Relationships are a gift. They challenge us to think outside of our own perspective and expand our ideas about the world. Many would report that relationships make life more enjoyable as they share life’s important milestones and the sweet in-between moments of the everyday with those that they love. And relationships give us powerful information about who we are and whether or not we are safe.
Many of us invest a lot of time and energy ensuring that our relationships are healthy, connected, and close, but what about our relationship with ourselves?
If we are honest, how do we speak to ourselves? Are we the kind of friend we try to be to others? Are we encouraging and kind? Do we tell ourselves the truth about our value and worth? Or, do we spend most of our thoughts comparing ourselves to others or reflecting on why we are not good enough and repeating the lies about our identity that are sometimes easier to believe than not?
Whatever your answers to these questions might be, we are wise to consider the messages we are giving ourselves.
1. So that we can hear others properly.
Every interaction and conversation we have with others is filtered through our relationship with ourselves. When we practice negative self-talk, it is very difficult to receive affirmations from others. Compliments might feel good in the moment, but if we criticize ourselves, the positive impact of kind words from the outside will be short-lived. Rather, when we are in the habit of speaking kindly to ourselves, we can hear the encouraging words of others and give ourselves permission to receive the truth that others speak into our hearts.
2. Grace is not the enemy of growth.
One of the reasons that negative self-talk can be difficult to let go of is that many of us mistakenly believe that to give ourselves encouragement
and grace would mean to cease growing or improving. We fear that if we were to stop being hard on ourselves, we may not see our potential. But the truth is, owning the truth about who we are outside of what our circumstances may be gives us the freedom to try, fail, and try again.
Grace is not the enemy of growth.
3. Positive self-talk benefits our relationships with others.
Often, we fool ourselves into thinking that our self-talk does not impact our relationships with other people. However, the reality is that when others perceive that we are criticizing ourselves or are unable to give ourselves grace for our mistakes, it can be difficult for them to trust that we can offer grace and kindness to them. Indeed, it is very difficult to offer grace and love to others when we are unable to receive it from ourselves.
Our relationship with ourselves is worth investing in. The way that we speak to ourselves matters. And the key to having the healthy relationships we long to have with other people, starts with learning to love ourselves. Learning to speak kindly to yourself will be one of the most life-changing choices you make. Why not start now?
Photo courtesy of Hernan Sanchez
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