Why our relationship with self is key to everything in our lives

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

― Carl R. Rogers

 I ask most of my clients at some stage:

"So, how is your relationship with yourself?"

Sometimes I get a quizzical look. Or a "What do you mean?". Or "Okay I guess". But when really examined, it turns out that many people have a rather negative relationship with self. Do any of the following ring true for you?

  • Being a habitual perfectionist
  • Constantly critical of self
  • Saying mean things to yourself when you make a human error; things that you wouldn't say to others
  • Unable to celebrate your achievements
  • Find criticism from others excruciating
  • Put others' needs above your own or don't even factor in your needs
  • Find it difficult to say no
  • Questionable self care or work/life balance
It's all very well coming along to address your work/life balance or looking at how you manage your team, but it's going to be incredibly hard to shift those habits if at some level, deep down, you aren't truly addressing your own needs and wants as part of any decision making process.

It becomes a life long habit, and without making conscious adjustments in our attitudes towards self, we will carry on with the familiar. With the "Comfort Zone". We will wonder why we aren't meeting the targets we set for ourself.

So coaching is not just about setting goals. It's also about educating about why it might be hard to shift those habits. Once we have that awareness we can make a conscious decision to do things differently. It might be tough (and there are very good reasons why it often is tough) but it is doable.

We are all human. Sometimes we need a good look at our internalised view of ourselves. It might have been a valid strategy once upon a time. But if you want fulfilment and happiness then it may well be that some old strategies need an update. 

When you improve your relationship with self you improve every relationship in your life.