How To Become Your Own BFF

For most of us it is important to be liked. When meeting others for the first time we can get stressed, anxious, shy as we put pressure on ourselves to be the person that we think will be popular and the person that these new acquaintances will want to be friends with. We are our own harshest critics. We constantly remind ourselves to be kind to each other and we focus on the positives of friends, family and colleagues personalities - celebrating what they bring to the table and forgiving them their foibles - so why aren’t we kinder to ourselves?

Amazingly we tend not to put as much effort into liking the person who needs to like us most and is potentially our best friend and ally through thick and thin - ourselves.

According to Nicky Clinch - founder of the Warrior Women movement - “We grow up learning to see ourselves as we are expected to be or should be. We judge ourselves and then everything we are falls short. Women rarely learn to welcome and celebrate ourselves for who we are and the fact that each of us is unique. Women need to be done with trying to fix themselves or be positive or perfect all the time. Now we need to ask ourselves: how can I just be me? How can I be at home in my own skin?”

We all know life would be easier if we could only learn to love ourselves and our looks, but believing you are good enough takes practice. Old habits die hard. Most of us have been conditioned to categorise behaviour and character traits in to black/white, good/bad when in reality life is mainly shades of grey.

Emma Cannon - a health specialist - invites women to “be okay with who you are, enjoy life in the moment and appreciate how miraculous your body is”. She goes on to say that some of the unhappiest people she sees in her health practice are those who are addicted to what their outsides look like and don’t concentrate on who they are on the inside which is what really matters and where happiness lies.

Working on being your own BFF doesn’t mean that you can give yourself a license to behave as you want but allows you to judge your behaviour as your friends would see you and to encourage or reprimand yourself as your BFF would. 

All good intentions to re-set your mindset are easier to manage when your life is under control but it is easy to fall back into unhelpful old patterns when life gets tough so here are a few reminders to encourage self friendship….

  • Remind yourself regularly that you may not be perfect but you’re pretty damn good.

  • Make time to connect with friends, family and colleagues outside of daily hectic schedules and listen to how they talk to and encourage you and talk to yourself in the same way.

  • Don’t allow negative thoughts to run wild. Try meditation or mindfulness to regain control of an unruly mind

  • Trust yourself. Let your inner G.P.S take control. Learn breathing techniques and listen to your heart.

  • Reframe how you see yourself. List your self-criticisms, read them to a friend, discuss and re-phrase. “I am lazy” could become “I like to be at home”. “I am too sensitive” could become “I can really tune in to how I feel”.

  • Remember to be kind to yourself. Stop trying to do it all. The only person expecting you to be perfect is you.

  • Smile more and laugh a lot.