What if you want desperately to choose happy but the voices in your head keep getting in the way? Sometimes we can’t see the things that hold us back from our best lives. Often they are bad habits, outdated processes, or poor attitudes that we’ve had for so long we can’t see them anymore.
One of the biggest roadblocks to success that most women have is one that stealthily breaks down everything we do. Our inner critic.
This is an adaption of an article I wrote several years ago. I happened to open up an old file and there it was. Considering that I haven’t written here in two months and I’ve been kicking myself for not working harder and doing more … it seemed very apropos. Am I the only one that struggles with this?
Do you constantly make derogatory remarks about yourself?
I do and I bet you do, too. I want to choose happy. I want to be seen as confident and accomplished but…
Honestly most of the women I know are comfortable tearing themselves down – especially those who’ve been in some sort of abusive relationship. It seems like once you are free of your abuser you take on that role for yourself. And… for those that haven’t experienced abuse?
Well… society kind of requires it. I mean, only stuck up prideful people are proud of their accomplishments, right?
Why Don’t We Just Choose Happy?
There is no way I’d let someone talk to my spouse, my kids, or my friends that way that I talk to myself and yet I bet that I spend 1/24th of my day at least bashing myself silently or sharing my failings with anyone who’ll listen.
I think we do it for the following reasons…
- I’ll do it before someone else does… it’s less painful that way.
- I’m used to it because of past relationships and I’m comfortable with it.
- I don’t want anyone to think I am stuck up or think that I think that I’m “all that”.
- I believe it to be true.
If you’ve been told in verbal or nonverbal ways, or both, that you aren’t attractive, smart, or capable for a period of time by someone who is important in your life you accept it.
Even if it wasn’t a parent or other adult we are often be affected by the things our peers have said.
In My Opinion…
I’ve raised 8 pretty amazing kids that do pretty amazing, out of the ordinary things. I run a six figure business that I built myself. I speak at conferences. I’ve been on TV. I make a living as a writer and have published books. How important the books are is largely a matter of opinion.
And that, my friends, is the crux of the thing.
It’s all about the opinion and opinions can be changed–just observe the politician of any party. Are you still using someone else’s opinions of you as your own opinion of yourself?
How Do We Stop?
So we have a habit of entertaining a poor opinion of ourselves. One of the big problems with this is that it doesn’t allow us to be the world changers we were meant to be. How can you be a force of good to your demographic if you habitually see yourself as just “ok”?
We know habits can be broken, and opinions can be changed–it’s certainly not easy, but it’s doable.
Change Your Inner Loop. This Is Where You Choose Happy
We all have it. That loop that goes around and around in our head – a cacophony of voices from our past telling us our faults. Do something wrong? Make a mistake? Fail in some way?
Forget to make your damn bed in the morning? Gain 2 pounds?
It’s like an alarm going off and they all start at once. Stupid! Lazy! Fat! Undisciplined!
Next time shush them. Just speak up, aloud to those voices and say I disagree. You’re wrong. I am ________ and I choose happy!
Fill in that blank with one of your strengths and speak it aloud to yourself.
Develop Your Friendships with Other Women that Choose Happy, Too
My friends know I am not perfect, and they love me in spite of this, or, I should say, because of this (I almost said, go figure). They are honest, and I know it. I can call any one of them to talk to when I am depressed or struggling. They see me as worthy, capable, attractive, and so on, so when I am with them, I tend to see myself through their eyes.
Only two of them are local. The rest are from all over the world and, while I’ve met a few at conferences, for the most part I’ve never seen them in person.
That’s ok. Friendship is friendship!
Make a List and Use It
Make a list of your strengths, your accomplishments, and the good things you do. Speak it aloud for 2 minutes every day minimum. Let yourself know that you are completely loyal to you. At the end of the 2 minutes say, “I choose happy!”.
Extend Grace to Yourself
This always is hard for me. I am a perfectionist. I like my house to be immaculate but that rarely happens anymore. I tell my husband often that he got what the ex left of me when he was done…basically leftovers.
Way to be appealing, right?
Well, truthfully my husband loves me as I am now. He has never known me any other way. Obviously he wasn’t expecting perfection when he married me.
At least I hope he wasn’t.
Truthfully I am doing the best I can every day. Some days are better than others. And that’s got to be good enough.
Changing behavior takes time. You’ll do great for a few days and then stumble, and that’s OK. The important thing is to get right back onto that wagon. Choose to consistently encourage yourself, choose happy, and believe all the good things.
Change your opinion–you’ve been believing a lie anyway. And here’s the thing – your opinion of yourself, your inner dialogue will be reflected in your blog, your website, your webinars, your books, videos, and in your brand.
No one wants to do business with a loser and, if the vibe you are tossing around yourself like glitter is negative it repels your potential clients, your potential friends, and your potential tribe.
Not only that but, without sounding too “stoned-1968-hippie”, it repels good fortune, prosperity, and success.
Ready to succeed? To be the best you that you’ve ever been?
Me, too. Leave a comment and tell me what you like best about you.