Recently I was listening to Louise Hay (whom I love) and one of the affirmations she said was “I am my own best friend.”. That really struck me and got me thinking in a whole new way! I really asked myself, am I my own best friend? If you would have asked me a year ago I would have had to answer “NO”. I would never speak to my friends the way I speak to myself, at times. I have never told a friend “you can’t do that”, “you are not enough”, “you are going to fail” … you get the point. Now don’t get me wrong I pride myself on being honest with my friends. I also pride myself on being an optimist and cheerleader for my friends, I believe we are all capable of anything. Now I would not consider myself having low self-esteem and I am confident in many areas of my life but there is that inner critic voice inside me that seriously questions my abilities at times!
I am in a process of learning to accept all parts of myself, including this sometimes cruel inner critic. Through coaching I have realized that my inner critic has a very important role. She is my protector trying to save me from getting hurt and in its own way making sure that I am not caught off guard, ensuring that I see things from every angle. She is like the cautious friend who is afraid of taking risks! I have also learned that once I give her a chance to speak her mind she tends to quiet down.
I don’t think I am alone in this; we all have an inner critic. They like to speak up especially when we are planning on doing things outside of our comfort zones (that’s when mine is the loudest). I have learned now to hear what she has to say, give gratitude for her protection and insight and then move on. This has helped enormously because before I was trying to just ignore her or drown her out, unsuccessfully! Like a toddler having a tantrum she just got louder and louder. It wasn’t till I listened to her concerns and really gave her a voice that she became less powerful!
So going back to the original question am I my own best friend, I guess the answer is “YES I am!”. Even the inner critic is my friend, my very cautious friend but still a friend none the less.