We all have that inner voice. You know the one, the one who says things you wouldn’t say to your worst enemy, the one who says the most hurtful things imaginable, the one who makes you feel like a piece of crap.
So how do you deal with that little bitch? Here are a few ideas…
- Name her/him. It is nice if you can identify the inner voice. Name her something you will remember and something that does not invoke good thoughts. Mine is named Lucy after the character in the Peanuts series—the one who pulls the football away from Charlie Brown while he is kicking it, the one who professes to know so much she can charge for psychiatric help, the one who is generally a pain in the ass. Yep, that one. It’s much easier to say “Shut up, Lucy!” than to say “Shut up, annoying inner voice.” It’s easier to give a “face” to the inner voice so you know what you’re dealing with.
- Be aware. Be aware of when your inner voice is saying hurtful things. Stop what you’re doing, think about whether any of the things she is saying are true (because they usually are not), and refocus on the positive. If you made a mistake on something and your Lucy is telling you “You are so stupid,” or “how can you keep making these same dumb mistakes,” you can stop, think, and refocus those things into “I’m so smart that I can learn from mistakes and not make them again,” or “I’m so creative I make different mistakes so I can learn lots of different things.”
- Be nice to yourself. Get used to saying nice things to yourself. Things like “Girl, you’re rocking that outfit,” “Super great hair day!,” “Watch out world, I’ve got my sassy pants on today!” Because seriously, dude, you ARE rocking that outfit, your hair is amazing, and those sassy pants . . . mmm, mmm, mmm. Find something to love and say something every single day. Like every day. Even on those days where you feel like your craptitude is at all-time high. Knock that bitch down a notch with your own sassy ass self. You, darlin’, are you. And YOU are amazing.
- Practice gratitude. It is really important to practice gratitude. Every day come up with at least three things you’re grateful for and make one of them about yourself. Then write them down in a notebook so you can look back and see how awesome your life really is. If you can come up with more than three, go for it. But you can always come up with three. Always. Even if one is “I’m out of bed,” that’s something to be grateful for!
- Look in the mirror. Actually look in the mirror. I find myself not really looking most of the time, but make it a point to actually look. Look at those beautiful blue/green/brown/amazing eyes. Look at that smile that travels to your eyes. Look at those lines that prove you have lived a good life and give your face character. See the little things that make you you and are the things that those who love you love about you. Don’t look to complain about the things that aren’t perfect—perfect is no fun—look at the things that are uniquely and wonderfully you.
- Try something different. Have you been using the same shade and brand of eyeshadow for the last 10, 15, 20 years? Go into a MAC store or Ulta or Sephora and get a makeover. Watch how and what they apply (if you like the new look). Watch YouTube videos for how to apply makeup for particular characteristics on your face. Small changes can have a big impact. If you only wear lipstick for special occasions, start wearing it every day. Experiment until you find a shade that makes everyone say “Wow! You look great today!” and then wear it. Do NOT drop it in your bathroom drawer with the other 15 tubes never to be seen again. USE IT!
- Be happy. No matter what, be happy. You’re beautiful, you’re amazing, and you’re breathing.
- Notice the little things. Find the little things—the stray flower peeking out of the crack in the sidewalk, the person walking by you who smiles, the child skipping down the street. Actually look up from your phone and pay attention to all that is going on in the world around you. There are little things happening every minute of every day and if you just get to watch even a few, it can make a difference.
So this is just a list to start with. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not enough because, damn it, you are. You are enough for you—and in the end, that’s all that really matters. Change your craptitude to a serious bosstitude. You’ve got this, girl, so go rock it!