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In order to live authentically we need to listen to what we need, and provide that for ourselves in any given situation. By listening to what we need we strengthen our relationship with ourselves (the most important relationship there is) and make space for our authentic self to stretch out into the world.

For a long time I’d remain in situations which didn’t feel right. I would sit through these unpleasant situations because I thought I had to. I thought I didn’t have a choice. Somehow it felt as though I deserved to experience this unpleasantness.

I put up with the unpleasant things occurring around me because I didn’t feel I deserved to feel good all the time. Plus, I didn’t want to cause a fuss or make other people feel uncomfortable by leaving a situation.

But what I didn’t realise while I put up with these situations was that I was actually ignoring what was right for me. And as I ignored what I felt to be right for me I was undermining the relationship with myself.

I’ve found that since listening to what feels right for me my trust in myself to take care of me in any situation has sky rocketed. This self-reliance has enabled me to open up and express myself more authentically with others.

How you treat yourself is how you allow others to treat you.

If you don’t treat yourself as important and worthy of love. Then you’re interactions and the situations you find yourself in with others will reflect these beliefs. Your relationships with others will always leave you feeling under-appreciated and unloved. And chances are you will put up with a lot of unpleasant stuff that you don’t need to.

If you treat yourself as important and loveable. Then you’ll feel important and lovable. And you’ll begin to find yourself in more loving and caring environments.

It’s really that simple.

Listening and Taking Care of You

1. Body Check-In: How are you feeling?
Remaining aware of how you’re feeling is the number one way of knowing when you need to make a change.

If you find yourself with a tight stomach, tension in your body, a headache, or any unpleasant physical emotions or sensations. Then it’s time to ask yourself …

2. ‘What do I need right now?’
Ask yourself openly and honestly, what you need to feel better in the situation you’re in.
Listen to the answer. The answer will come back as an intuitive feeling of what you need to do next.

Now comes the tricky part.

3. Taking Action (the loving behaviour)
This is where most of us fall short and make excuses for why it’s ok to put up with an unpleasant situation.

  • “Oh it’s just this one time. It won’t happen again.”
  • “He/she doesn’t know any better.”
  • “It will be over soon. So I’ll just wait until it’s over.”

No. If you’re feeling uncomfortable then respect how you feel.

Take the action you need to feel safe, secure, loved, appreciated, accepted, listened to, whatever it is you need – give it to yourself. You deserve to feel good.

What if I Offend Someone by Taking Care of Myself?

You can still be polite to those around you while taking care of yourself.

If you need to leave a situation because it’s just not for you then politely excuse yourself from the situation and leave.

When I first started seriously taking care of myself and listening to what I needed, it felt like I was being completely selfish and overly sensitive to things which normally weren’t an issue for others.

But then I realised that this IS how I feel! My body isn’t lying to me. I actually do feel unpleasant in this situation and that I’m the only one who can know how I feel and what I need.

It’s up to you to listen to what you need and take positive action for yourself. No one else is responsible for knowing or providing what you need but you.

“My situation isn’t that simple.”

Actually it is.

If in doubt, take care of yourself.

No matter how complicated a situation seems, the only thing you need to do is take care of yourself.

This may sound selfish, but it’s not. When you take care of yourself, then you’ll feel comfortable and safe within yourself. And when you feel comfortable with yourself then you’re way more open and give more of yourself to others.

Anyone who thinks you’re selfish for taking care of yourself probably isn’t someone who’s used to taking care of themselves. They might not understand your behaviour at first – and that’s ok. You can explain to them what you’re doing. However, if they still don’t get it and consider you rude for taking care of yourself then they’re probably not someone who has your best interests at heart.

Anyone who is open to you being You will support and encourage you for taking care of yourself.

Where this takes you

Every time you listen to what you need and provide it for yourself you are reinforcing the caring relationship with yourself. The stronger your relationship with yourself the stronger your relationships will become with other people.

But most importantly, with a trusting self-relationship you’ll feel safe to express yourself authentically as You because you know that no matter what happens you’re in safe hands.

The Blog

The B is for Being Blog is an open journal where Ben shares his thoughts, insights, and experiences as he uncovers his authentic expression.


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About Benjamin

Hi, I’m Benjamin. I podcast and blog about authentic expression and self-discovery. I also make slow-videos for rest and reflection. You can read more about me here.

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