Do a Google search of the word relationships and you’ll find about 178,000,000 articles, links and sites on the topic.
Interestingly though, you won’t find many links and articles on the most important relationship you’ll ever have – the one you have with yourself.
The relationship you have with yourself has a tremendous impact on your life.
Your self esteem, personal outlook, drive, and even mental health is largely shaped by this relationship.
Why is this the most important relationship you’ll ever have?
Your external world tends to be a reflection of your internal world.
So this relationship will ultimately determine how people see you. If you see yourself as below average, unsuccessful, or a failure, then you’ll exuded these qualities in your energy, and people in your life will see you exactly the same way, plus you’ll tend to attract circumstances and events to support this self image.
The same is also a true for a positive self image. Without a healthy self image, your personal development efforts will not be nearly as successful.
The parallel to our external relationships is equally important. More important than how you relate others is how you relate to yourself.
4 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Yourself
A negative self image can result from a number of different things in life.
What caused the failure is not as important as focusing on how you respond to it. Think of this way. Where you came from isn’t nearly as important as where you are going. Or, what happened is not as important as how you responded to the incident. There are several different ways to begin repairing a negative relationship with yourself.
1. Self Talk
Self talk, or mental affirmations are perhaps the most commonly used tool to make changes in life. It’s been said that if you lie to yourself enough, eventually you will start to believe that lie. The reverse is also true. The beauty of the human brain is that it will go where it is told to go.
Try this: rather than reacting to the fear surrounding an anxious event in life, repeatedly tell yourself that you can handle whatever may happen during the event. Your self talk can dramatically increase your mood, resolve, drive, and even ability to perform in life’s situations.
This technique is used by a wide range of people, from athletes to professional speakers, to enhance their performance. One of the beautiful things about our brain is that is can not distinguish between experiences that are vividly imagined, and those that actually happened. Have you ever had a dream and a few days later you couldn’t figure out whether or not it was something that actually happened? This is exactly what is happening in the visualization process.
Taking conscious control of the mental pictures you are making in your head gives you power over the results that occur in your life. The key to using visualization successfully is repetition (just like self talk). By visualizing a new, empowering self on a daily basis, your mind will eventually accept it as reality, and the external world you see will follow.
3. Mind Movies
Given the rapid pace at which new technology has developed, people are finding many innovative ways to take combine visualization and affirmations. Mind movies are an excellent technique for doing that. The concept of a mind movie is very simple. First you develop a list of affirmations for all the things that you want in your life. Then, find pictures to match all of the affirmations you have written down. Combine the pictures and affirmations with some upbeat music and you have a mind movie.
What’s great about this technique is it eases the burden of trying to picture something in your head since you have a picture right in front of you and the affirmation to go with it.
4. Meditation and prayer
Slowing the mind and the body down to the natural rhythms of life will boost your mood and self image. It’s almost impossible to be in a state of calm and peace without a solid self image.
One of the best ways to obtain this state of being is through mediation and/or prayer. Connecting to a higher source and recognizing the interconnectedness of the world provides a great perspective for life. It helps to know you are connected to the things around you, as well as know you are a part of God’s creation.