself), make an effort to listen to what others are saying about you. The important thing to remember here is to listen to those you feel you can trust. As an example, when I was growing up, my friends would always say that they could talk to me about anything and not feel judged. This was a natural gift that I had and I never realized how valuable it was until later in life. I now use this gift in my career as a self directed life coach. On another note, my former co-workers would inform me that I needed to be more assertive in my work environment because it seemed like I was holding back. This feedback took me a very long time to figure out and after much introspection and reflection; I discovered that I was in the wrong environment. When I switched my career to an environment that was more appropriate for me, I became more assertive and I expressed my thoughts and feelings – naturally! Today, start making a list of things your closest friends, teachers, and family members have shared with you about you.
Remember, finding balance and happiness within yourself begins with a commitment to your own self care. Self care = self connection. And self care is an important part of my philosophy known as Growth in Motion!!
Growth in Motion!! = Self Care + Self Empowerment + Self Knowledge + Self Direction
Spend some valuable time with yourself, making your lists and finding your truth. You will feel better about yourself for doing so.
Take Care of Yourself,
“Living a Growth in Motion™!! Lifestyle”