Making an ally and friend of yourself unlocks a state of well-being.
If you have an ally, that is someone on your side. Ally comes from the Latin word alligare, meaning "to bind to," — an act of coming together, a protection of one.
Yet, as a Life Coach, I find there are those who rather than being an ally to themselves, are instead their own worst enemy. Most of the time they are unconscious of doing it to themselves until they have come undone. Often it is unconscious, the shadow side of themselves and acting without knowledge of what one really wants to accomplish. I am reminded of the quote: “The most reliable friend you have is your shadow.” – Matshona Dhliwayo
It comes later, as a revelation to them, to discover that self-awareness must be a key component for well-being and therefore success. To have success is to have communication with yourself. In other words, you are always in a relationship with yourself, the question is what kind is it? Not to sound weird, but this relationship with yourself should be arguably one of the most important relationships that you have.
This Self-relationship is a foundation for everything else. Having said that, this self-relationship is not to be confused with negative compulsions of narcissism, nor on the other hand with overwhelming blame and shame about ourselves, rather it should identify traits that focus our being in a good place, to organize our self so that things happen in effective ways that allow for good interpersonal skills, and as a byproduct, produces success according to the individual’s own definition of success.
In other words, for you to focus on yourself in such a way to produce crucial development for a healthy sense of self. It is about gaining knowledge and having an understanding of how you operate and liking what you see in that process.
This establishes a baseline for you from which to work that can extend beyond yourself to others in ways that are altruistic and advantageous to all.
This is going to take being a good friend to yourself first, by developing and sustaining your relationship with the self.
One way to start, is by checking out how you speak to yourself. Remember everything you say you hear as well. No matter if talking to a room full of people or by yourself. This would include not only the words you say out loud but also the words you think. Words have an emotional imprint. Check yourself to see if you tend to speak harshly to yourself (either in your spoken voice or in your thinking voice).
If you catch yourself negatively impacting yourself with your self-talk, find a way to stop and observe. Try and see the emotional atmosphere you find yourself in — is there anger or agitation, is your heart rate up, are the words criticizing? Take a breath, slow it down and consciously reappraise the situation, in an effort to be gentler with yourself before continuing with any more outward action.
reappraise the situation, in an effort to be gentler with yourself before continuing with any more outward action.
Some life coaching clients find it helpful to practice conversations out loud with themselves— under the right conditions, doing so can be very useful. By consciously using the thoughts you’ve assembled you have the capacity to unearth feelings buried within the words to make possible clear differences in your discourse of what is advantageous and that which does not promote or contribute to personal or social well-being.
That said, know that it takes time to develop a new habit. It will require your desire and your motivation to build this skill.
Journaling is another good practice to capture, record reactions, and keep track of your progress with self-talk. It is a place to start getting to know more about you. Journaling as a habit becomes an invaluable way to acquaint oneself with and to change personal experiences for the better.
Journaling seems easier to accomplish if you will begin by setting small manageable goals, such as writing for just 15 minutes a day. Once in the routine, beginners will gain a new slant or perspective on their behaviors, while for seasoned chroniclers these insights provide motivation to continue.
You are in essence creating a new habit, one that by sticking to it keeps you conscious of and befriending yourself.
In the beginning, as I mention, it may require some effort. Fortunately, if you keep at it and can eventually practice it daily, the process will become easier for you and eventually become an automatic part of your daily routine
More on Journaling in upcoming articles. For my readers asking for deeper work, may I suggest a small group or one on one session that can be arranged with me? In addition, The Prosperos School of Ontology offers two seminars that are extremely useful: Translation and Releasing the Hidden Splendor. The classes offer tools for reaching change, a change in consciousness, not a change in “things.” You can contact me at my email address for more information about these classes, small group activities, or one on one mentoring services by going to the Contact Page.
Let me conclude with these words:
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Thanks for reading