Bernie Rowen-Ross tells us that part of becoming confident is to become your own best friend.

There is no limit to the times that we might not feel confident. Age doesn’t suddenly bring confidence. Most of us feel lacking in confidence about something; it is the nature of the way we are shaped. Sometimes it will just be fear of failure – in fact more often than not it is just that. Failure in the eyes of who though? Our imagined critic is often the inner voice, the self that is not compassionate and who is judgemental about so many little things that we do. We just don’t feel good enough.

The sure-fire way to improve self-image is to be kind, yes, be kind to yourself. Be your own best friend. If you treated yourself the way you treat your best friend, you would be able to see through your complex self criticism and take good care of you. Be curious about yourself, ask yourself questions, such as; ‘Do I like this?’ ‘Does it suit me to do this?’ or ‘Am I doing this against my will to please someone else?’ Once we get to know what gives us pleasure, we find we will feel less at odds with others, because we are more in tune with our inner nature, our true self. 

Be accepting of yourself. Perhaps your mother or father did not want you to be an artist, musician, non-conformist, or a surfer, or a butcher, baker or candlestick maker. The point is, where do you feel comfortable? Are you comfortable being a gardener, although your parents wanted you to be a banker, but you prefer working in nature. Then, be kind to yourself and make informed choices about what you do and who you are – accept that this is who you are.

Once you have accepted that you are a unique person who doesn’t necessarily ‘fit’ into any of the expected categories, then you can truly love yourself –in the most compassionate way you can. Not an egotistical love, but a genuine self accepting way – a way which relieves everyday stress and allows the ease of self understanding to permeate your every moment. Every moment? Yes, this is all part of mindfulness, that we hear of so often today. Be mindful of the little voice inside which may be in the habit of berating you. Compliment instead of criticise, encourage instead of discourage, be gentle rather than harsh.

Practice makes perfect, so every time you find some ‘negative self-talk’ going on in your mind, replace it with the kindness you would show a best friend. Be your own best friend, and experience less stress and more love.

Bernie Rowen-Ross is an Ayurvedic Counsellor and Psychotherapist, she consults via Zoom
t: 01620 844 321 |