For years, most all of us have read about our “inner child”. Sweet, vulnerable, and wants to play. Ahhhh….nice! Well, I have an “inner mean girl”. This is the voice inside my head saying things to me I would never let another person say to me! She seems to show up most often when I’m tired, made a mistake, or am feeling uncertain or insecure about myself. The things she says inside my head—-so mean and painful. Ouch.
Our Inner Mean Girl Loves a Mirror!
Why are we so “mean” to ourselves? I see it in the way we talk to ourselves and how we treat our bodies. In the morning when I look in the mirror, do I say lovingly to my reflection, “gee, you look fabulous today! Your arms and legs are so beautiful, your thighs so elegant, your lovely hair, and your eyes just sparkle?” Hardly. My conversation with my body goes more like this, “whoa, I sure look tired, look at those bags under my eyes. Where did those wrinkles come from? I’m so fat, so old, so fill-in-the-blank.” Sound familiar? Then I proceed to carefully analyze and criticize various body flaws. That is the “inner mean girl” speaking.
Tame Your Inner Mean Girl
So, what do you do to silence her? I have been doing this for awhile now and it really works (well, most of the time, anyway). First, acknowledge she exists. Second, tell her–“Stop it right now! I won’t tolerate such comments, from you or anyone.” Seriously, we would never say such things to someone else, nor allow someone to say them to us. Yet we regularly talk to ourselves like this. Finally, replace the criticism with a soothing voice of loving kindness, self-acceptance, and gratitude. Everyday make it a habit to notice something wonderful about yourself, your body, your personality and the beautiful person you are. (Today, I’m focusing on my eyes and my smile.) What about you?
The Power of Love
Cheryl Richardson, in her book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care, describes a powerful daily exercise of self-care. Stand in front of a mirror and look into your eyes and say out loud, “I love you.” This is not easy, but it is so powerful. Eventually this will overpower those “mean girl” comments! Try it…it really works.
Share with our Hourglass community how you’ve quieted your “inner mean girl”.