Dr. Noelle Nelson

Be Your Own BFF

It doesn’t matter whether I’m having trouble learning a new dance step, stumped on a piece of writing that has an all-too-soon deadline or forgot to pick up the dry-cleaning, whatever, my immediate go-to is to diss myself. How could I be so stupid, inept, or unconscious that I find myself in this disheartening situation?!

Then I mentally flagellate myself for a while, before I finally remember to ask “Why am I martyring myself over this? What purpose?” Zip. None. Nada. My self-imposed suffering doesn’t solve the problem, make the discomfort go away, or achieve any other useful objective. If anything, all that mental anguish makes it harder to come up with solution-oriented thoughts, in addition to being a completely unnecessary waste of time.

Would I ever, in a million years, subject a friend to the mental battering I just inflicted on myself? No. Unequivocally, absolutely not. So why am I doing it to myself?

Simple! I’ve forgotten how important it is to be my own BFF. To remind myself that people make mistakes, and it’s OK. Most problems have a solution if one is willing to go down the solution path rather than continue to chase the problem down an unfathomable rabbit hole. Nobody’s perfect, certainly not me, and, mercifully, perfection isn’t required for a good and fulfilling life.

Of course, it’s wonderful when all goes according to plan, when things turn out just as you’d hoped they would, but it’s also important to always have a Plan B.  I’ve decided that my Plan B is to talk to myself the way my BFF would. She, marvelous being that she is, would cut me some slack. She’d point out to me how often things eventually turn out all right, and how most of the time, I sort out whatever it is without too much trouble. And how I have resources, inner and outer, to help me deal with whatever the issue is.

Be your own BFF. Lift yourself out of your “woe is me” by remembering how very capable you are, how supported you are, we all are, by those who inhabit our world, our “village.” You’ve wasted enough time martyring yourself. Remind yourself how often you’ve done well, and then get going on that solution hunt right away.

Yes, now. Right now. You got this!

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