You know that inner voice that often whispers or maybe shouts, ‘You aren’t enough, you can’t do this, who do you think you are?’
Well this inner critic, also called your inner mean girl is something that we all have in varying degrees. And she’s there whether you believe it (or like it) or not. My inner critic is called Lazy Bum Bum Face, or B for short, and she can pack a serious punch.
For me, B always felt like a small, immature and fearful child and for the longest time I would judge myself and beat myself up (even more) for feeling this way. I didn’t understand then what it so clear to me today – there is no wrong way to feel. My feelings are not wrong.
B would sabotage my goals and dreams and would get in the way of wanting to try new things or meet new people. B was a habitual over thinker, worry wart, people pleaser, judge and jury… suffice it to say she was busy.
Understanding and learning to manage B is a daily exercise in mental and spiritual fitness. In the same way I brush my teeth and wash my hair, managing B is just as important so requires work! Constantly second guessing yourself is a full-time job and I was ready to say enough! I was so ready to change.
Here are 4 steps you can take to stop beating yourself up and learn to quieten (and show compassion) to your inner mean girl instead.
1. Recognise your negative self-talk
You know when your friend says things like I feel so fat, I’m so bad at this or I’ll never get the promotion, your ears prickle and you immediately notice these negative and unhelpful things she is saying. Well, I need you to start to notice when you say the same types of things about yourself.
2. Separate yourself from her by giving her a name
Giving your inner mean girl voice a name will help you separate yourself from and open a healthy dialogue with her. I want you to begin to talk to your inner mean girl voice very differently.
3. Talk back using positive affirmations, kind and compassionate words
Remember your best friend who is in pain, or your daughter who fell? You would never say to her shut up, failure or stupid to her so we won’t say it to ourselves either. The goal is to turn the volume down, it is never to dismiss, judge or criticise her. Your inner mean girl represents fear, pain, doubt and insecurity. In these moments we need love, kindness and a positive attitude to help us. If you wouldn’t say it a friend, don’t say it to yourself.
4. Let her to feel her feelings and then challenge her
Never beat her up because, after all, she represents fear, doubt, insecurity and pain and these are perfectly normal and natural feelings. Allow her time to feel them and hold this space as a judgment and criticism free zone. When you have started to understand why your inner mean girl voice feels this you can compassion to remind her who is boss!
Be Your Own Best Friend
Be Your Own Best Friend is a daily journal for building self-esteem and using compassion in everyday life for women, put together to help you leave low self-esteem, insecurity and your inner critic behind. Designed to be used for a 12 week period, each page has been beautifully crafted to help you nurture your more fabulous relationship: the one you have with yourself. I have also included some really helpful and practical exercise to help you protect and build your self-esteem and confidence. Together, we will embark on this journey to a deeper appreciation, acceptance, and love for yourself. Available on Amazon.
Sarah Doyle is a life coach, a speaker, the creator or L-School and The Empowered Women Workshops, the founder of The Better Life Project and author of Be Your Own Best Friend. Sarah works with women all over the world to help them achieve their personal and professional goals, whilst developing their confidence and self-esteem.