Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist, said in a 1993 study that humans can only maintain a maximum of 150 meaningful relationships in their lives. This number later came to be known as Dunbar's Number.

While there have been several other studies and articles that debunk this theory, the relatively low number still puts a lot of things into perspective. But I'm not here to debate the number of friends, family members, or loved ones you can feel a deep connection with.

Instead, I'm here to propose that of all the relationships you have right now, there's one that should always be your number one priority; the relationship you have with yourself.

When was the last time you took a carefully considered evaluation of your well-being? Should we feel guilty every time we put our own needs above others? What happens when we shift our focus to ourselves?

Today, I'll teach you how and why you should build a youniverse; a universe where you are the center of everything, before anything or anyone else.

person swimming in sea

Why You Should Be Your Number 1 Fan

person holding gold trophy

It's exponentially easier for us to praise other people and not ourselves. We've almost always been hypercritical of our mistakes and dismissive of our achievements.

That can benefit your personal growth since you'll always be striving to be better. However, you must ask yourself: To what extent? And at what cost? Self-improvement begins with being your number one fan.

When you practice self-compassion, all your energy translates into meaningful and positive outcomes. Here are some reasons why almost everyone is advocating for self-love these days.

1. Boosts Confidence

Most people undermine their achievements because they don't want to look and feel arrogant. However, you must remember that arrogance isn't the same as confidence.

When you look at your achievements for what they truly are—the payoff for your hardwork—your sense of self-worth grows stronger.

In other words, you respect yourself for the resilience and perseverance it took to establish a name for yourself. So, never think twice about prioritizing your life, celebrating your successes, and recognizing your value.

2. Transforms You Into A Goal Digger

Focusing on yourself means realizing what you want and need. Sometimes, the lack of drive to identify these things is the only thing missing for someone to be successful.

Once you've established your wants and needs, it becomes easier for you to make choices that point you in these directions.

Of course, it would still require effort and a strong sense of self to reach these goals, but a step in the right direction is better than not moving from where you stand.

3. Enhances Resilience

Prioritizing yourself means you're taking care of your physical and emotional well-being (Don't worry. I'll teach you how to do that later).

Establishing your own identity, gaining self-knowledge, and learning about your strengths and weaknesses help you stand strong and tall in the face of adversity.

Realizing your limitations and using your strengths to overcome a tricky situation help you navigate through life's challenges with ease.

It's your strong sense of self that enhances your capacity to bounce back from failure.

4. Solidifies Relationships

Paying attention to yourself means paying attention to the relationships you have with other people. Why?

Imagine that one friend you call when you're feeling down because their positive energy radiates and helps you feel better.

Realize this: you are also that friend to another person. Self-care transforms your inner voice from a constant critic to a best friend, giving you a more positive disposition.

This could help you overcome some of your mental health issues and change how you interact with other people for the better.

You must realize that your own needs and desires are just as important as the needs and desires of other people, and that satisfying these things is actually beneficial to your relationships.

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How To Focus On Yourself

When you recognize the gravity of these benefits, the question now becomes, "How do I build this 'youniverse'?"

The transformation starts with making conscious decisions to focus on yourself and not others. You can do that by following the tips I've prepared below.

1. "No" Is A Valid Answer

grátis Foto profissional grátis de alerta, ameaça, anônimo Foto profissional

The idea that saying "no" lessens your intrinsic goodness is an axiom that should've died decades, if not centuries, ago.

"No" is a complete and valid answer. Ask yourself, "How much of myself am I willing to give the world?" The answer shouldn't lead you to have none of your own identity for yourself.

Your availability, or lack thereof, should never define the value of your relationships.

In fact, even the American Psychological Association advocates saying "no" to responsibilities you think you can't shoulder.

If you need space, establishing your boundaries by saying "no" is a form of self-compassion.

I understand that relationships tend to be quite sensitive when discussing the idea of solitude. Most of us tiptoe around it, while some end up sacrificing their time and peace of mind to avoid conflicts.

Brushing up your communication skills should help your friend, partner, or relative see a more complete picture of why you need to say "no" to certain things.

2. Talk To Yourself Like You Would To A Friend

a man wearing glasses looking out a window

When was the last time you used kind words to console or compliment a friend? And when was the last time you did the same to yourself?

If your answer to the latter is "I can't remember," your inner voice is not doing you any good. It's about time you address the negative self-talk and ensure you're kind to yourself.

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, a clinical psychologist, wrote in his book 12 Rules for Life, "You have to treat yourself like you're someone you're responsible for helping," and that extends to self-talk, too.

Positive self-talk has been widely used in sports context to reduce levels of anxiety. Imagine if you could provide yourself with that level of support each time you're faced with a difficult challenge.

A calmer, clearer, anxiety-free head should help you address a situation more logically. This practice should also strengthen your sense of self.

Reading more about positive psychology should also help you understand how positive self-talk affects your brain.

3. Don't Underestimate The "Me" In "Aweso-me Time"

a person standing on a bridge looking at a large crowd of people

Have you ever noticed how sometimes you act a certain way with a specific friend group and then behave another way with a different set of people?

I'm not suggesting that there's something wrong with that, but if you've only ever known yourself when you're surrounded by friends, family, or loved ones, then who's the real you?

Never underestimate the value of self-discovery. Ensure that you occasionally spend time alone to get to know yourself better and improve the relationship you have with your future self.

There are, of course, positives and negatives to isolation. Therefore, finding the right balance between socializing and solitude is essential. Some activities you can do on your own may include:

  • Visiting a museum
  • Reading a book
  • Trying out a new restaurant
  • Going to the cinemas
  • Watching concerts
  • Traveling

4. Adopt A New Hobby

Remember that the main goal of focusing on yourself is to unleash the inner abundance within you. That means you develop into the person you're truly meant to be.

You have all the time in the world (probably more time now that you've learned to say "no" to certain things). Take this time to do the things you enjoy doing.

Start by researching something you find interesting. Take a class, watch a podcast, read blogs, and find communities that share the same interests.

If you believe this new hobby is helping you grow, start investing in equipment and tools that will help you become better at it.

Through this process, you will inevitably learn new things about yourself and just how much you're capable of developing.

Furthermore, new hobbies can also reduce stress, minimize anxiety, reduce the risk of depression, and generally improve your mental health.

Not sure where to start? Here's a quick list of things you can try:

  • Learn a new language
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Hiking
  • Painting
  • Dancing
  • Photography
  • Woodworking
  • Pottery
  • Cooking

5. Step Outside

To put it more bluntly, touch the grass. The outdoors offers scenery, places, and experiences that could be beneficial to your mental health.

Focusing too much on and only yourself, in isolation, can have detrimental effects on your overall well-being. We saw that during the pandemic, people were ordered to stay indoors for extended periods.

The isolation caused an increase in people with depression, insomnia, acute stress, and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

The USDA Forest Service advocates going outdoors and being one with nature. It helps improve your physical and mental wellness, as well as wellness in the community, bringing you one step closer to being the best version of yourself.

After all, the core of focusing on yourself is personal growth, and what is personal growth if not the achievement of your highest self?

So, the next time somebody tells you to touch the grass, don't take offense and heed their advice. It could be one of the best things you can do for your personal development.

6. Practice Mindfulness

woman in black shirt and gray pants sitting on brown wooden bench

If you have no idea how to focus on yourself, start by focusing on what's happening around you. Because sometimes what you lack is the presence of mind to appreciate the present moment.

Practicing mindfulness is an excellent way to understand your true feelings and realize that slowing down can help you get to your destination faster in the long run.

How? When you practice mindfulness, you reduce the mental clutter in your head. This allows you to be present and focused for anything that comes your way.

There are several ways for you to appreciate the beauty around you, some of which are:

  • Meditation - Just sit quietly in your room with your eyes closed. Pay attention to every sound you can hear and every scent you can smell. Do this for around 15 minutes at the beginning of every day and you'll quickly see how drastically your perspective changes.
  • Journaling - Sometimes, we fail to appreciate our experiences because we don't take the time to process them. Journaling can help you slow down and untangle your thoughts to understand yourself better. Gratitude journaling, for instance, has been proven to increase life satisfaction in college students. Who's to say the same can't happen to you?
  • Walking - There's a reason why we take long walks whenever we try to calm ourselves down. It's like putting life on a Post-It and sticking it to the fridge for a while. A reminder that you can set some things aside when you need a break. It gives you a moment to rearrange your thoughts and think more logically. So, yes, something as simple as taking a walk can be therapeutic, especially if you do it in a quiet environment.
  • Breathing - Not a fan of meditation? Don't like journaling? No parks nearby for a breath of fresh air? Well, all you ever really need to practice mindfulness is a place to breathe, literally. Just close your eyes and take long, slow, and deep breaths before exhaling fully. This simple exercise can make you more adept at managing stress.

7. Healthy Comparison: You Yesterday Vs. You Today

green tree under gray sky

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." No truer words were ever spoken. There are, of course, upsides and downsides to comparing yourself to successful individuals.

On one hand, you'd strive to be better because you want to be as successful as your peers or idols. But on the other, excessive comparison also leads to feeling bad about oneself and harm your self-esteem.

So, your point of reference shouldn't always be another person. Instead, compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

This should allow you to see your growth and how much you've accomplished. Regardless of how big or small that development is, growth is still growth.

Even if you've only improved by 1% today, these incremental changes will grow exponentially in the long run.

8. Aim High, Aim Low - Just Don't Forget To Aim

person holding arrow

"Rule number 96: aim!" The worst thing you could be is to be aimless. Being aimless means you have nothing to strive for, nothing to reach.

The absence of a goal will significantly hinder your growth. So, if you really wish to master the art of focusing on yourself, make sure that you're aiming for something greater than what you already have.

It doesn't matter if this goal is professional or personal. You'd still end up learning more about yourself because you'd be pushing yourself to greater heights.

The good news is that you can "trick" your brain into a goal-achieving machine by setting smaller goals that are easy to accomplish. That's why there's also much to be said about aiming low.

When you accomplish a goal, regardless of how big or small that is, your brain releases dopamine, and dopamine is the "Power-Up Food" of the brain.

Dopamine differentiates the good and the bad you experience, and it determines what actions lead to good experiences and vice versa.

It labels certain actions, regardless of how pleasant or unpleasant they are, as "good," because based on previous experiences, these actions lead to you feeling good about yourself.

This cycle will motivate you to set another goal, and that hunger for "continuing to feel good" will keep you aiming to be better.

Food For Thought:

  • When was the last time you said "yes" to something despite wanting to say "no"? How did it affect you?
  • How does it feel when people praise you? What would happen if you could do that for yourself constantly?
  • What was the last hobby you undertook? What did you learn about yourself?
  • Is the current you better than the previous you?


Why am I not able to focus on myself?

There's a plethora of reasons that could be causing you to lose or intentionally avoid focusing on yourself. For starters, you might be thinking that putting your own needs above others makes you a narcissist or just a bad person.

For others, it is simply the lack of support from someone that keeps them from realizing that there's nothing bad about prioritizing yourself. If that's the case for you, our personalized coaching app will teach you how to focus on yourself every day without compromising your relationships.

How do I stop focusing on others?

Meditation is arguably one of the best ways to stop focusing on things you can't control (like other people's behavior). Meditation gives you the opportunity to reflect on your own life and realize that improvement in your well-being stems from understanding yourself.

Nonetheless, all of the tips above should help you shift your focus from other people to yourself.

How do I figure out myself?

Figuring yourself out is a long and tedious process, but it's absolutely worth it. Spending time alone, discovering new things, and trying out experiences or activities you haven't tried before will teach you something about yourself that you may not know. Recognizing your bad habits, how they affect you, and how to break free from them will also help you understand yourself and unleash your inner potential.

How to get people to like you?

The truth is, it's not so much about getting people to like you as it is being surrounded by people who naturally enjoy your company. That requires a strong sense of self and the drive to be your own person. For that, you need to invest your time and effort in personal development - something that requires a great deal of focusing on and understanding yourself.

You should also ask, "Am I someone I'd want to be friends with?" Letting go of your long-held resentments and forgiving yourself for your past errors will help you come to terms with who you are today.


We are social beings, and one way or another, we are inevitably drawn to other people. Whether or not other people's experiences of you are pleasant would depend on the state of your overall well-being.

The adage, it turns out, stays true; you cannot give what you do not have. It's difficult, if not impossible, to make other people feel loved if that love isn't present within you, for you.

Become the person you're truly meant to be. Develop your own identity. Sometimes, solitude is the first step to being part of something bigger.

I understand that focusing on yourself feels selfish or self-centered at times, but it's actually the other way around.

Building a youniverse develops your identity, which in turn allows you to offer something unique to other people. Therefore, learning how to focus on yourself is also how you learn to contribute to the world.

You can discover just how much this could change your perspective by using our accountability app. The first two weeks is on us!