Do you ever feel like your thought life holds you back? Do you have that pesky inner critic always reminding you of past failures and lying to you about who you are?
We all have that inner voice that speaks lies to us. Some call it the ego. Some call it the inner mean girl, and some call it the flesh. Today let's call it the inner critic, because no matter what it is, it is lying to us. Combating that voice is hard work. It takes years, maybe even a lifetime to get a grip on that pesky voice. Here is a recent example of some crazy talk that went on in my head and some tools I used to bounce back:
"Who are you to feel beautiful?" I asked myself as I flipped through pictures for this site.
"Who are you to truly be someone?
Who are you to be respected?
Who are you to be loved?
You really think anyone will want to read what you have to say?"
For a good 30 minutes I let that old weak girl that I used to be turn to ash my fiery passion for coaching. My stomach turns at the thought of allowing you to peek into that dark space. They are the same old phrases. The same doubt. The same fear. They are the same old lies I allowed myself to believe for years. They kept me stuck. They kept me weak, sad, angry, a victim.
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever forgotten who you really are?
Have you ever forgotten your purpose or dreams in the midst of a crazy talk session?
I did. I forgot. I forgot that I was worthy of good things. I forgot that I already am someone. I forgot that I give respect to myself first before I ever can receive it. I forgot that I am loved and am on a mission to spread the word that we no longer have to listen to those stupid lies!
And I snapped back.
Beautiful ladies, we don't have to let the lies control us anymore.
Here are 5 ways to combat your inner critic:
1. REALIZE IT'S THE CRITIC SPEAKING
It is easy to let your inner critic speak crazy to you when you are not alert of what is happening in your head! Pay attention to the things you have said to yourself when you find yourself in a stressful, anxious state. Think back on the moment the feeling came into your awareness, what were you thinking about then??
2. WRITE IT OUT
When you write, you tend to document your thoughts. What a better way to understand your thought life than to write through the process. If you're starting to feel overwhelmed, write. When you feel a breakthrough, write. When you make it through, write. You will begin to see patterns of how you overcome and what exactly throws you off! Self-awareness is key.
3. TAP INTO YOUR STRENGTHS!
What makes you, YOU?! I am a FIRM believer that when you understand your intrinsic strengths you will bounce back from a Crazy Talk Session much more quickly. What have people told you that you are amazing at since you were young? What topics get you fired up? What do you admire about yourself? If you don't have answers to these questions I urge you to discover your strengths. Take personality tests, ask your loved ones (they do love you after all!), look for patterns in your life, meet with me in a complimentary consultation. (Finding people's strengths makes me REALLY excited!!) It really does make a huge difference in how you bounce back from Crazy Town.
In the words of TSwift herself, SHAKE. IT. OFF. Studies show that moving your body leads to stress reduction and has a great positive impact on anxiety and mood. My personal favorites in time of stress are any kind of dance, aerobic, or TRX classes, and the occasional hot yoga. They give me time to think, time to not think, and to just be ME. If you are not the kind of girl to hit it hard, try gentle yoga, a 30 minute walk, or even stretching while watching your favorite Netflix binge. You'll be pleasantly surprised that not only your body, but your mind will thank you.
5. CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE
There is something so real about speaking something out loud. Like when we say, "I love you" to someone; or "I hate you." Those two statements were once thoughts, but spoken, they take life, become a little more true, and create a whole new world shaped around the meaning the words gave. Speaking things out loud even makes us believe them more because there is WEIGHT there. What if we could train our thoughts by speaking things true and good out loud? Things like, "I am worthy." or, "Damn I'm fine." Try it, just today, and see how it changes your metal state.
Okay, now try it out. Read. Repeat...
"I am worthy of good things. I am a woman created with purpose. Respect and love come to me as I respect and love myself and those around me. When those lies creep in and whisper to me, I will remind myself that I am living for a cause too big to listen to anything that will hold me back."
How did that feel? Awkward? Good? Try it again.