If I were to hire you, date you, marry you, or hang out with you—I would need to know something profoundly important about you— how well do you get along with yourself?
Why Is Getting Along with Yourself as Important as Getting Along with Others?
If you have a constant war going on in your head, only a tiny percent of your mind space is available to effectively interact with others and solve the real issues of life.
Virtually every mind has some sort of conflict. According to a recent survey, fully ninety percent of people carry some serious regrets—things they could have done, should have done, and didn’t do. Our brains process 24/7 fears of failure, resentments, and dangers that are unlikely to happen. It’s amazing we still have enough bandwidth left to do useful things.
If you are one of the 90% of people who can let the past get in the way of today, these are some helpful tools.
1. Disrupt Your Habitual Patterns of Thought. Start a new conversation with yourself.
You wake up in the morning telling yourself, “Today I’m going to focus on what I need to do today, move forward, and not obsess on negative things.” Then from out of the blue you experience an assault of thoughts that roll into your mind like a gale force hurricane. Regrets and negative thoughts roll in and we can go from optimistic to paralyzed in a nanosecond.
All those thoughts come from below our conscious mind, which is frustrating and fascinating. This below-conscious mind has great power, and more often than not the below-consciousness chooses our thoughts, whether we like them or not. These thoughts have a purpose but they blow things out of proportion and won’t let go of us. I know some people who get mad at their subconscious; don’t go there. Your worst thoughts may come from below the surface of your mind, but your best ideas and intuitions also do too.
2. Realize You’re Not the Same Person You Were Back in the Day–or Even Yesterday. You wouldn’t hold a person responsible who broke Mom’s favorite vase at 3 years old, would you? Yet you blame yourself for ridiculous things that you would handle today quite differently. You don’t just grow and mature from childhood to adulthood and then you’re done. You’re learning all the time. You aren’t who you were even yesterday—love yourself for who you are today.
So think about the past in another way. I have the same identify, but in skills and ability to manage my life and world, I’m not the same person I was back in the day. Would I handle things in the way now that I would have 5 years ago? No, I’ve been growing up since I was three years old, and also in the last few years. I wouldn’t even handle things today the way I did yesterday. I know more now and handle things in much better ways.
3. Become Your Own Cheerleader. The norm in Western culture is to see blame yourself rather than accept forgiveness. Yet all of our great religious teachers have taught us of grace, enlightenment, and salvation. In scientific terms, evolution is an ongoing process, and I’m evolving everyday.
So it’s OK for me to be on good terms with myself, to really like myself. When I’m on good terms with myself, I don’t have to be on an ego trip. I have confidence that if I met me for the first time, I would be one of the most fascinating people I know. Out of the abundance I have, I can give to others. I can celebrate me! I can be my best cheerleader.