At the beginning of any new year, we talk a lot about what we need to start doing. Start going to the gym, start getting healthier, start building better habits and on and on.
Don’t get me wrong, goals and self improvement are awesome and super important. We should always strive to grow and be better versions of ourselves. That’s what life is all about!
However, sometimes the things we STOP doing can be just as important as the things we start doing. As we think about building strong relationships, the relationship we hold with ourselves is the most important.
This is the relationship that sets the tone for all of the others. The relationship we hold with ourselves is the relationship that lasts the tests of time; the marriages, the breakups, the moves across country, the new job, the new baby, the loss, all the things. The relationship we hold with ourselves is the foundation of the bonds we build with others and the world around us.
To make this the strongest relationship possible, we need to stop doing a few destructive things…
Stop spending so much time on social.
Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before, but it’s so true! Social media itself isn’t the culprit, it’s what we do with it. For most women, social media is a nasty a comparison cocktail, leaving us excited in the moment, but hungover later.
Whether we realize it or not social media has us comparing ourselves to other women and their lives. What we see on Insta or Facebook is that 1 snapshot, that perfect visual and our brains assume that it is their all day, every day, reality, it’s not.
Do yourself a favor and take a social media break – comparing ourselves to perfect visuals is the devil.
Stop talking to that person you really don’t like.
We all have 1 or 2 people in our lives who are somewhere between annoying and toxic. This is a relationship that really doesn’t provide any value. This is someone we secretly dread seeing but do it anyway because we feel sorry for them, we feel obligated to them, or we just haven’t figured out how to navigate away from them.
Investing in bad relationships does 2 things, it holds us down and it keeps us from putting that same energy into other, more positive relationships. Imagine where you might be today if all of the energy you put into the toxic relationship instead went towards a good one, one that leaves you feeling whole and excited about your life.
Consider this permission to stop talking to this person. You no longer have to engage in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy.
Here’s 3 ways to break it off:
- Simply stop reaching out. If you’re the person arranging the meet ups or instigating conversation out of habit, just quit.
- Slow your responses. Rather than responding immediately, slow down your responses and put more time in between visits. Think of this as phasing out the relationship.
- Take it head on, but be gentle. Talk about where you are in your life and how you need to focus on your priorities.
Stop apologizing – say these things instead.
Women apologize a ton. We do this for a whole host of reasons, some self esteem, confidence, and gender related differences to how we define an apology. The point is that we use the phrase ‘I’m sorry’ way too much. Saying these words not only affects how people see us, it also affects the way we see and think about ourselves.
If we are constantly apologizing we are giving power over to another person, we are putting their needs or goals in front of ours. Not to mention that over time both us and the other person start to subconsciously believe that their needs or goals are more important than ours. Not cool, and probably not the outcome you desired when all you were trying to do was be polite.
Here are some phrases to say instead of ‘I’m Sorry’:
- Excuse me, I need to get by.
- Excuse me, I have something to add.
- Thank you for waiting.
- I appreciate your patience.
- I would love to help, but I’m unable. I hope you understand.
- Respectfully, I disagree.
Stop being so hard on yourself.
Ladies, if we’re going to improve our relationship with ourselves, we need to be nicer to ourselves. Most of us really are doing our best. Very few people wake up in the morning and think ‘How can I only give 50 percent today?’ or ‘Who am I going to disappoint today?’
No! We’re all trying our best. The problem may be that we’ve taken on too much or the bar is too high right now. We all go through seasons in our lives where our goals may not match what we are currently capable of giving. The point is to recognize these times and give what you can or put that particular goal on the back burner for a while.
Another way that we’re too hard on ourselves is that we compare ourselves to others. We have no idea what that person is going through on a daily basis. We have no clue if we are comparing our beginning to her middle. Focus on your own life and stop thinking about other people.
Lastly, know that your mistakes don’t define you. Just because you made a mistake yesterday or 10 years ago doesn’t mean that you need to keep reliving that moment. Learn from your mistake, give yourself grace, and let it go.
Loving ourselves more is one of the best ways for us to improve our daily lives. There’s a ton of things that we can start doing to improve the relationship we have with ourselves, but sometimes the simplicity of NOT doing something can have a stronger impact.
What things have you stopped doing & how do you show yourself some love?