My Own Worst Frenemy (I love me, I love me not…)

by Gig Girl on July 6, 2010

I love me...I love me not...

When I went through my divorce, I had the unforeseen and unfortunate opportunity to find out who I could count amongst my true friends.  The failure and dissolution of my first marriage taught me countless humbling life-lessons, none of which I could have endured without the unwavering support of my inner circle of family and the girlfriends I simply refer to as “my sisters.”  During my emotionally dark time, they rallied, cried, loved and ultimately helped deliver me remarkably whole to my next life phase.

So, at the beginning of this year when I decided to leave my job and go it Gig Girl style, I felt both grateful and blessed but not the least bit surprised to find that those dearest to me once again provided immense encouragement and support on my latest endeavor.  What did surprise me during my first four months of gigless, solitary house confinement was the shocking realization that I am a horrible friend…to myself.

Every Market Basket meltdown, every phone call I’d chicken out of and every single interview rejection gave me fresh opportunity to mentally chastise and scare the bejeebers out of myself while thoroughly questioning my sanity in voluntarily getting into such a predicament to start with.  Phrases like, “Who quits their job in this economy?” “What the heck were you thinking??” and “You can’t do this!” were part of a daily script that incessantly looped through my head.  I like to think I hearten, reinforce and nurture (even when it’s a feisty, tough-love version of nurturing) my closest allies.  Why couldn’t I do that for myself?

I recently applied for a position assisting with blog content and copy.  The blog is an inspirational and self-empowering site for women.  I was asked to send a relevant writing sample.  Below is the final version.  I refer to it whenever I find I’m getting a little too down on myself.  Maybe occasional self-berating is the kind of crazy that only goes on in my own head, but I thought I’d share it just in case…

Be Your Own Best Friend

Having best friends who nurture, support, encourage, embrace and inspire provides both a blessing and, on occasion, an opportunity for us to reciprocate the friendship karma during their difficult life journeys.  When those in our inner circle need us, we often wonder, “How can I be a better friend?”  Yet, when faced with our own trying circumstances, how often do we ask, “How can I be a better friend…to myself?”

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say: Don’t say it.  Better yet, don’t even think it!  Genuine friends never demean their besties with negative and insulting energy.  Hold yourself to that same standard.  Instead of self-berating over your current jean size or some other perceived imperfection, think positive thoughts and focus on your many talents and gifts.

Take Your Own Advice: We’ve all faced dilemmas where our internal decision-making compass just doesn’t feel like it’s pointing us in the appropriate direction.  When this happens, take a moment and ask yourself, “What would I tell my best friend to do in this situation?”  And then do it.

Be Vulnerable: A solid ally believes in you and encourages you to strive for achievements that may fall outside of your personal comfort zone.  When was the last time you trusted in yourself that ardently?  Stop listening to the frightened voice inside your head and put yourself out there.  The results just might surprise you.

Embrace Failure: Simply put, failure happens.  When it befalls others, friends provide a safe haven and sound insight on the countless opportunities a thwarted effort often brings.  Be your own best advocate when navigating through a letdown.  Instead of wallowing in self-blame and embarrassment, allow some time to feel disappointed and, if appropriate, sad and/or angry.  Then regroup, redirect and discover all the proverbial silver linings in your dark cloud.  That’s what best friends do.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Naked Girl in a Dress July 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

This is a beautifully written post and advice I should be following right now. Thank you for sharing this! I am now following you in my RSS Feed and will be back to read again soon.

Gig Girl July 8, 2010 at 6:58 am

Thank you so much. I checked you out yesterday – you are an excellent writer…and I could relate to exactly where you’re at (plus I got a strange craving for a toasted lobster roll…) I’ll be checking you out again too! Chin up and best of luck to you!

franticmommy July 8, 2010 at 7:31 am

That is EXCELLENT! A friend of mine wrote a similar blog post called The Committee. Here it is (keep up the good work too) http://maryaalgaard.blogspot.com/2010/05/committee.html

Vicki Huddleston July 9, 2010 at 9:23 am

Court…you are a gem. I admire, appreciate and applaud your work. Keep it up. It makes me proud to know you.

Gig Girl July 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Vicki!! Thank you for the kind words – I really appreciate them. And thank you for checking out my rants :) Hope you’re well!!

Charlene - Balance Beam July 10, 2010 at 7:29 am

I went through the same thing when my dad passed away recently. I was surprised at some of the people (like my own step-sister) who didn’t even acknowledge it, let alone be supportive. Love your advice. Take care! :-)

Shelle @ Mommy Cant Sing July 10, 2010 at 7:37 am

This is wonderful! It is true that we never think of being a better friend to ourselves and if I treated my friends the way that I treat myself I wouldn’t have any friends!

Lizzie July 10, 2010 at 7:51 am

Excellent post, why is it so hard for us to take our own advice?

Gig Girl July 10, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Thanks Lizzie! I have no answer on that – but I’m really glad that to know it’s not just me who ignores that little voice in my head.

Pua July 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

I loved this! I am often my own worst enemy and this just made me feel normal. It also inspired me to try a little harder to be more gentle on myself when something is going wrong.

And I so love your banner picture.

Florida Girl Meets the Midwest July 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Oh, I can sooo relate to this. I happen to think they coined the term “tortured artist” for a reason. I think the process of always trying to create something can drive you a little batty at times. And creative people tend to be sensitive too. I am still trying to learn how to go easier on myself.

Florida Girl Meets the Midwest July 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm

PS Stopping by from SIts.

Blond Duck July 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm

You know, I totally get this. Returning your pop-by from SITS, by the way. But I’m a terrible perfectionist and always trying to do the perfect thing for everyone and myself and it seems like I can never reach what I think something should be. And I say the rudest, most awful things to myself! Thanks for reminding me to be nice to…well, me! :)

citymouse July 13, 2010 at 6:35 am

What a wonderful post. These are all great points. I especially liked the “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” one. I think we create so many problems for ourselves when we let our tongue call the shots.

Stopping by from SITS. Thanks for sharing.

dawn July 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Hey girl! Just stopping by from SITS, found your blog, and am totally entranced with it! I admire you so much for your leap of faith, and your honest and open way of talking about it! I am your newest fan! :)

Karyn Climans August 10, 2010 at 7:09 am

Life has a funny way of working things out in the end but the process can be a difficult one. You are obviously a very wise and strong woman …
I’m here from Blog Frog and I will hop by more often now that I’ve found you.

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