I was thinking about writing a letter last night. It was going to go something like this:
We are done.
I’m breaking up with you.
I am finished dealing with your mean and unkind words to me.
How do you manage to come up with the jabs and deep cuts to my soul and my confidence?
You seem to know exactly where to lodge the worst possible words.
How do you hurtle such perfectly worded phrases to the softest, weakest part of me?
I don’t know how you do it.
One minute I can be feeling so secure and the minute you show up my confidence vanishes and all my insecurities think they can trample me down.
Being around you gets me discouraged and depressed.
This is your notice. I will no longer allow you to come around me.
Who was I writing this note to?
My Inner Mean Girl.
Last night I was ready to tell her to get lost.
I was meditating and ready to give her the boot.
But I knew she’d be back.
She likes to show up and make me doubt myself.
Her favorite thing is when I ruminate over all the things I should have, could have done or been.
She likes to remind me you’re not measuring up.
You’re not keeping up.
You’re not good enough.
You didn’t do enough.
There’s always going to mountains more for you to do.
Other people are successful, not you.
You don’t have enough experience.
You’re too old.
You should have this all figured out by now.
She tells me all kinds of things.
She tries to get me to listen to her.
I try to shut her up.
Sometimes it works.
Sometimes she stays quiet for a long time.
Inevitably, though. She comes out of hiding at the worst possible times.
She likes to show up when I have a new idea that’s moved out of idea phase and into action stage.
Last night, I decided to try a new approach.
I put the letter to my inner mean girl on hold.
Instead, I thought I could write her a letter that went something like this:
You’re right. I don’t know what I’m doing right now.
It’s okay. I’m trying something I’ve never done before. I’m not supposed to know what I’m doing.
I’m going to let myself feel insecure. A little wobbly. A little shaky.
However, I’m not going to believe the stories you’re telling me. I’m not going to believe the mean words.
I’m not going to get all dramatic about what people are thinking about me or if I’m doing this right or wrong or if I’m on time or late.
I’m not going to buy into the stories this time.
Instead, I’m going to love what is happening right now.
When you try to tell me I’m not doing enough, I’m going to love that I’m stretching.
I’m going to tell myself I’m doing enough. I’m showing up.
I’m going to tell myself I’m doing the best I can to show up as my best self today.
I’m not going to take myself too seriously.
I’m going to laugh.
I’m going to dance around and risk looking silly.
I’m going to high five myself.
I’m going to make mistakes and it’s okay and can even be fun.
I can do this from a place of joy and love and delight.
When I begin to think that others need to tell me I’m doing a good job. I’m going to tell myself I’m doing a good job.
Because the truth is, I’m the only one I’ll believe.
When I believe in me, then the sky is the limit.
So thanks, inner mean girl voice. I appreciate you reminding me: I get to decide what I think.
Thank you for letting me know when you’re around, it reminds I get to be responsible for me.
I know you sometimes feel insecure. It’s okay.
We can do this together. You and me. We’ve got this.
We can do this without the drama.
We can love what is. We can be open not fearful.
Let’s see where this takes us.
Last night I realized it’s time to stop resisting my inner mean girl.
Let her have her say. Tell her: thank you very much.
And then choose the thoughts I want to have about myself.
Why did all of this come about?
I was being coached by my coach. My coach said several things.
I wanted to be offended.
But I also didn’t want to be offended. I wanted to be open.
That’s why I show up there. I wanted to learn.
I wanted to practice. I wanted to become better.
I thought all day about this experience.
I was tempted to tell myself stories about how embarrassing it was. It was a group practice in front of 12 other people.
I was tempted to worry about what my new coaching friends thought.
I was tempted to give into the drama of all these things.
I knew it wasn’t what I really wanted from myself though.
I wanted more. I wanted to clean up my thoughts about me. I wanted to pick new thoughts and new patterns.
Instead, I chose compassion for this little girl part of me who is insecure and afraid.
I decided to invite her along so that together we could grow up.
Together we could choose a different experience.
Maybe as we both get more grown up, she will have less mean things to say.
Maybe I will get better at choosing what thoughts I want to think.
Maybe I will get better at being open.
Maybe I will get even better at loving who I am right now.
To having more compassion for you,
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