We have all heard the term that “our people are our greatest asset”. And while this is true, I would also argue that you are your own greatest asset. You have also heard the airline safety instruction when flying (although not recently) to “place your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others”.
Essentially this is about taking care of yourself so that you can be available to be the best you to yourself, your family, your friends, and your work colleagues. If people are our greatest asset, then we need to be in peek condition and operating at our optimum to best manage and communicate with this asset (our people). I like to use the term that we need to learn to “be our own best friend”.
So here are some ideas on how to exercise self-care and to be your own best friend.
- Turn down the negative self-talk
Everyone experiences negative self-talk and for some it has become part of their daily lives. Instead of avoiding it, the best way to deal with it is to notice it and turn down its volume. Identify when it starts and what triggers it. Acknowledging it will effectively help you distance yourself from your negative thoughts. And Dr Susan Jeffers would say listen to your higher self-talk (positive self-talk) and what would you say to a dear friend in a similar situation.
- Accept that it’s normal to make mistakes
Exercise self-compassion by accepting your mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you do make a few mistakes. These are inevitable. Look at them as opportunities for growth and self-improvement and lessons in life.
- Appreciate your wins
Be proud of yourself even for the smallest wins that you’ve accomplished on a daily basis. And reward yourself for those small wins and successes that you have. This will help you appreciate yourself more and to focus more on the positive thoughts and less on the negative side.
- Experience something new
Allow yourself to grow by going out of your comfort zone and experiencing something new. Dr Susan Jeffers calls this “Expanding your Comfort Zone”. This will teach you to become more independent and learn more about your strengths. Ginny Romety, CEO of IBM says that “growth and being comfortable, can not coexist”. So, don’t be afraid to try something new.
- Start a journal
Write down all your goals, positive feedback, and your wins in a journal. Keeping a journal will provide you with information to look back on to get to know yourself better. It allows you to focus on your goals, improvements and helps you to discover new interests and new skills. Reflecting on such positive experiences helps to reaffirm your self-worth and silence negative self-talk.
Being your own best friend is not being selfish. Sometimes, we need to put ourselves first in order to help others – such as putting your own oxygen mask so that you can help more people put on theirs.
Learn more about the importance of self care and get more tips on how to be your own best friend in our upcoming workshop on Assertive Communication Skills on 25 November.