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Otherwise, what is the point? I needed to start speaking my mind, expressing my feelings, and asking for what I wanted. I simply needed to become more vulnerable in my relationships. Secondly, when I found the right person, I had some new rules in place to support myself in staying strong in my relationship.

Because, to be honest, losing yourself is far more painful than losing a relationship. And it will take you forever to find your strength, dignity, and truth again. When you love yourself, you know how you want to feel and be in your next relationship. You also set healthy boundaries, which prevents you from losing your identity in a relationship. Start every day by asking yourself: What do I need today? How can I be loving with myself today?

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Follow the answers, as they will help you be more loving and respectful of yourself. Operate from a loving, compassionate place within yourself. Honor your own needs and feelings. Be kind to yourself. Set some powerful boundaries to protect your time and energy. Become your own cheerleader.

Losing Yourself

Listen to your own intuition. You come first, everything else comes after. Make your own wellbeing a priority. Put yourself first when you can. Make yourself important in your own life. When you start following the path of self-love you will start showing up differently in your life and your relationships. This knowledge will prevent you from compromising too much in a relationship. Your strong sense of self will help you stick to what is truly important to you. This will give you a sense of security, which comes from within and not from your relationship.

I have two little exercises that will help you get to know and understand yourself and your needs better.

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Create a list of your current needs. Grab a piece of paper and create four columns. Take your time and explore what you need in these four categories to feel fulfilled. Write down your top five to ten priorities. List them in order of importance. These exercises will give you a stronger direction in life and help you explore what is truly important to you. It makes sense to revisit them occasionally, since things will likely change over time.

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Your needs will be different a few months down the line. Your priorities will be different, as we are always growing and evolving. Know your non-negotiables in relationships. And communicate them so your partner knows and respects your limits.

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Healthy boundaries will make you feel stronger and more empowered in your next relationship. Healthy boundaries prevent you from losing yourself in love. Schedule regular time with them. You need some other perspective. Make time for the things you love doing.

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Make them your priority because they contribute to your happiness, so they are just as important as your relationship. Keep some hobbies you only do on your own or with people other than your partner. Plan some time every week when you do things separately. Cultivate a spiritual practice. Stick to your exercise routine. Doing things on your own will help you stay connected to yourself and cultivate a sense of self. Debbies are cute, funny, and sweet.

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Debs are serious, to the point, and brash. Debbies are charming and the life of a party. Debs are blunt and a little rough around the edges. Everyone wants to be a Debbie. No one wants to be a Deb. But after a few weeks of John calling me Deb, I started to find it endearing. I mean, no one else in the world called me Deb but him. It was sort of like his special name for me. So I decided not to correct him. Months later, after we started dating, I found myself identifying with the name Deb. It was almost like adding a new piece to the puzzle of my life and identity.

I eventually started introducing myself as Deb when I was with him. I was his Deb, and I liked it. Now the name has stuck. The funny thing is, you can tell precisely how someone knows me just by listening to what they call me. But if they call me Deb, you can guarantee they met me during my P. You might say I lost my childhood nickname, but you could also say I gained a special new nickname. I, for one, am a huge advocate for people not losing themselves in a dating relationship, but rather, committing to finding themselves long before they get married.

They should dedicate the time and energy it takes to get to know themselves first and to get to know themselves well. To attract and sustain a healthy marriage, singles should become as healthy and whole as they can while standing alone and remain that way through marriage. I dedicated my entire first book to this important concept. They might sound like the same thing, but they are completely and utterly different. The loss of self has nothing to do with losing our identity or our personality.

20 Inspirational Quotes On Losing Yourself

No, letting go of self means one thing and one thing alone: I put my nose to the grindstone, continued business-as-usual, and tried to revel in the identity that looked like gleaming gold to others, but was beginning to look painfully tarnished from the inside. Then, in , my husband and I had a son. Each night, as I rocked him to sleep, I did what so many parents do: I shared my hopes with him regarding how he would live his life.

I whispered to him that he could do anything he desired. I encouraged him to go after his dreams and live out his passions. I told him he was uniquely talented, and that he needed to use his gifts to the best of his ability. As someone with a newborn, I was a rush of emotions, novel experiences, and sleep-deprivation. I had quite a bit of time in the wee hours of the morning to introspect and contemplate the meaning of life.

What if I tried something that I was truly invested in and failed? How would others respond?

Perhaps I would have to listen to sincere concern from loved ones questioning why I was making reckless choices. Maybe I would get expressions of disappointment from certain friends as I fell from the pedestal on which they had placed me against my will. Plus, there was that pesky issue of my identity. I liked being known in my circles as the one who could be counted on to achieve. Who would I be without that identity?

After numerous quiet meditations during 3: I would no longer have to stifle the voice deep inside trying to get me to embrace all sides of me. I would be free. So, to honor my creative side, I finished a book I had started writing a few years prior. I dealt with the feelings of uncertainty and nakedness that I felt in response to putting something about which I was truly passionate outside of my reach for others to judge. I have allowed myself to delight in the journey, without worrying too much about how others might perceive whether or not I am living my life in the way they think I should.

And, the invisible weight that I have been carrying around has disappeared. I can just be myself —whoever that happens to be at the time. If you, like me, have let your view of yourself hold you hostage, here are some suggestions for breaking free:.