First, I hope that this post finds all of you wonderful people doing well and flourishing in life! This is a picture of my dog. Her name is Roxi and she is quite possibly my favorite thing in the world.
Why is she my favorite? My answer could include all of the adorable and quirky things she does and just the way she looks at me. Easy answer right? Of course, this post is not about my dog, although I could write pages and pages on why I love her.
My answer for why I love my dog came much more easily to me than my answer would be for why I am my own favorite thing in the world. Why would this be? All of my friends, my coworkers, and my family say that I’m awesome. Why don’t I believe them?
“Understand that when the beast within you succeeds again in paralyzing into unending incompletion whatever you again had the temerity to try to make its triumph is made sweeter by confirmation of its rectitude. It knows that it alone knows you.”
― Frank Bidart
The beast of which Mr. Bidart speaks in your own inner-critic. She’s the cynical bitch that hates everything about you. Your clothes, your hair, the way you walk, the way your trip over flat surfaces, even the way you try new things. I see this everyday when I work with my clients. They are encouraged to try a new activity every single day and over half of them are reluctant to do so, for fear of failure, looking stupid, etc. But why? What prevents people from doing their very best, no matter what?
Somewhere in your life journey, most likely as a kid growing up (middle school was the worst!), you or someone you know told you that you weren’t good at something, you would never amount to anything, or ask why you even try. In many cases (not all), this person was a trusted adviser, a parent, a friend, teacher, coach… whoever. Maybe you were told this repeatedly.
-If you’re told something enough, you will eventually start to believe it.-
Your inner-critic is born within self-doubt, and she grows stronger with every fearful thought and action you take. She sounds like, “what if?” and “no, I think I’ll stay in tonight.” She makes you feel like a prisoner in your own skin. A skin that you cannot stand because it is not air-brushed and perfect.
What can we do about this? It begins with identification and self honesty. Once we can figure out what we tell ourselves and admit that we believe it, we can move on to collecting evidence for or against these self-defeating thoughts. In most cases, our evidence does not support this radically negative thought/belief. This is where the change happens. We can start to formulate new ways of thinking by disproving to our inner-critic that we are actually, in fact, worthy. Once we can prove that bitch wrong, we can finally state that we are our favorite things in the world. ♥