These harsh truths may be hard to swallow, but they will help you realize what might be holding you back.

A true friend is one who will tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it.

The truth can hurt, but when it is given in the style of a good friend, meant to help you to reach your full potential as a person, it can only be beneficial.

These harsh truths help us to understand when we’ve acted unjustly or fallen short of who we hope we are as a person.

To this end, we have compiled a number of our own harsh truths which though they may be hard to swallow in the short term, actually offer us a rich bounty in terms of self-development.

So take a deep breath, and let’s dive in!

1. You’re not perfect – and you never will be.

Sorry to start this list of harsh truths on a downer, but let’s face it, it’s the truth and you know it. Stop putting yourself under pressure to achieve unattainable heights. All we can ever ask of ourselves, or anyone else for that matter, is our best.

We all make mistakes from time to time and nothing is gained from beating ourselves over it. When you feel putting yourself under undue pressure affirm to yourself ‘I’m me & I’m ok’.

2. You can’t be anyone but yourself.

Oscar Wilde is credited with saying ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken’. That was over 100 years ago and yet we still don’t get it. Don’t wish for different features, a smaller nose or bigger eyes, you were created perfectly imperfect just the way you are.

If you like things that aren’t in fashion fight the urge to go with the crowd. Take pride in your individuality. You don’t see Lady Gaga or Elton John dressing like everyone else.

Think back to when you were a small child before you were old enough to care what anyone else thought of you. You were inimitably yourself. When you waver try to reconnect to that little child. That kid was great!

3. Love hurts.

It is a struggle to learn how to live your life completely in tandem with another. We have to learn their idiosyncrasies, we need to allow for their flaws and find ways to compromise while they do the same for us.

And sometimes no matter how much we pour into a relationship, for one reason or another it just doesn’t work out.

Even when you’ve found ‘the one’, it will still hurt from time to time. Unfortunately, familiarity can breed complacency in the form of a careless word here or a hurtful gesture there. We need to guard against this.

Try to be the epitome of the perfect partner. When we are loving, understanding and respectful it makes it easier for our partner to reflect that back to us.

4. You can’t love another until you love yourself.

Think this is a cliché? It may be, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Have you ever noticed how a couple in the throes of love look radiantly happy? They have a twinkle in their eye and a spring in their step.

If you’re down about not having a ‘special someone’ in your life try making yourself your ‘special someone’. Treat and pamper yourself like you might a loved one, care for yourself like an attendant mother, spend time doing things that you enjoy.

You will feel and look much happier – and while you’re busy living your life someone really special might just come along.

5. Being alone is underestimated.

Some of us hate to be by ourselves. We have an irrational fear of becoming known as a ‘crazy cat person’ if we spend too much time alone (especially if we happen to keep pets!).

The little-known truth is that spending time by yourself can be some of the most productive and enjoyable time possible.

Being alone may mean that we have to listen to the thoughts in our head. This can be a scary prospect for some, but negative thoughts can be turned around with amazing results.

When one comes up try letting it pass and then following it with a more positive one.

When you make time to do the things you enjoy and to sort out some of the thoughts that keep you awake at night you may find that when you re-join the people in your life, you enjoy their company so much more.

This truth goes for relationships too. Take some time out after a relationship ends. Not only do you need time to heal but you can learn so much from each relationship if only give yourself the time and space to harvest the lessons.

Let yourself face and accept these harsh truths, so you will be able to change and improve for the better.

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