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How to Become Your Own Best Friend

Whatever story you've been telling yourself, it's time to reexamine the way in which you talk to yourself. If you want to be your own best friend and have more fun in life, it's time to start treating yourself the way you'd treat your closest confidant: with love and compassion.
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If you're like most of us, you're your own worst critic. You talk to yourself in ways you'd never talk to your loved ones. You tell your daughter how smart she is, your husband how talented he is, your best friend how strong she is. Inside, though, you may beat yourself up with constant admonitions of how you failed your diet, didn't read that book, or haven't saved enough money.

Whatever story you've been telling yourself, it's time to reexamine the way in which you talk to yourself. If you want to be your own best friend and have more fun in life, it's time to start treating yourself the way you'd treat your closest confidant: with love and compassion.

If you're like most of us, you're your own worst critic. You talk to yourself in ways you'd never talk to your loved ones. You tell your daughter how smart she is, your husband how talented he is, your best friend how strong she is. Inside, though, many of us beat ourselves up with constant admonitions of how we failed our diet, didn't read that book, or haven't saved enough money.

Whatever story you've been telling yourself, it's time to reexamine the way in which you talk to yourself. If you want to be your own best friend and have more fun in life, it's time to start treating yourself the way you'd treat your closest confidant: with love and compassion.

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Mind Your Words

When we're frustrated, many of us resort to calling ourselves names. If you've ever made a mistake and later rebuked yourself as stupid or some other name, then you know what I mean. We may not realize it, but how we talk to ourselves matters -- a lot.

Try this exercise. Think about a time when you could have handled something in your life differently. Perhaps you botched a work presentation or missed your son's soccer championship. Whatever it was, take a moment to be honest with yourself about how harsh the words were that you spoke to yourself afterwards.

Now, let's flip the script. Imagine your best friend just told you that she had made this mistake and, in response, you directed at her the same exact words you had used on yourself. What would her reaction be? Would she still be your friend? If your answer is no, then you have some work to do.

How you treat yourself -- the most important person in your life -- is where everything starts and ends.

Know What You Want

Often, our frustrations come from working hard to achieve someone else's goals, instead of our own. If you don't prioritize your own ambitions, someone else will happily allow you to prioritize theirs.

It doesn't always happen maliciously. Your child wants you to build a treehouse. Your father wants you to do his taxes. Your boss wants you to take on a new project. If you don't prioritize your time, you can easily become occupied with fulfilling the desires of those around you.

Soon, no matter how many systems you implement to work harder or smarter or to set better goals, we just can't seem to keep up. No matter how successfully we accomplish one task, the bar just keeps getting set higher, making the accomplishment of our own goals just that much farther out of reach. That's when disappointment and frustration often settle in.

Instead, consider what could happen when you're working toward fulfilling your own goals and passions. If you've ever seen an entrepreneur happily work 14-hour days in pursuit of her dream, then you've had a glimpse of what I'm talking about.

When we stop trying to adjust our lives to someone else's idea of what it should look like, we start to look inside and uncover the things we really want, instead. When we devote ourselves to the pursuit of our own goals, self-loathing slips away, we start stacking our wins and we slowly begin to love ourselves more.

To be your own best friend, you have to start by treating yourself exactly as you would your closest childhood pal. You'd use words of respect, consideration and admiration. You'd encourage her to follow her passions. You'd tell her to put herself first. That's the course to set for yourself. Before you know it, self-compassion grows and you become your own best friend.

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