One of the most common things clients say to me in our consult is “I don’t relate to the person I see in the mirror anymore’. I think many of us at some point in time or one way or another have lost sight of ourselves. We set out on our paths and have some idea of where we are heading and as life happens and years pass we look up in the mirror one day and ask ‘where did I go’? Busy living multifaceted roles and forgetting who we are – the dancer, the risk taker, the athlete… The Talking Heads song comes to mind ‘Once in a Lifetime, with lyrics – ‘this is not my beautiful life’ album aptly named Remain in The Light. This is not only relatable to mature adults but teens also. Trying to carve out an identity on entering adulthood, further their studies and new careers. Take Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory of love and belonging and esteem. His motivational theory in psychology comprises a five-tier model of human needs, illustrated in a pyramid. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to the needs higher up in the pyramid.
My point is that the relationship with oneself is crucial to our personal development. It’s about healthy self-love and how to relate with oneself. We set a coping mechanism in place, often in reaction to certain life experiences and unfortunately too often it can be negative programming or thought patterns, not even realising how that is impacting our self worth and how that further impacts our motivation, our confidence and our aspiration to be the best version of our selves. I think for many of us at some point in our lives we have faced this. For some it’s a temporary detour from your chosen path and for others, well they struggle to find their way back.
Learn to become your own best friend so that the relationship with yourself is one of a secure self – attachment (The proposed self-attachment therapeutic technique is distinguished by its intervention to create an internal and passionate affectional bond within the individual between the “adult self” – Published in: 2015 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN)). I do reinforce that I refer to establishing a healthy self love not to be confused with narcissism, egoism or arrogance.
Prioritise self care and it is generally good to embrace change without excess of fear – change means growth. It is important to define who we are to ourselves and through this we define who we are to others. Having purpose plays a large part in achieving that. Gravitate to being around people who treat you well, it’s helpful to have relationships with others who also seek to have a good relationship with themselves, this offers mutual support on your path to a happier you.