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“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” – Robert Holden

“You cannot pour from an empty cup.” – Chinese Proverb (I think)

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

Getting the idea? You’re a big deal!!

The Most Important

The relationship you have with yourself is, hands down, the most important and influential relationship you’ll ever have, which is why it’s so important for it to be a positive one. Now, before you go thinking I’ve gone all ‘woo-woo’ on ya, read on!

Despite there being one helluva stigma attached to talking to ourselves, we all do it, nearly all the time – most of us just keep it inside our heads. Maybe when you’re alone you talk to yourself out loud, or maybe you’ve got your own version of “Wilson” from Castaway so you feel slightly less loony about it. But it’s a near constant chatter with ourselves, dictating how we think of ourselves and how we treat ourselves. And most of us just take those words as fact. 

Are they though?

The truth is, all these things that we take as fact are really our beliefs about ourselves that have been developing since we were young. They’ve been in our heads so long we’ve come to accept them as facts. Other people may have even reiterated them to us (knowingly or not) solidifying them even more as ‘fact’.

Beliefs Can Change

The thing about those fact-ish beliefs is that we can change them! We have the power to change them just by choosing to think something different.

It sounds obvious, but we can only think one thought at a time. Yeah, yeah, you’re probably calling b.s. But really, try to think two thoughts simultaneously. Go ahead, try it. 

You can’t! You can switch back and forth easily and maybe even keep two trains of thought going back and forth, but you can’t keep those trains running together on parallel tracks. Our brains aren’t wired that way.

And since we can only think one thought at a time, you can choose to replace a negative thought with a more positive one. For example, replace that thought of how you think you look fat in those jeans with one about how your strong legs carry you everywhere you need to go. By just a simple switch to positivity we can change the way we talk to ourselves (aka treat ourselves), and therefore the way we feel about ourselves.

The only caveat to changing our fact-ish beliefs about ourselves is that we have to be willing to be wrong. And if you’re kind of type A like me, this part takes some extra practice.

None of your Biz-nass

Most of the time we have negative beliefs about ourselves is because we’re trying to conform to what we think society or our mom or a friend wants. But as Rachel Hollis puts succinctly, “someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.”

The truth is, everyone is so caught up worrying about how they look to other people (and self-criticizing if that image isn’t pristine) that very few people are actually concerned with you more than they are themselves.

But, if we’re willing to eat a little humble pie (wait, did someone say pie?!) and accept we’re not the center of everyone else’s world, we can change our beliefs. Knowing we’re the sole inhabitant of (and obviously center of) our own universe means we only have to make sure we’re being true to ourselves and representing ourselves the way WE want to see ourselves. 

When you recognize those pesky thoughts like “I’d look so much better if I lost 20lb” or “I can’t do that” or “I’m not good enough” or any slew of self-deprecating thoughts that manage to sneak into your head, ask yourself according to whom?

The Relationship You Want

Those bitchy thoughts aren’t part of a healthy relationship with yourself, and if we’re being honest here, they don’t actually come from inside of you. Odds are, someone said something negative or convinced you to believe something which you now accept as fact. 

But YOU can change it, because it’s your relationship with yourself and you can have that be whatever you want! You can talk to yourself however you want, you can affirm that you’re worthy of friends, love, health, and anything else that you want! And with Running with Bacon, I want to instill the belief in yourself that you are worthy of the healthy lifestyle you want, and you can obtain it.