You are born ‘enough’
Have you got an irritating little shit of an inner critic that constantly tells you aren’t good enough? Do you find it difficult to shut the little bastard/bitch up? And worst of all, do you believe what that voice tells you when it says you’re too lazy, too fat, too old, a poor partner, parent or child? Are you sick of being your own worst enemy? If so, you’re definitely not alone, but it’s time to make a change. You can be tough on yourself when you need to be but beating yourself up for making a mistake or failing won’t help you at all. How would you react if a friend constantly pointed out all your flaws to you? I’m sure you wouldn’t accept that type of criticism from a friend, so why do you accept it from yourself? Get real. That’s bullshit! Stop running that faulty software and start playing a positive “playlist” in your head.
I’m not here to tell you that it’s as easy as one, two, three or that it can be done overnight. On the contrary, it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of time. You need perseverance and grit. And it won’t hurt to throw in some optimism, either. Let’s face it, if it were that easy, no one would have this problem. Everyone would have super-high self-esteem and loads of confidence. Your inner voice is the enemy of self-confidence. Everyone has an internal critic, myself included. He’s like an evil shadow that whispers lies in my ears, but I’ve learned to ignore him. It doesn’t matter how successful you are, that annoying shit is bound to surface at some point. It’s part and parcel of being human. Yet, we make ourselves feel bad for having negative self-talk. And guess what – that’s music to the ears of your inner critic.
The way you talk to yourself is powerful, and the wrong message can be toxic to your soul. Positive self-pep talks can work wonders while a constant barrage of negative conversations will become a major obstacle to reaching your goals and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not only is this self-destructive, it prevents you from facing your fears and reduces your feelings of self-worth. Would you tell your friends that they’ll never be successful or that they aren’t as good as other people? I certainly hope not. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t have to deal with your inner critic. Your inner critic will try to make life difficult for you, mostly by trying to complicate things.
Why people can’t stop
Psychologist Leon Seltzer of Del Mar, California, says, “you can’t ever stop ‘cracking the whip’ on yourself for fear that if you don’t, the disapproval and rejection that seems imminent will become your reality.” In other words, you feel that if you stop beating yourself up, you’ll experience rejection and disapproval. That’s not true, of course, but your inner voice makes you afraid to take a chance. Moreover, he adds, “when you do something well, you won’t jump for joy but merely breathe a sigh of relief: You’ve escaped from being criticized or censored. Your inner critic attacks and undermines you to protect you from the shame of failure, saying shame on you if you fail, so don’t bother to try.” And if you don’t try, you won’t evolve.
Don’t be afraid to act. According to Marisa Peer, author of “I Am Enough,” people who sit on the couch all day and do nothing, do so because they think they’re not enough. They’re afraid of failure, rejection and that those things will confirm they are indeed not enough. So, they do nothing. “But when you believe that you’re enough, that’s when you take action. That’s when you out and try something new. That’s when you ask for that raise. Because you’re enough.” Because you’re “unfuckwithable,” which means you’re at peace with yourself. Nothing anyone says or does bothers you. No negativity can touch you. You don’t seek validation from others because you know that you’re enough. To become “unfuckwithable” you must replace fear with courage. You must stop trying to get things you think you need to get from other people. You must feel secure enough to not need others to give you confirmation.
Silencing your inner critic
As I wrote earlier, your inner critic will try to make life complicated. You can prevent that by focusing on small, small steps forward and stop worrying about the end result. Here are a few ways to get your inner monologue on the right path. Remember, it’s going to take hard work and perseverance. Don’t expect instant success, but don’t give up. Like anything else, you’ll need to practice, practice and practice some more.
1. Pay attention to what you’re thinking. Remember that just because you’re thinking something doesn’t make it true. We often exaggerate things. Don’t replay bad events or mistakes. That will only remind you of what you did. What’s more, the more you tell yourself not to think about something, the more you’ll focus on it. Get physically active instead.
2. Would you say this to your child or your best friend? Stop and think about this. Why would you tell your child that he or she isn’t smart enough, that they’re too fat or untalented? You’re more likely to them to believe in themselves and that they can do anything they set their mind to.
3. Don’t believe what you’re thinking. Examine the evidence. Recognize when you’re exaggerating. Look at the pros and cons in an unbiased and rational manner. Replace negative statements with positive ones.
4. Practice self-gratitude. Write down or say the things you’re grateful for. Over and over!
5. Remind yourself that you’re awesome. Even if you don’t believe it right now. Give yourself a little pep talk and think about your strengths. Sometimes, you need to remind yourself that you can take on whatever life throws at you! And last but not least, get up every morning, tell that evil inner voice to shut the fuck up, look yourself in the mirror and say: “I’ve got this. I’m worthy. I’m enough! I was born enough!