If you have the time, space, and resources in your life, here are some ways you can start showing up for yourself and having your own back.
I said simple – not easy. But practice these (i.e. don’t set yourself up for failure thinking you’re going to knock this out of the ballpark on try #1 or even try #100) over and over until it feels like second nature and I promise, cross my heart hope to die, give you my firstborn who is now 32 and a strapping gentleman that this will work for you.
Showing up for yourself and having your own back is absolutely possible and you do hard things all the time. You can do this too.
Put your needs above others at least some of the time. I said what I said. Getting your needs met helps you be the person you want to be for others. Not sure what your needs are beyond food, water, and shelter? Let’s talk.
Accept where you are in life without judgment. You can’t undo the past and the future is waiting to be written. Easier said than done, I know, but something to practice over and over until it becomes second nature.
Pay attention to your inner mean girl and the way she talks to you.
Create a relationship with her…one that has boundaries and doesn’t engage unless she’s able to tell you what she needs respectfully.
Our inner mean girl has developed over time with many different voices (hello, 3rd-grade teacher who hated me!) and experiences but her primary goal? To keep you safe. Let her know you understand her fear and you’ve got her back…she doesn’t need to be so afraid.
Find ways to remind yourself often how goddamn brilliant you are and how far you’ve come. Flood your brain with evidence of your awesomeness because I guarantee it’s there when you intentionally look for it. This will feel weird at first but like anything else, gets easier with practice.
Always practice gratitude even when (especially when?) you’re feeling ungrateful. There is always at least 3 things in your life to feel grateful for at any given moment. This isn’t about toxic positivity bullshit but is about recognizing and owning your privilege.
Make yourself a priority. Find time to do things that energize and delight you…even when life feels extra chaotic.
Buy yourself a dad joke book and read it while you poop. Bam – time to laugh.
My point? Don’t overcomplicate what this should look like. Anything that makes you feel good inside whether you do it for 1 min or 100 mins is making yourself a priority.
Commit to yourself over and over again…every day. Choose yourself. Build trust in yourself that you will always have your best interests at heart.
Check your self-deprecating humor. There’s funny self-deprecating and then there’s unkind self-deprecating. Choose the funny + keep an eye out for the unkind and try your damnedest NOT to be unkind to yourself – especially in front of others.
Forgive yourself daily. Multiple times if you need to. You are just as worthy and deserving of kindness and compassion as the next person. Apologize when you’re the asshole, try not to be the asshole again, and move on.
Set and maintain boundaries that are kind and respectful. It’s ok if others don’t like them…they don’t need to.
You have no obligation to say yes when you mean HELL NO, turn yourself inside out to the detriment of your own wellbeing, or bend yourself backward, ass over tea kettle, to make someone happy or like you.
Feeling guilty? Evaluate the boundary and see if it’s still one you want to keep and if so, do the work to ditch the guilt. It’s not worth it.
Take a look at where you’re spending your time day-to-day and then see if it aligns with your core values and principles.
If not, figure out what needs to be adjusted.
Not sure your core values or lost them somewhere along the way? I have a client-fave exercise in The Super Duper Top Secret Library which you can access here.
I’ll repeat what I said above; these are simple steps but not always easy. But just because something’s not easy doesn’t mean we throw in the towel and say fuck it – I’ll just do the same old same old and be secretly wondering about how I can run away from my life.
That’s not what you really want. Create a relationship with yourself that has you looking in the mirror staring back at a best friend instead of a stranger.
Not only love but LIKE yourself.
Have your own back. Model this for others and watch them blossom too.