In clinic I often find my clients being very hard on themselves. They focus on what they did or are doing wrong and can only see the negative side of things.
From where I am sitting I see something completely different in them, I see a person that is taking charge of their health, someone strong, someone who is motivated, someone really trying to make a difference in their lives. In my eyes they are fantastic. I often wish they could see themselves through my eyes.
I myself am not immune to this negative self-talk and If you are like most people, you know your inner critic all too well. It is the voice inside your head that judges you, doubt’s you, cuts you down, and constantly tells you that you are not good enough.
We all possess an inner critic or what I like to call the “Inner mean girl”. We experience this “voice” as a negative internal narration of who we are and how we behave.
Common “Inner Mean Girl” comments include:
“You never do anything right”
“You will never succeed”
” You’re ugly”
“You’re so stupid”
“There is something wrong with you”
Times, when you are feeling stressed or depressed, is when your “Inner Mean Girl” becomes a real nag who exaggerates everything and interprets everything in a negative way. What makes it worse is that your “Inner Mean Girl” can make you feel like these thoughts are true even when you are completely wrong.
Let me ask you a question. Would you talk to another person like that? If you told your best friend she was too fat, she had a fat bum, or she was not good enough! how do you think that would make her feel?… It would really hurt her feelings am I right? Now, why would you talk to yourself that way?
Like it or not, everything you say to yourself matters. The “Inner Mean Girl” isn’t harmless. it discourages you, limits you, and stops you from living the life you truly deserve. it cheats you of peace of mind and emotional well-being and, if left long enough, it can even lead to mental health problems like depression or anxiety.
Negative self-talk is never in your interest. There is always a kinder, more compassionate way to treat yourself that doesn’t involve negative labels and self-destructive mindsets. In any given situation there is always a silver lining.
Here are four steps that will help you silence your “Inner Mean girl” :
Notice the “Inner mean girl”.
To gain control over your inner critic you must first be aware of it. I have given my “Inner Mean girl” a name “Regina”. Much of our thinking is so automatic and happening so fast that we barely notice it before we move on to the next thought.
Making the conscious effort to slow down and pay more attention to your thoughts will help you notice when the “Inner Mean girl” is present. Your emotions will also alert you to the presence of the “Inner Mean girl”. Negative emotions such as doubt, guilt, shame, and worthlessness are almost always signs of the “Inner Mean girl” at work.
When I start to have these feelings, I know that “Regina” is at it again. Once you are aware of “Inner Mean girl”, you will be able to stand up to it.
Talking back to your “Inner Mean girl” is an important part of taking away its power. Simply telling the “Inner Mean girl” you don’t want to hear what it has to say begins to give you a sense of choice in the matter. When you hear the “Inner Mean girl” start to speak, tell it to go away. Tell it you refuse to listen. Tell it that you know it is a Liar. Tell it you are choosing to be kind to yourself.
Summon your “Inner Cheerleader”
The best way to defeat the “Inner Mean girl” is to have an even stronger ally on your side. You need to summon your “Inner Cheerleader” it is the inner voice that acts as your own best friend. To do this, you need to start noticing the good things about yourself. No matter what the “Inner Mean girl” has told you, you do have positive attributes, although it may take you some effort to start to see them for yourself.
Things your “Inner Cheerleader” should say:
“Failure is a great opportunity to learn. Without it, you will never succeed.”
“You can do this ! you are doing great.”
“You never really know what other people think of you. In any case, everyone interprets things in their own unique way.”
“If you have done it before, you can do it again.”
“Let’s tackle this from a different perspective.”
“You can always improve so keep trying”
“You may not have lost weight, but you did exercise and plan your meals if you keep going you will reach your goals.”
Use “I am” affirmations
Affirmations are “I am”statements that you repeat out loud or in your mind. They are incredibly powerful. I notice a difference in my inner voice when I haven’t used affirmations for a few days. You can use my list of affirmations or write your own on a sticky note and stick it to your bathroom mirror.
Repeat these “I am” statements to yourself as you get ready in the morning:
“Every day in every way, I am healthier and stronger.”
“I am well. I am in perfect health.”
“I am surrounded by people who encourage me to be healthy. “
“I am grateful for my healthy body. Peace flows through my body, mind and soul.”
“I am pain-free and completely in sync with life.”
“I am grateful to be alive. It is my joy and pleasure to live another wonderful day.”
I encourage you to turn positive beliefs into your daily mantra. Clear your mind of all the negative thoughts of your “Inner Mean girl” and replace them with the inspiring, loving, encouraging, and beautiful thoughts of your “Inner Cheerleader”.When you do you will create space in your mind, in your heart, and in your life for happiness, prosperity, and health.