Following up on my last post, I want to start talking about "living the list" when it comes to our relationships with our bodies. Let’s start with my first item: how to silence that “Inner Critic".
You know what I mean when I talk about the "Inner Critic". It’s that voice that says, “Boy, you look fat in that outfit," when you try on your clothes, or maybe a bit of, “Just who do you think you are...?” when you step out of the box and try a new look.
I’ve lived with my Inner Critic my entire life.
I grew up with the constant nagging feeling that I just “wasn’t good enough." I would continually undermine myself with what I wasn’t…and that list could be pretty long.
Who I actually was didn't matter.
Ignoring that Inner Critic never worked. She was (and still can be) too loud and obnoxious. Until I actually began to listen to my negative self-talk, I didn’t stand a chance. Rather than let it feed on itself and shut me down, I learned to funnel that negative energy into another direction.
How did I do it?
I channeled the energy generated by that internal monologue into positive things.
When my Inner Critic tries to run the show, I fight back by doing something positive, no matter how much I don’t feel like it.
Here are three ways I do it, to this day:
1) Create a different inner dialogue.
I take a deep breath and check in with myself:
1) What is really important to me?
2) What do I want?
3) What makes me feel good?
And then, I give myself time and space to really listen to my answers. I’ll write it down if that’s what it takes to get through the process. Make no mistake, it’s a battle!
Last night, all I wanted to do was crash and watch Netflix instead of showing up at my expressive dance group. I almost succumbed.
But I focused, and focused some more, and zeroed in on the fact that if I just went and did it, I’d feel good...I remembered that:
1) Feeling good is important to me.
2) I want to feel good.
3) Feeling good makes me feel good!
I tricked my resistance so that I could get around it and do what my body really wanted to do.
2) Hang with those who love you…especially puppies and babies.
See yourself in the eyes of others who love you. One of our readers wrote in that when she sees herself as her grandchildren see her, she remembers what’s really important…the love they share, and not how she looks.
I’m not blessed with grandchildren yet, but through the eyes of my 3-legged dog, Mitch, I am someone who is adored. When I allow myself to feel love, I feel better. It’s as simple as that.
3) Do something for someone else.
When I get out of myself and my own problems and give to someone else, I feel better. One day last week, I was overwhelmed with “stuff”. Endless to-do’s, challenges, and problems, and not enough positivity to tackle it all.
So, I left my office and wandered out to the Dye Studio to find Michelle, my talented and hard-working Lead Dyer, who was working solo that day. I told her I’d like to be her assistant for the next hour. After her initial reaction of surprise, she took me up on it.
For the next hour, I washed dirty dyeing bins, hung garments from the dryer, and worked side by side with her to help her accomplish her tasks. I got out of myself and did for another.
And yes, I felt better.
I would love to hear what you do to feel better when that Inner Critic is coming after you. What small or big things do you do to channel positive energy?
(I so appreciated all of your wonderful responses to my “Love the One You’re With” blog. You have so much collective wisdom, and I want to keep hearing it and sharing it!)
Head Girl in the Warehouse
Art of Cloth