Like some of you might know, I’m writing a book about my experiences of trying to become my own best friend forever – my own BFF. Why? Because I strongly believe that the relationship we have with ourselves greatly, if not totally, influences our happiness & well-being. This is because it helps us become much less dependent on our circumstances, whether these are people, conditions or things, since we learn how to completely count on ourselves day in, day out – just imagine what that would mean to your life!
Two months ago I became single again and this allowed for a new, fresh start in which I decided to first work on the relationship I have with myself before even considering starting a relationship with someone else again. It’s been pretty ground-breaking to be honest. I’m discovering certain mechanisms that apparently have been working under the surface since like forever and pretty much pop up in (and sometimes mess up) basically every aspect of my life.
I won’t share all the dirty details here (you’ll get to read them in my book once it’s done), but I do want to share 7 steps I’ve applied so far that have already generated a huge shift in my life. I hope they’ll also help you to create a more loving relationship with the most important person in your own life, a.k.a. you – and to experience more happiness & well-being as a result.
- Be Honest with Yourself
This one definitely hurts, but it will also, eventually, lead to a lot of goodness in your life. This is because you decide to finally take yourself seriously. It means listening to what’s really going on inside of you, listening to that voice that keeps returning and telling you that you don’t like a specific situation – whether it’s work, family, friendship or relationship-related. Only when you dare to fully listen to what your real you is telling you, can you move forward. It does involve taking responsibility and committed action to actually change the situation, but it all starts with acknowledging what’s really going on first.
Call to action: Ask yourself: ‘Am I happy? Am I really happy?’ If the answer’s no, try to figure out what you could change about your life that could make you a happier camper. Trust your initial response and imagine what your life would look like if you didn’t have to take anyone or anything into account. Yes, you can do this. (If you feel you could use a hand though, I’d be more than happy to help as your personal life coach. Click here to get in touch!)
- Give Yourself Time to Breathe
How often do you feel put under pressure by your boss, your partner, your mother, your friends, your workload, your responsibilities? Pretty often? Well, then why do you add to that pressure by not allowing yourself to take a step back and breathe from time to time? Again, try to tap into what is really going on, feel what your body needs in this moment and take a break. Just sit, watch your breathing and recharge. Your work and the people around you will benefit greatly from it!
Call to action: Feel how you’re sitting, feel the contact with the chair, the floor and scan your body. What’s your body telling you? What does it need? Can you give it what it needs instead of ignoring it and ‘keep on going’ for a change? Watch your breath – it can create calm, contact and focus in no time. Tip: download the Headspace app and practise watching your breath through mindfulness exercises for only ten minutes per day – it’s free.
- Change the Way You Talk to Yourself
Do you catch yourself shouting at yourself? Calling yourself names? Telling yourself to ‘be a man’, ‘suck it up’ and ‘just do it’? Well, fat chance that you feel kinda stressed most of the time. Did you know that you could actually talk to yourself in a nicer way? It’s actually not that hard, because if you think about it, if you can yell at yourself, you can also whisper to yourself, right?
Call to action: Try to pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Once you become aware of this you can try to change it. Imagine talking to a friend (that’s what you’re trying to go for anyway in the end) and see how you can actually create a sense of patience and kindness towards yourself – and take off a lot of pressure in the process.
- Allow Yourself to Be Who You Are
Perfect doesn’t exist, and actually, it’s what you makes you that is interesting, fun and loveable about you. Think about it, what do you like about your friends? Probably just the way they are, the way they contribute and surprise you with their unique personality they bring into the world. So, how could you express your ‘youness’ more? Can you let go and be a bit weird, different, unpredictable? When you get in touch with this quirky side of yourself and experience that it’s actually very liberating to let it out completely, you’ll start loving this side automatically and see it as a unique and valuable part of your new best friend forever.
Call to action: What could you do that is out of the ordinary and makes you you? Is it dancing salsa? Singing out loud on your bike? Doing stretching at the coffee machine? Smiling at a guy you like? Expressing your happiness freely? Spreading out your arms and acting as if you’re flying? Be bold, be present, be YOU!
- What Would You Really, Really Like?
Yes, I’m asking you. What is it that you’d really, really like? I asked myself this question after I realized that the most important person in my life is me. So I should also give myself what I need in order to be happy. When I asked myself this question, Berlin popped into my head. I went there with my mum half a year ago and I loved the vibe so much, I just wanted more of that. I didn’t really have the money for it, but I felt I just needed to get away, reflect and be with myself for a while. And so I booked the tickets and it felt exhilarating. This trip has provided me with loads of important insights, ideas and energy that help me continue my journey towards becoming my own best friend. So as you can see, it all adds up in the end!
Call to action: Simply answer the question and act upon it!
- Spend Time Alone
I used to think this was scary as hell, not to mention awkward. I always needed someone to share my experiences, time and presence with. But the more I’m in touch with myself and my own needs, and the more I manage to give myself what I need, the less I need to be with people all the time. Actually, I have come to love spending time by myself and sometimes even talk to myself. I go: ‘Hey my dear Sophie, how are you? What’s going on? What do you need?’ And I answer and listen to myself completely. That’s what friends are for, right?
Call to action: Plan some alone time, even if you think it’s difficult. Try to sit with the awkwardness and do it anyway. No distractions, just you, yourself and you. Ask yourself how you are, what’s going on and what you need and try to do it in a friendly, open manner. Writing in a diary helps too – it’s another way of keeping yourself company.
- Choose You
The fear of being seen as egotistical is huge when it comes to choosing ourselves. We’re afraid that we take up too much space, neglect the other or are seen as careless. Well, turn it around. What if your friend only took your needs into consideration and never really did what he or she felt like doing? Pretty lousy friend, right? Actually, this person is being egotistical, because he’s looking for your approval and not bringing anything to the table himself.
I mean, people who take care of themselves gain respect because what they bring to the table is fully theirs and because they’re in touch with their own energy, they can give so much more. So why don’t you do the same? Yes, some people might not like it, yes, some things might have to change and yes, it can sometimes feel pretty scary, but it will all pay off in the end. Because only someone who is completely at ease with himself can give something of real value to the other. So stop being egotistical by pleasing others and start being the best version of yourself that truly adds value.
Call to action: How can you take care of yourself more? What do you need? How can you recharge so that you can really give when you’re ready? Don’t only think about it, but experiment and put it into action. The world needs it – and so do you.
OK, I need to confess something; these aren’t actually all the steps that have gotten me where I am now. There are 3 more fundamental steps to take that will really help you get in touch with yourself on a much deeper level and reach that state of happiness & well-being I’ve been mentioning. They involve tapping into your intuition and trusting it, getting physical with yourself (yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking – and more), and maybe the most influential (but secret!) skill that has drastically changed my life. Let me just tell you that I know how to deal with fear and I would love to teach you how to do so as well.
Curious? Please, get in touch so that we can book your first strategy session and I’ll tell you all the ins & outs about how I could help you become your own Best Friend Forever (and become a Fearless Female in the process!)
If I can do it, you can do it!