How to Strengthen Your Relationship With Self
Are you wondering how you can show yourself more self love? How you can love yourself more? Then you’ve come to the right place. The relationship we have with ourself ultimately sets the foundation, not only for our life, but for the relationships we have with others. The way that we show up for ourselves gets reflected back to us in our external world and sometimes that’s hard to recognize and come to terms with, but it’s true.
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Even I am guilty of not showing up for myself. For a really long time I had a difficult relationship with myself. My confidence lacked and my intuition was blocked. This lead to me allowing myself to keep people in my life who brought my energy down and made me feel worthless.
But the thing is, these relationships were only reflecting back to me the way that I was showing up for myself. It reflected back to me the relationship that I had with myself.
Many times I would look in the mirror and I didn’t feel confident, I didn’t feel beautiful, and for a really long time I doubted myself. I didn’t believe that I could achieve my goals, I didn’t believe I was worthy of living a life of stability, and I didn’t take care of my mind, body and soul.
A lot of these feelings stemmed from childhood. I experienced a lot of rejection in the early half of my life. Starting with feeling rejected by my dad. As a child I felt like he was always frustrated and angry with me and that he cared about his girlfriends more than he cared about me. I felt abandoned more times than not and this wound stuck with me all through out middle school and high school.
I didn’t feel worthy of love because I was never shown healthy examples of love. My parents never liked to show their emotions and embracing my own always felt like a burden. I usually ended up attracting relationships that reflected this wound back to me, falling for boys that would reject me, or would make me feel used. Even relationships that were emotionally distant and cold. But through all of this and going through my healing journey I’ve realized that every relationship we have is a reflection of how we feel internally. Every life experience we attract into our life is a reflection of how we feel internally.
The foundation of your life is the relationship between you and YOU. That’s why it’s so important that we create that secure and stable foundation, which is why I am going to share 8 ways that you can start strengthen the relationship that you have with yourself.
ONE: LET GO OF SEEKING EXTERNAL VALIDATION
I struggled with this for the longest time, but external validation can actually create a disconnect between you and your higher self. Seeking external validation can block your intuition and create limiting beliefs and fears.
Let’s say you want to start an online business and you start to wonder if this is going to be a good idea. Thinking things like, I wonder if I can actually make this successful? This thought points towards self doubt.
Since you are doubting yourself, you now take this idea and you start telling other people to ask them what they think.
First you go to your friend, “so I have this great idea to start this online business what do you think?” Here’s hoping your friend is supportive, then you go to your mom, your aunt, or whoever else and suddenly they are making you second guess this idea because they start to say things like,
“Oh, are you sure that’s a good idea? It’s going to cost a lot of money to get it started and keep up with it. I don’t know if that’s a good idea right now.”
Now this idea that you had is something you push off because the external opinions of others created fear and doubt.
Do you see what I mean?
But let me ask you something, if this is YOUR life and you are the one that has to deal with the effects of the decisions you make for yourself, WHY are you going to let someone else make those decisions for you? They don’t deal with the effects, YOU DO.
Here’s another example of seeking external validation:
Let’s say you get dressed up or you get your hair done and you go up to your partner to show them. You are patiently waiting for them to tell you that they love your new hair and that you look amazing, but they had a bad day so they don’t seem to notice or mention it at all. This now leads to you internalizing their reaction and you get really upset because they didn’t give you that validation.
Or you get a new job and you are so excited you just have to share the news with your parents, but when you share the news it seems your parents aren’t happy for you. They even think the career change wasn’t the best decision, but you so badly wanted that validation from them.
WHY… why are you waiting for others to validate your feelings and decisions before you choose to validate yourself!
In order to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself, it’s time to stop seeking external validation and give yourself that validation that you seek.
Once you start validating yourself, you will start to realize that others will start giving that same energy back to you, or you won’t even care if they don’t because you won’t need it. You have YOU.
TWO: LET GO OF SELF GUILT
Did you know that we actually put ourselves down more often than we realize? The way you talk to yourself is extremely important when it comes to creating a healthy relationship with self.
I want you to try and let go of the “shoulding” that you probably do to yourself daily without even realizing.
Think about it, how many times do you say to yourself “I should have done this instead.”
I think we are all guilty of this, but this creates a disconnect when it comes to your intuition. It also creates this energy of self doubt, shame and guilt.
You made that decision for a reason, there’s no need to feel bad about it.
We are spiritual beings living a human experience, which means naturally we are going to make mistakes and that’s okay! It’s time to let go of this expectation that we aren’t allowed to make mistakes or that we are supposed to know all of the right answers because we aren’t.
We make mistakes because we are supposed to learn. Without mistakes we wouldn’t learn and without learning, we wouldn’t grow. That’s what life is all about.
If you ever make a mistake, GOOD, it means you are human and you are living life the way you are supposed to be living it. Allow yourself to learn the lessons from the mistakes and move forward.
THREE: KEEP THE PROMISES YOU MAKE TO YOURSELF
I know keeping promises to yourself can be hard, but it can really build up your intuition and strengthen the relationship you have with yourself. Self doubt can stem from broken promises to self.
Think about it, how many times have you set a goal and then forgot about it. I know I am guilty of this.
I’m not saying that you should be ashamed of yourself, because its 100% okay to not follow through, life happens. What I am saying though, is that you will strengthen your intuition, confidence, and relationship with yourself by following through on the promises that you make to yourself.
This is why I always say that it’s so important to set REASONABLE goals. It’s okay to aim big. I am a huge believer in dreaming big, but when it comes to achieving those big goals you set, you need to break it down into small, actionable steps so that you can build that trust within yourself to follow through.
Let’s say you want to lose 40 pounds, great! Now take that goal and break it into small, actionable steps that you know you can achieve. Maybe that looks like working out for 30 mins a day or 30 mins 4 times a week. Whatever it is that you know you can do and then hold yourself accountable to that. The more accountable you are with yourself, the more you build that self trust.
If you keep breaking the promises you make to yourself it can create a lack of self trust. Subconsciously your mind starts thinking “look at you saying you’re going to do this, but I know you won’t because you have said this before”
And trust me, keeping those promises to yourself really will build that confidence! Start small!!
FOUR: MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Before I started working on my own relationship with myself, spending time alone was hard. I always felt like I needed someone to be there with me at all times as it gave me this sense of companionship and love, especially when it came to spending time with my partner. I was very needy and always wanted his attention.
But the truth is, now that I’ve been going through my healing journey, I actually appreciate my alone time. It’s peaceful and it feels good.
You need to make time for yourself, especially for self care. It’s not selfish to prioritize yourself, in fact, it’s kind of selfish not to prioritize your well being. You can’t pour from an empty cup. When people want your attention and help when you have nothing left to give, what good does that do?
You need to take the time to rest and recharge. Make it a point to add your alone time and self care time to your to-do list. I know some of us will have more time than others, but try to sneak in time when you can.
FIVE: SET BOUNDARIES
Setting boundaries is so important. If you want to strengthen your relationship that you have with yourself, you need to protect your energy. Listen, I used to be the BIGGEST people pleaser. I always chose to make other people happy even if it meant that I was unhappy and this was a trauma response.
I was always trying to make sure that I was doing all I could to keep the peace as a kid because of my dad’s mood swings. This followed me throughout my life, up until I finally recognized that I struggled with this.
What I’ve learned is that I am sacrificing my internal peace for a moment of external peace, and that does more harm in the long run. How we feel internally is always going to be reflected back to us in our external world which is why it’s important that internally we are at peace.
The more inner peace you feel, the more that inner peace is reflected back to you.
If you are like me, then you probably LOVE to help others. You are always willing to sit and listen to your friends when they need someone to listen, and you are always wanting to say yes when someone asks you for help. This can be draining your energy. You need to be reasonable about how much you give and if you feel like someone is draining your energy, it’s okay to set that boundary.
When it comes to setting boundaries you want to:
- Listen to your emotions, when you feel drained there is usually a lack of boundaries
- Let go of saying yes when you want to say no
- Speak up when someone is making you feel uncomfortable
- Let go of people pleasing and let go of doing something you don’t want to do just to keep the peace
Another indication that you may lack boundaries is choosing not to communicate how you feel because you want to avoid conflict.
Trust me I get it, this was me for so long, but setting boundaries feels so good! If people can’t respect your boundaries, then they shouldn’t be able to have access to your energy.
A great way to set and communicate your boundaries can look like this:
- “I would love to hang out but I have to leave by _____”
- “I can’t take this task on at the moment but once I finish my other tasks It’s a possibility.”
- “I don’t feel comfortable talking about this.”
- “Before you come over I need you to call me first.”
- “I would love to hang out but I can’t today, would ___ work for you?”
SIX: BE AUTHENTIC, LET GO OF LETTING THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS CONTROL YOUR LIFE
The best thing you could do when it comes to strengthening your relationship with self is to stop letting the opinions of others control you. It’s time to allow yourself to step into the most authentic version of you.
For the longest time I hid who I truly wanted to be due to fear of criticism from others. It has been really hard for me to have family members who have different beliefs than I do.
I mentioned this before, but I love reading tarot. I am a big believer in astrology and my parents are christians who don’t believe in tarot or astrology.
When I first mentioned tarot to my mom she was extremely skeptical. She was afraid that I was messing with negative spirits or whatever else. There was a point where I felt like she wanted to change this part of me because it went against her religious beliefs. It made me feel like I was wrong and that I wasn’t accepted, but what I’ve come to realize is that it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter if my family is against what I love, I’m going to love it anyway. It doesn’t matter if they don’t believe what I believe, I’m going to believe it anyway. This world is so divided over beliefs and opinions and it’s SAD.
Everyone wants to be right and the truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong.
Our opinions are just reflections of our belief system and this belief system is created based off of our own personal life experiences. It’s a matter of perspective.
My mom and dad found God when they divorced. They were going through a really hard time after the divorce. Seeking out God and finding their faith really helped them through those tough times. That’s their belief which is based off their perspective which is why they hold that so closely.
Here’s a personal example,
I personally have a really hard time trusting the health care system. I struggle to believe that people of power truly care about our well being. This belief stems from watching my dad struggle with addiction growing up. The doctors swore that the pills they prescribed him weren’t addictive. He so badly needed them not to be addictive because he knew he was a recovering addict, but the pain killers ended up being addictive and ruined our family. He went down a very destructive path at the time and it was hard watching him go through this. It lead to my parents divorce and a strained relationship between me and my dad. I have since healed from these experiences, but I still struggle with trust.
As another example, I got really sick as a child. I was in and out of the ER multiple times until one day I went to my pediatrician and I had almost no oxygen left. At the time I had a staph infection and staph pneumonia. Before they finally diagnosed me with this, they told me that I was just constipated. Then they switched to telling me it was just muscle spasms, but I was in so much pain with a fever of 104 and no one believed me. Not even my mom.
Based on my personal experiences it’s hard for me to trust the health care system.
We all have our beliefs and opinions based off of what we go through and how we take in what’s being shown to us through our own lens.
The key is to be open minded so that you can see the opposite perspective.
I love that there are people who don’t always agree with me and who have a different opinion because it provides an opportunity for a healthy discussion, a different perspective, and room for growth.
However, there will always be people out there who struggle to see a different perspective, who are very closed minded, and who feel like they are right and that’s it. This probably stems from their own trauma and personal experiences too.
But the truth is, thoughts in our mind are NOT facts.
People are going to have their opinions about you and if you choose to live your life according to the opinions of others, you are just doing yourself a disservice.
Let people think what they want about you because at the end of the day it’s just a reflection of them. You can’t control how someone perceives you, but you can control how you react to people’s judgement and opinions.
Do what make you happy, live life the way you want to live it, and don’t let other people stand in your way. It’s not worth your inner peace.
SEVEN: CREATE HABITS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD
Creating daily habits that make you feel good is so beneficial. It’s a great way to show yourself love, not to mention, it’s a great way to bring joy to the mundane tasks that you don’t like to do.
Because let’s face it, if I could just focus on what I enjoy every day and not worry about anything else, I would. I’m sure you would too!
Unfortunately, there are going to be tasks that we need to do that don’t bring us joy.
Like for example, House chores, unless you enjoy cleaning! Personally, I need to be in the mood to want to clean.
A great way for me to add joy to this task is by listening to music or an uplifting podcast or YouTube video while I clean.
Perhaps you hate your drive to work, but what if you were drinking your favorite coffee or tea while listening to uplifting music? It would probably make your drive more enjoyable.
I also like to take the time to create a morning and night routine that make me feel good because there’s nothing better than starting and ending your day on a positive note!
EIGHT: LET GO OF COMPARISON
The last way I want to share that can help you strengthen the relationship that you have with yourself is to let go of the need to compare yourself to others.
We are human so it’s very normal to do the whole comparison thing and I know it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others, especially with social media, but the thing is, you are seeing everyone around you through your own lenses. The way you view someone else’s life is often a reflection of how you feel internally.
So what do I mean by this?
Let’s take a famous celebrity for example, perhaps you look at them and think “wow, it must be nice to have all that fame and money. They probably don’t have to work very hard for what they have. I wonder if they got handed all that money because they come from a rich family.”
When you compare, you are actually focusing on what your life is lacking, so you perceive this celebrity in a way where their life is ultimately easier than yours because you are believing them to have all of these things that you don’t have.
They have the rich family and you don’t.
They have money and fame and you don’t
When you start to compare yourself to others you are subconsciously focusing on the things their life has that your life doesn’t and it creates a lack mindset and a lot of limiting beliefs.
Not to mention, you don’t actually know the full story. I can promise you EVERYONE has their own struggles, even people who are famous and have money. There’s always more behind the surface, so it’s truly unfair to make assumptions and it’s unfair to yourself to compare your life to theirs.
We are always going to see in others what we don’t see in ourselves, until we learn a level of self awareness.
Everyone’s path and journey is different. That’s how life works and often the way we feel about others is just a reflection of how we feel internally. That’s where those feelings of anger and jealousy stem from.
It’s human nature to feel these emotions, but when you have a strong relationship with self and you do the inner work and healing, you start to see a much bigger picture. You start to recognize the patterns. Now you are realizing that the way you criticize and judge others and the way people criticize and judge you is just this reflection of all the trauma and personal experiences we’ve all been through.
It helps you build up this confidence and self worth because at the end of the day the most important relationship you will have in your life is the relationship you have with yourself, your foundation.
I really hoped this helped you look at things from a different perspective and that you start to show up for yourself more because we all deserve to have a secure and stable foundation, we all deserve to find that inner peace.