How well do you know yourself?
How often do you take time out to reflect on your beliefs, values and ethics?
How often do you take the time to really understand what it means to be you?
If the answer is “not often” then you are not alone.
We are so busy with jobs, kids, partners, parents, dependents, friends, that we rarely, if ever, find time to get to know ourselves.
Well, there is now scientific evidence to suggest that it is time to take a time out.
A study conducted by the University of Manchester’s School of Psychological Sciences has found that “Compared with external factors, such as a pay rise, getting married or finding employment, personality change is just as likely and contributes much more to improvements in personal well-being.”
The research also suggests that by “focusing on who we are and how we relate to the world around us [there is] potential to unlock vast improvements in our well-being. The findings have implications for well-being policy and how best to help individuals and nations improve their outlook on life.”
It is important to develop a good sense of who you are. Nurturing ourselves is one of the most selfless things we can do. When we are feeling stress-free, relaxed, spiritually full, not only do we feel balanced and loved but those around us benefit as well.
They key to this self-love is Permission.
We, and by we I mean Women, don’t give ourselves permission to take time out to really develop a relationship with ourselves.
We are constantly working on having it all, a good job, security, love, a family, an active social life, that we rarely stop and look within to see what we really want or need.
When we do, we are labeled selfish, needy, masculine, modern.
This is a load of bollocks! We can have ‘it all’ and take time out to nurture the Goddess within and it is perfectly OK to do so.
Ladies, it is time we give ourselves Permission. Permission to love ourselves for who we are, as we are. Permission to say “I am Worthy” and Permission to say “No”.
Once we do, we can open up to communicating honestly with ourselves and others about what makes us happy and how we want to achieve it.
When we give ourselves permission, we also set boundaries. When we have clear boundaries it establishes respect and commitment. Not just with ourselves but with those around us. We know what we will and won’t accept, and so does everyone else.
So, how do we begin to develop an understanding of ourselves?
The journey for everyone is different. I went on a reflective journey through meditation, journal writing and affirmations. For others it starts with a list, some write a letter.
I asked a client of mine, who was struggling with goal development, to write me a letter. The letter must be in present tense and will be written to me as if it was a year from now. Write to me and tell me where you are, what you are doing, how you got there and why it is making you happy.It took her 3 weeks to write, 2 drafts and a few glasses of wine.
Writing the journey down as if she had already made it, helped her plan the path forward. It can be a lot easier to write with hindsight that it can be looking forward.
Having written the letter, developed a plan and some small goals, she became a new woman. Her personality evolved because it was rick with an understanding of who she was and where she wanted to be.
Sometimes we have trouble getting in touch with our inner self because we are blocked by erroneous self image, thought patterns and negative self talk.
There is a simple little tool to break down these barriers and expel them from your life.
With persistence and patients Affirmations can change how you relate to yourself and the world around you for the better.
Affirmations have been used for decades by Psychologists, although they went by a different name. Affirmations are positive statements, set in the present, that encapsulate your desired goal.
For example, I’m sure we are all familiar with these negative affirmations:”I will never find love”, “I’m ugly”, “I’ll never get that promotion. I’m not good enough”.
When we repeat these negative affirmations to ourselves we are programming our brains to accept these statements as truths. It is the same way we learnt to do things as a child. If we were naughty we were smacked until we didn’t do it any more. If we wanted to learn to ride a bike we had to practice. We repeat an action until it become automatic.
When we say negative things to ourselves often enough, eventually it become automatic. We stop believing we can do better, be better, find better.
If we use positive affirmations, we can re-program the brain to see our real potential, beauty and love.
To use affirmations you need to find some time to consider what you wish to achieve. Do you want to be successful in a particular job? Are you looking for love?Would you like better communication skills or to be heard by others? Do you want to change your eating habits or train for a particular event?
Once you know what your goal(s) are you can then develop a positive statement.
Here are some examples:
Improving communication – “I communicate with warmth and love” or “I communicate my needs with warmth and love”
To improve diet or improve your eating habits – “”My body is sacred. I nourish it with good foods, plenty of water and exercise”.
Or to develop your circle of friends or find love – “I attract kind, warm and loving people into my life”. Also “I am in a happy, healthy and loving relationship”.
The best thing about affirmations is that you can use them anywhere and anytime. You can develop them yourself and adapt them to your changing circumstances.
Other wonderful ways to nurture yourself could include:
Taking time to read a good book, having a bath, treating yourself to a cuppa with a friend or alone, curling up on the couch with some DVD’s, quality time talking to your partner or a friend about your hopes and dreams (You’ll be surprise at how energizing this is. Talking to someone about your inner most desires can really inspire you), go for a nice walk alone and reflect on all that is good in your life right now. Have a sleep in, write or meditation.
What ever you really enjoy doing, something that makes you smile.
Do what makes you happy. You deserve it.
If you’d like some more examples of affirmations or would like to try writing a letter,email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you through some affirmation or would be happy to receive your letters.