As you probably saw on our Instagram, on this day of love, I’m not only sending out a whole ton of love to the people closest to me, but I’m also taking the time to break up with a little somebody. Somebody that’s been tearing me apart on the pretext of love for as long as I’ve known them.
That’s right, I’m choosing today, Valentine’s Day, as the day I break up with that nasty piece of work I like to call my inner self critic. I didn’t know it existed, this self critic of mine; I wasn’t aware enough to acknowledge it. In fact, it wasn’t until I went through some major life crisis and I finally found a therapist that I liked (after many failed attempts) that I began to unpack all of the things that were holding me down, pulling me into a deep dark place where I knew I didn’t like to be. Through therapy and meditation I was able to bring to light the negative self talk that I had been doing for years. The tape that played on repeat in my brain, spouting things like:
“You’re way too fat, don’t wear that.”
“Ya, right, they won’t take you seriously, who do you think you are?”
“Your first business failed, so did your marriage; why do you keep pretending there’s any hope for you?”
I would grimace as I passed mirrors, sob before public events and allow this negative voice in my head run my life and wear down the positive, hardworking, self-loving side of myself that I used to know and love.
So I wrote a letter. I wrote a letter to my inner self critic to address it head on, and though I found the task much harder than I thought it was on first assignment, it was almost freeing when it was done. Yes, I felt crazy, but once I got to writing, once I finally acknowledged this voice in my head, this tape on repeat, I felt a funny sort of freedom.
We all have inner self critics (some louder than others). They can be helpful from time to time to keep your head from floating constantly in the clouds, but if you are finding that voice is getting a tad bit too loud, here are some things that have helped me. I hope they help you, too!
- Acknowledge that your self critic exists by writing it a letter.
- Meditate. Meditation allows you to acknowledge when your mind is running off. Especially helpful when it runs off into a dark place.
- When a harsh thought comes in, acknowledge it and replace it with something kinder.
- Think about how the negative thoughts you are having would affect you when you were younger. How would it make your 6 year old self feel?
It ain’t easy, and it’s a constant battle, but I’m getting there; I’m starting to doubt myself a little less, and love myself a little more. It’s hard, isn’t it, being hard on ourselves? Tell me about your story in the comments, so we can all share the love on this day.
Photo by Samantha Clarke