The #ownbestfriend movement was started as a means of inspiring women to fully step into their best life by practicing authentic self-care – beyond bubble baths, massages and taking a nap. Everyone experiences stress and challenges throughout life. Those challenges cannot be successfully negotiated (on a long-term basis) without learning the skills of self-compassion, gratitude and genuine self-care. Women frequently excel at supporting others (family, friends, colleagues) but do not show the same degree of care and compassion with their own inner voice. Here are eight common signs that this is the movement for you:
You are always tired and this gets in the way of doing what you love.
When you’re under a lot of stress it’s hard to get the things you most need – good sleep, good food, and enough exercise. This is actually a quick fix, if you make the decision to get at least seven hours of sleep, make sure you eat at least two balanced meals a day, and walk a little more than you usually do (try taking the stairs a couple of times instead of the elevator). Don’t forget that you need to have fun, too. Anything that makes you laugh is a plus – do more of it!
You are super busy and juggling a zillion different things at the same time.
Now is the time for priority setting and learning to say “no”. Really. When you look at everything that absolutely has to get done, something needs to go on the “not as important” list. Make sure that you take breaks (without guilt!) so that you can be focused on completing what you’ve prioritized. When you finish work or school, plan a little transition time: breathe, meditate, take a walk and clear your mind. You’ll be a lot more productive!
You are experiencing a lot of stress and sometimes you “fail”.
Stress is a part of life – and it’s not necessarily bad. Some stress can be motivating, but when it’s all stress, all the time”, that gets in the way. This is your chance to redefine failure into success – instead of expecting perfection, give yourself credit for working to improve! Try two-minute breaks throughout the day. Stretch, call (or text) a friend to say hello, drink water, or take a brief walk outside. Little breaks add up to a less stressful life.
Thoughts like “I can’t do it” or “I’m not good enough” prevent you from trying new ideas.
Instead of thinking “this won’t work”, try imagining what life would be like if you took the risk and went for it. This is the power of “as if”. You know how to do this (I’m sure there’s at least one time that you acted “as if” you were happy even when you were struggling). BUT – this time, imagine yourself as being successful and absolutely worthy of achieving your dream.
When someone rains on your parade (or dream), you stop moving forward toward your own goals.
It can be really hard to encounter negative feedback or a lack of support. You are not alone in this – it’s true for everyone at some point. On the other hand, there’s only one person, one opinion, that matters in the long run – yours. If you have a dream, hold it close to your heart and give yourself the same support, compassion and encouragement that you would give to your best friend.
You feel like something is “missing” in your life.
Truthfully, maybe it is. If you haven’t made time (step #2) for what makes your heart sing and time stop, then your schedule (and priority list) needs to be adjusted. When you are in “flow” time slows down, you aren’t self-conscious, you let go of stress and overall, you’re happy. Figure out what brings that on and make sure it’s part of your life!
You’ve tried so many different things, but fear keeps stopping you in your tracks.
You will encounter obstacles. Just like stress, this is a fact of living life whole-heartedly. The key is knowing that you will run into roadblocks and making the commitment to keep moving forward. Sometimes the answer is just to take a deep breath, count backwards from five to one (you know, like a rocket launch, following the advise of Mel Robbins), and take the action even though you’re afraid.
Self-doubt stops you from celebrating your amazing accomplishments.
Here’s the bottom line – you are a Rockstar. Period. Find moments throughout your day to celebrate who you are and what you’re doing. I get really excited when I can successfully use the automatic sinks and towel dispensers on the first try. Your achievements don’t need to be life-altering. But you will absolutely change your self-perception when you increase your opportunities to be (and feel) positive.
These may seem like simple, obvious steps. If you’re following all of these on a regular basis throughout your day, that’s fantastic. Chances are, though, there’s one or two of these that have fallen by the wayside. When you treat yourself with the same (or more) love, compassion, understanding and gratitude that you share with your best friend, you will find each of these steps become easier. It’s time for you to be living your best life – let’s get started!
If you want to get a copy of Dr. Hallett’s book Own Best Friend: Eight Steps to a Life of Purpose, Passion, and Ease, you can get it here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y1KP342
You can contact Dr. Hallett through her website at: http://ownbestfriend8steps.com/ or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org