Be On Your Own Side

by Adapt Training and Development

Sometimes the way we talk to ourselves or the low priority we may place on our own needs can make us wonder if we are on our own side. And if not, how do we get there?

Two articles from Psychology Today and Maryville Counseling do a nice job answering this question. Being on your own side is primarily an internal process in which we notice and practice shifting our mind-set. Some steps include:

  • Notice your thoughts. This might seem obvious but we are literally swimming in our own internal chatter all day. This step asks you to notice the kinds of thoughts you are having. Are your thoughts positive? Or, are a lot of your thoughts negative?
  • Next, try to notice how many of your thoughts are actually yours. We are sponges for messages from other people, our culture and the media. Maybe you notice thoughts about body image or other personal areas where you find yourself saying “I should (fill in the blank).” The use of “I should” may be an indicator that we are echoing messages that we didn’t create. When we notice these thoughts, we can push back and ask ourselves if that is what we really think or want to think.
  • Try to hold yourself in positive esteem. In other words, try to think of yourself as a good person who is doing your best at any given moment. Try to notice when you do something kind or help someone else. Try to notice your efforts, even if they don’t always produce immediate results.
  • Try to accept the self that is. Rather than thinking about yourself as some imagined, improved, or future self, accept the self that you are now. It’s said that one of the gifts of getting older is that we are more comfortable in our own skin, more accepting of our strengths and our flaws. Even if there are things you want to change or achieve, you can accept yourself just as you are. The self that you are now is okay and has value.

If you are a person that likes guided meditation, this one from Insight Timer is nice. It’s a little over 10 minutes.