Your most important relationship is your relationship with yourself
Being our best selves is the best investment we can make. The most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself. From that flows every other relationship you have. This may not be a concept that you have thought of before but it makes logical sense. If your relationship with yourself is clear and straightforward then you will be less likely to be attracted to and fascinated by other people whose relationships with themselves are negatively complicated and who therefore will contaminate your experience of yourself and the world. On the contrary, you will be attracted to relationships with others of like mind i.e. who have as few complications as you. This may seem simple and obvious but it is something that we so often miss. And because of that we develop relationships that are complicated.

Attention to your relationship with yourself can take a variety of forms. Keeping short accounts with yourself is one of these i.e. regularly taking time to pause and notice your emotions and thought patterns and assessing how you are matching up with what you know to be your ‘best self’. Clearly if you are not being true to your best self you cannot hope to present your most authentic image to the world – which is the most positively powerful you.

This is a challenge to all of us at various times and some seasons in our lives will be more difficult than others. A good practical technique for ensuring a clear relationship with yourself is to think of yourself as being made up of parts. You can organise those parts in your mind in a number of different ways. One way would be to isolate a part of you that you like – for example, your courageous part. A way to make that part solid and to test its strength would be to have that part speak to your weak part that is not courageous. Then have that weak part speak back about how it feels and let the conversation continue until the outcome matches what you know to be in keeping with your best self. Then you will be able to truly tell yourself that you are reacting in a way that is honouring of your best self.

There is no substitute for truth in the innermost parts. If we want to be our most effective selves then making our relationship with ourselves our first priority will be an investment that will continue to pay huge dividends for as long as we live.