Recently I attended a fabulous event in London, hosted by the brilliant
Kelly Pietrangeli of Project Me for Busy Mothers.
I spent a whole day in the company of amazing, like-minded women and we got to focus on our Health & Wellbeing, away from the usual distractions of our busy lives.
It was nurturing, nourishing, inspiring and action-focused.
During the day we learned from a number of expert speakers on important topics including self-care, nutrition, exercise, mental health, etc.
I left feeling inspired and motivated, contemplating not just my health and wellbeing aspirations, but my overall desires and goals. Including some for my coaching practice.
As I continued to reflect on my goals back at home, unbeknown to me, the voice of my Inner Critic sneakily crept in.
This is a snippet of what she had to say to me:
- All those expert speakers at the workshop are so much further ahead than you – you’re an amateur compared to them!
- They have thousands in their networks – your numbers are pathetic in comparison, you’ll never be where they are!
- Your work and your message are just as important, yet you’re playing so small – why can’t you get your act together?!
- Face it – you just haven’t got what it takes on the business front – you’re never going to make a real impact – why are you even trying?!
- Admit it, you’re not smart enough.. those other women are the real deal, you’re a fraud – and you’re going to be found out soon anyway!
And on and on that (not so) lovely voice went.
The thing is.. I didn’t even recognise it was my Inner Critic speaking at first..
I know, I know.. I’m a coach and I teach this stuff!
I can recognise it immediately when my clients are doing it to themselves and shut it down in a nano-second!
Yet, for myself, on this occasion, not so much…
Our minds can be convincing and persuasive and conniving!
I thought it was simply the voice of reason/truth/fact.
I allowed my Inner Critic to taunt me over the following few days.
No prizes for guessing how I was feeling about myself.. yep, pretty shitty!
Moment of Clarity
In a moment of clarity during a long, hot bath, I finally realised what I was doing to myself.
Immediately, I remembered THERE IS NO UPSIDE to mentally beating yourself up.
Zip. Zero. Nada. None.
Compare and despair is about as helpful as it sounds!
You may be thinking.. Yeah but – don’t we need to give ourselves a swift kick up the backside sometimes to propel us into action?
Isn’t our harsh self-judging voice useful sometimes?
And – there’s an important distinction to make:
Beating yourself up is not the same as giving yourself some tough love.
In my example:
- Did I need a self-loving kick up the arse to set some deadlines for my goals, and then commit to achieving them?
- Do I need to examine where I’m playing small and overcome the fears holding me back?
- Do I need to nudge myself out of my comfort zone and take some scary actions?
- Do I need to take action before I feel ready?
That’s a completely different thing to beating myself over the head with a metaphorical stick.
My Message from the Universe
Immediately after my bathtub aha moment, I picked up my phone and opened two emails from coaches I follow.
The first one said: ‘I am kind to myself, always. No exceptions.’
The second: ‘Everything always comes back to self-love.’
I smiled to myself, and thought:
Yep, OK Universe, I hear you – message received loud and clear!
Time to get back to walking my talk.
What is Your Inner Critic Judging you for?
Your Inner Critic will have a different script to mine.
Maybe yours is harshly judging you for a variation of one of these scenarios:
- You haven’t been happy in your marriage for years, and you haven’t figured out how to change things – so you’ve stayed stuck
- You feel like you don’t know who you are anymore, let alone what you want, so you have no idea where to start to improve things
- You have career aspirations of your own but you’re afraid you haven’t got what it takes, so you’ve been procrastinating instead of taking action on your goals
The ways in which we judge ourselves are infinite and endless – and exhausting!
Think of it this way:
If your child, or your best friend, ie somebody you really, really love and want the absolute best for, was struggling in an area of their lives, how would you support them?
Would you tell them they’re a joke, a fraud, a failure, they haven’t got what it takes, they might as well not even bother trying to create what they want because they’ll just f*ck it up anyway!?
Or would you be encouraging, nurturing, loving, kind, compassionate, supportive?
Would you ask them what they’re afraid of, and encourage them to talk through their doubts and fears?
Would you support them and reassure them any way you could?
Would you tell them how brilliant and fabulous and amazing they are, and that you believe in them 100% and know they can achieve absolutely anything they set their minds to?
Of course you would.
It’s a no-brainer when we think about offering this kind of love and support to others.
So often, we don’t afford that same love, kindness and compassion to ourselves.
And then we wonder why we stay stuck and talk ourselves out of creating what we really want.
My Commitment to Myself
I really like the thought of adopting a new ‘rule’ of being kind to myself. Always.
So that’s what I’ve decided.
That’s how I am committing to treating myself in future.
From now on: I am kind to myself. Always. No exceptions.
What about you?
Will you join me?
Do you want your own Moment of Clarity in your Life and Marriage?
Are you ready to leave the self-judgement behind and get the support you need to move forward
in your life and marriage?
If so, I can help.
If you’d like to talk through your situation in a safe, confidential space, I would love to offer you a complimentary Mini Clarity Session.
You’ll gain the first step to clarity and we’ll explore if my approach is right for you.
To book your slot, contact me and write ‘Clarity Session’ in the subject line. I’ll get straight back to you.