How do you talk to yourself? Are you even listening?
You’re a failure. Why do you even try?
You're a mess.
You're such an idiot.
You never follow through on anything.
What's one more drink? It'll make you feel better.
You had a hard day? Eat something. That'll take care of it.
She's got everything, and you don't.
You don't deserve this.
Nobody has to know.
Would you talk to your best friend that way? How would you feel if you heard your child talking to himself that way?
Until a few months ago I wasn't fully conscious of what I was telling myself. Some of these thoughts seemed so innocent. Instead, they were pure poison.
A thought loop that kept arguing for my own limitations. And guess what happens when you argue for your limitations? You get to keep them.
At the root was neglect. An unwillingness to take responsibility for my own happiness. So often we look externally to find joy. Seeking pleasure from drugs, porn, food or alcohol, affirmation from friends or family, or the latest purchase online. Instead of cultivating joy within.
When we stop expecting outside sources to make us happy, and start showing up for ourselves, we establish integrity with the person who matters most. Integrity is the foundation for self-love, and from there we not only treat ourselves a lot better, but everyone else around us.
For many years I would overeat or overdrink to feel better, and then refuse to weigh myself in the morning. I was all a big lie. Instead of processing my feelings, I buried them. And then the next morning I refused to look myself in the eye and own up to the truth of my choices.
I thought I could hide from myself. But truth has a way of rising.
I decided that instead of arguing for my limitations, I would start making a case for my best self. For everything she is capable of, deserves and was made for. I would stop accepting my inner critic's opinion, and start voicing my own truth. I would start having her back.
This was a big shift from expecting other people to make me happy. For so long I wished the people I loved would change. That they would act the way I thought they should, so I might feel better about myself. But guess what? People get to be who they are.
There is abundant freedom in that thought.
And I get to take responsibility for myself. For past choices, and future successes. It's an empowering thought. I choose to show up for myself everyday, determined to achieve my goals. I build evidence for how I honor myself, by the commitments I make with my time, the way I treat my body, and how I hold my thoughts accountable.
It turns out the best feeling in the world is knowing I've got my own back.