Being at ease with yourself means being accepting of others
I'VE often reflected on the remarkable journey that has been my life and the various stages (that appear in hindsight) which reveal to me my development as a person and personality.
Much of that development has come in the aftermath of powerful personal experiences where I have been challenged to deal not only with the situation but also my reaction to what's happened and the aftermath.
It's true for all of us that in adversity we find our strengths. Simply put, we have to.
So imagine for a moment that all of the relationships that you have no longer exist. The connections, friendships, family, work, loves and hates have ceased. All of them! You are once again truly on your own. There is no support, no casual chats, no phone-a-friend. Now, if you can do that, what do you feel?
For many it would be a combination of fear, anxiety, loneliness and isolation. Remember, we are designed to be social animals. It is part of our success as a species and that success puts relationships very firmly at the centre of our world.
Consider then which of your relationships is the most important. Many will say family, friends, spouse, children or significant other. Obviously they are important, but the most important, the most critical relationship you can have in the first instance is with yourself.
When this relationship is sound every other relationship you have is enriched and the reliance on others to validate you is diminished.
Now while it's all very well having a high regard for self and a high level of self-awareness, the key is to also have a high regard for and a high level of awareness of others. In other words you are comfortable with you and in being that you can be more accepting of others.
We don't know what a person has been through to get to where they are. In fact we don't see people as they are, we see people as we are. If we can accept that every person has a story, a different story, and that that story shapes our behaviour and reaction then my very personal belief is that we approach every person, including ourselves, with curiosity and genuine care.
How would that affect your relationship with yourself? And others?
Nick Bennett is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned.