This week’s blog post is going to be a more personal and quite honestly a more vulnerable post.
A big part of the work that I do with my clients is around changing limiting beliefs. This aspect of what I do has been born out of my own experience of the power that comes from recognizing how beliefs can trap you without you realizing it. This is a story of how one of my beliefs almost took me out this past weekend.
I had the joy of being with three of my closest friends this weekend. These are women I have known for years and they get me like few others. Last week we kicked off an annual girls’ weekend with a trip to Las Vegas.
My inner critic likes to remind me how not enough I am and my “I’m not enough” belief was triggered in a big way on this trip.
We stayed at one of the nicest hotels on The Strip and when I first walked in Holly (my inner critic) whispered, “You’re not rich enough to be here”. Forget that the trip was already paid for; she still wanted me to know that I didn’t have the bank account to match the other guests who were checking in.
She also reminded me that I wasn’t fashionable enough since I was wearing my favorite pair of travel shoes, my trusty Crocs, along with my favorite pair of Old Navy jeans. I felt decidedly not enough, as I looked around at the other very well dressed patrons in the hotel lobby.
The next day my friends and I went shopping (my LEAST favorite activity of all time). The Strip has a lot of high-end shops that normally I would have no problem being in and have shopped in before but Holly had gotten a foothold in my thoughts the day before so I was already primed for her while we shopped.
Again, the “you are not good enough” to be in those stores went off. And then my favorite ‘not enough’ was triggered when we walked into a lingerie store, where my “you’re not thin enough” belief was triggered. By this point I was starting to shut down completely.
Thankfully I was able to get out from underneath her assault before she could ruin my weekend. Here are the three things I did while wrestling with my inner critic.
Acknowledged how I was feeling
I was tempted to blow past what I was feeling and either numb it away or pretend I wasn’t feeling anything at all. Numbing is how I used to respond to negative feelings but I understand now that avoiding the feelings only creates more trouble for me later. Emotions WILL be felt; it’s just a question of time so I chose to feel them.
Part of acknowledging how I was feeling involved reaching out to one of my other friends who was not on the trip for support. I didn’t need her to fix how I was feeling over even to try to change my perspective; I only needed to say out loud that I was feeling crappy. Remarkably, this simple act set up the momentum I needed to get moving.
Extracted the truth
Every time my inner critic shows up, she takes a measure of truth and douses it with a whole lot of lies. But there’s just enough truth in there for all of it to feel like the truth.
To get through this I had to figure out what was true and what was a lie. There was some truth there, for example I am not as skinny as the other women but what wasn’t true is that this somehow diminished my worth.
By separating truth from lie I was able to take my power back from Holly and the weight I felt like I was carrying started lifting off me.
Made a new choice
This was the simplest but perhaps the hardest part of the process. I had to make the decision to start operating from a different belief system. The idea that I am not enough is familiar territory for me but it’s territory I’m no longer interested in living.
Believing I’m not enough has not created the life I want, if anything it has created the exact opposite. To have a new outcome I have to change what I believe and it all starts with making the choice to operate from a new belief system.
I often ask my clients, “what shifts or changes for you if you believe the opposite of what you’ve always believed?” I took my own medicine and started acting from this new belief.
It’s definitely easier said than done but it worked and by the time I got to dinner that night I was out of my funk and could share with my friends what I had gone through.
These tools proved really helpful as I battled my inner critic’s attempt to keep me from being fully present on this amazing trip. It won’t be the last time I’ll have to deal with her but I do believe it will get easier.
I have a free resource to help you in dealing with your own inner critic. You can click here to download it now.
Thanks for sticking with this longer than normal post.
From my heart to yours,
If you are wrestling with your inner critic and feel like you can’t win for losing, I would love to see how I might be able to support you. Click here to schedule a complimentary call where we can discover what life could be like for you if the voice of your inner critic wasn’t quite so loud.