I have come to realise that I am my own worst critic. I set unrealistic goals for myself and then I set myself up to fail and then I tell myself ‘you never finish anything you start’, or ‘you’ve failed again.’ I know this is the voice of my Inner Gremlin, my Mind Monkey or whatever you want to call that inner critic. I talk about this stuff all the time, I know about it and yet I need reminding too. I need reminding often – everyday, in fact! Perhaps I should have it tattooed on my forehead then every-time I looked in the mirror it would remind me!
I have these ideas that the ‘perfect me’ of sometime in the future would bounce energetically out of bed at 6 am, greeting the day enthusiastically. I would imbibe a cup of green tea with lemon (organic of course), do an hour’s yoga, some meditation, then start my day serenely. The perfect me is going to go to the gym at least 5 times a week, walk daily, and smile and eat healthily. Not only that, but this perfect future me is going to create a video for YouTube every week and write and record regular blogs and podcasts.
I know that there are people who manage all this, I’ve met some of them and I have no reason to doubt that they are these goddesses who achieve all of this and more, and I really admire them. However, I’ve had enough – I’m really fed up of beating myself up for not being that person. So, I’ve made a decision. Rather than berating myself for falling short of my perceived ‘perfect’, I’m just going to love and accept myself as I am right now. It seems to me that if I have an internal dialogue which is criticising my ‘failure’ for not being or doing or achieving the things I want to be/do then how can I also be growing and developing?
I wouldn’t speak to my friends the way I sometimes speak to myself, and if I did then they probably wouldn’t want to stick around for very long.
Maybe it’s time to cut myself some slack. Maybe it’s time to cut yourself some slack too?
It’s great to have goals and things, small and large, that we want to achieve. It depends where we are at the moment in life. If you are feeling unwell and low, then sometimes just getting up, showered and dressed is your goal. Goals don’t have to be massive.
My self-realisation is that I have over many years become an expert at self-criticism. When this is repeated over and over it becomes so detrimental and damaging. For me, when I fail to reach my own expectations or goals then the self-criticism becomes the loudest, and although I have worked on this, and I continue to work on this, what I realised is that it is so easy to forget what we have learned. We need continual reminders of the things we need to do to keep our balance by doing the inner work in order to keep that Inner Critic in check.
I know that personally my self-confidence as a child was very low, and I have worked hard over the years to combat this. Actually stepping out and making videos and sharing my own experiences has been a massive step for me to take. The reason I do this is because I have learned so many tools and techniques over the years that have helped me to change, and I know that I am not the only one. If I have struggled then I know that there will be other women out there who also struggle with their inner critical voice, with a lack of self worth and self confidence.
Nobody is perfect, everybody makes mistakes. We need to learn from our mistakes and experiences and move on. Easier said that done, but if you do the inner work and keep it up consistently then this can change. You can become more confident, you can develop self worth, and you can learn to love and accept yourself just as you are. Even if you need reminders sometimes, like I do.
What do I mean about the inner work? The key thing is we can change our brains because of neuroplasticity. This means that we can make new neural connections no matter how old we are! The more we practice, the stronger the neural pathways become. Therefore if we regularly, consistently work on positive reinforcement such as: writing a gratitude journal, meditation or mindfulness, visualisation, Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping), listening to positive and uplifting videos or music, taking some time to walk in nature, making sure you are looking after yourself nutritionally, all these things will help to rewire our brains. The key is keep doing it and keep that inner critic in check.
I became a therapist and a life coach because I love to do is share the things I know, the tools and techniques that have helped me, so that you too can become happier and more fulfilled in your life. I know because I am on the same journey. We all are, we are just at different stages on the road.
If you would like to discover my free resources for tips and techniques to help you with your mindset then please check out my free resources page.
Thanks for reading.