We often focus on building relationships with others that we forget the essential first step: being a true friend to yourself. That is the crucial first step if we are to have good relationships with others. How can we have good relationships with others if we don’t even have a good relationship with yourself?

  1. Forgive yourself  You may have made those mistakes in the past, but is there anything you can do about them?    You can definitely learn from them. It’s true that you are not perfect, but neither is anybody else. It’s normal to make mistakes, so do yourself a favor by giving yourself forgiveness.
  2. Accept things you can’t change  There are some things you cannot change, such as your background and your past. So learn to accept them. You will feel much relieved if you treat things you can’t change the way they deserve: just accept them, smile, and move on.
  3. Focus on your strengths  Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, focus on your strengths. You always have some strength which gives you a unique combination nobody else has. Recognize your strengths and build your life around them.
  4. Write your success stories  One reason we may not like ourselves is we are too focused on what we don’t have that we forget about what we have. So make a list of your achievements; write your success stories. They do not have to be big, there are a lot of small but important achievements in our life. For example, if you have some good friends, that’s already an achievement. If you have a good family, that is also an achievement.
  5. Stop comparing yourself with others  You are unique. You can never be like other people, and neither can other people be like you. The way you measure your success is not determined by other people and what they achieve. Instead, it is determined by your own life purpose. You have everything you need to achieve your life purpose, so it’s useless to compare yourself with others.
  6. Always be true to yourself  You don’t like other people lying to you; similarly, you won’t like yourself if you know that you are lying to yourself. Whether you realize it or not, that gives your mind a reason not to like yourself. That’s why it’s essential to always be true to yourself. In whatever you do, be honest and follow your conscience. Remember this quote by Abraham Lincoln: “I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end…I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me”

By Shabnam Khan, Family Counsellor, s.khan@shsbc.ca

UNITI is the partnership of three affiliated societies that have provided important community services for decades. Semiahmoo House Society provides quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in Surrey and White Rock. Peninsula Estates Housing Society provides affordable and inclusive housing that reflects the diversity of our community. The Semiahmoo Foundation assures that UNITI has the recognition, relationships, and resources to support an inclusive community. Together we’re stronger!


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