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“I realized that I had never truly disliked my body or been unhappy with it at all, I never believed that my body was unhealthy or anything less than awesome – those were things that people told me that I had taken bought into subconsciously. At that point I had to ask myself if I really wanted my self-concept to be based on the ideas of a prejudiced world? Did I really want to make those beliefs my own? Were they serving me?”—Get Your Inner Critic Drunk « Dances With Fat
Silencing the inner critic
There’s a voice inside your head that often times stops you from doing the things you love to do. It might tell you you’re not good enough. It might tell you that shirt that you really do love looks absolutely horrible on you. That voice might even tell you not to pursue your dreams, for fear that you might not go far. It might tell you many things, but none of what it tells you is a certain statement. It’s all assumptions, all negative perceptions you have created in your mind. Your mind has brewed it over the years. As a result, the inner critic within you was created.
The inner critic is negative. He or she (depending on what you want to adhere to) is brutal. The inner critic stops you from succeeding and following your goals without a good reason. It might be that someone told you something about yourself that made you feel bad. It could be that you failed once, and you stopped trying after. Viewing these circumstances in a negative light only makes the inner critic stronger. It lets the inner critic take control of you. Because of this, you begin to view everything in a negative light. You stop working on your goals, because as soon as you begin, the inner critic begins to attack you.
Now the inner critic might be strong. They might be the monster that follows you everywhere you go. They might be lurking behind you, making sure you don’t get too far. They might be many evil things, but the inner critic is not you. The inner critic is a fragment of you that can disappear if you so please. You want the inner critic to leave you alone? Start taking risks. Make goals and push yourself twice as hard to accomplish them. If you’re feeling negative about yourself, take the extra hour to look good. Work hard, so that you can defeat the inner critic. If it is your writing that you are worried about sharing, take the risk of sharing it. Realize that you’re not trying to please others, you are doing it because it makes you happy. If it makes you feel good to try a new style of clothing, then do it. People will criticize you whether you’re doing something wrong or right. The fear of their criticism should not hold you back. It should not transfer to your mind and become your inner critic. If anything, it should make you stronger. Let it be the reason that you try extra hard to do what you do.
The inner critic was created by those around you. Everyone has their own perception of what is perfect and what is right. That does not necessarily mean that it is correct, or that you should adhere to their beliefs. The more you worry about how others will feel about you doing something, the more the inner critic will grow. If you’re doing things with the correct intention, then keep moving forward. Recognize that your happiness matters. Realize that you’re doing something good, and push yourself to continue. The audience is filled with all sorts of people. Some will hate what you do. Others will criticize what you do. There are some who will have no opinion on what you do. But then, there are those who will love and value what you do. They will look up to you for being who you are, and you will touch their hearts. However, you will not ever know what that feels like if you allow for your inner critic to hold you back.
Do what you want to, because you might not have the chance to do it in the future. You never know when your last breath will be. While you have all these breaths to take, take them while you’re following your goals and aspirations. You’re not doing them to please those around you, you’re doing it to please your heart and soul. If what you’re doing is done with the correct intention and will not hurt anyone else, then what is holding you back? If you fail once, then make it your goal to pass twice. The inner critic can be silenced, but only if you truly believe in yourself.
A little dabble will do ya...
I set myself to a task today and I am not sure I can or will complete it. In fact in the mental place I am in now I feel like I cant do anything. I am feeling pretty down on myself, my abilities, my goals etc.
What set this me off on this oh so familiar trip of self defeat and self inflicted misery? ME recommending Google plus to someone and them not being interested. ME making a Gplus page about my task and wondering if it will actually go anywhere because on some level knowing that anywhere less than hugely successful is a failure. And I am contemplating a second page about ACOA crap since there is nothing like that out there. But who am I kidding? First off it would be a page of whining about how mean and toxic my parents were and what a failure I am because of that.What a downer. Does anyone really want to read things like that ? Does it really effect anyone like it does me. Yes I guess so but seriously I am no master of it and I am not sure I have much to offer except my thoughts. And arent there enough of them out there?
This what happens. I have ideas. Plans. Thoughts. And then I put some into action and then reality or maybe the critical voice hits. What the fuck do I know? Who am I to recommend anything and really what do I know in the first place? The fact is I AM a dabbler and I dont know much so why should I recommend or start anything??
And this task? Oh this is no little one day and done task. No. The task is to declutter the house and surroundings in a year to go along with all the other stuff I am getting rid of like my weight, my ACOA hangups and my lack of knowledge via school. For some reason I cant do things small. Nope I always need to dive into the deep end of things and do them big. A legend in my own mind.
However there is one thing that is different. A minor one. That one thing is that I am AWARE of whats going on. I am aware of my reactions, my feelings, I am aware of the critical voice telling me what a moron I am. It may still be that I have bitten off more than I can chew but if I fail it wont be because I am a moron but because I failed to follow through.
I know intellectually that it doesnt matter if I have zero or 100 followers. Success is following through. For me that is my single biggest challenge in anything I take on. And its a two edged sword because no task or goal goes on forever and there is a choice inevitably made that says….stop now. Finish up. And for a perfectionist like me that is a sure sign that it is not perfect and therefore a failure. If its not perfect its a failure. Nothing is perfect in my life but others are always perfect. Or so goes the warped thinking I have around the subject of me and the world.
I really need to reframe my thinking. Just because people cant see the future of G plus doesnt mean it wont succeed. I was a fan of Facebook before most people ever heard of it. Does that mean G+ will be a FB someday? Does it matter? I like it better and for me that is all that should count. never mind that I think FB has become som overloaded that I cant see how anyone can stand it anymore. But I also know what its like to just stay in a rut. Not everyone is as enamored of the computer as I am.
In regards to my page on decluttering and Minimalizing the stuff I own in the house. The only true failure is not trying at all. My point in creating this page was to hold myself accountable. MYSELF. One person, thats it. Accountable by going and posting it. Recording it. Watching my progress. Does it really matter if someone else sees it? My problem is is that I want approval from outside of me. I want others to laud my efforts and somehow that will make me…what? real? smarter? Brilliant? Ahead of my time? Quirky? I don’t know. Being recognized makes my point of view valid. Being valid means being accepted. And that is good.
There is some part of me that really wants to be recognized but its not a fame thing. I think its because I feel dismissed by my family so I want acceptance or feel liked by others. Because my family doesnt hear me I want others to hear and listen to me. Except I am not sure how or what to do to make that happen. But if it happens then it somehow assures me that I am not the idiot I seem to be. Or feel like.
I have always craved approval from others….family in particular because I never get it really without some sort of condition. And the fact is I never will get family approval even if I succeed wildly. They just wont really care or understand. And I need to get through my head that that is the best they can do. Its not to dismiss me necessarily its to protect themselves from their own fears and hangups.
Ultimately the only person that can really make me feel better about myself and approve of myself is me. It seems obvious but it doesnt usually make a dent in the wall of my hangups and ACOA perfectionism.
But maybe this post is a small dent after all. Just being able to write about it and explore it is rather like a snub in the face of of my demons, of that voice that criticizes. This post is saying….yeah I see you. Yeah you in the corner with the megaphone. ANd ya I hear you too but I am going to try and ignore you for the time being and turn my head away from you over and over and over again until it I forget why I was listening in the first place.
It shouldnt matter about that page, or about this blog but I would be lying to say it doesnt matter. I am human after all. But thats not the point. I am moved to write something.Anything.Here. I am moved to explore myself via writing. I always have been. And I suspect I always will be so why fight the inevitable.
Its a good fight and I feel good facing it. Most of the time.
Just another day with inner me...
- Me: *gets a Starbucks frapp. coffee (my favorite) from the fridge*
- Me: *sees my Wreck This Journal*
- Me: Meh. *opens it to the page where it says to "spill, drip, pour coffee on this page."*
- Me: *starts to pour it on the page*
- Inner me: WHAT ARE YOU DOING/?!
- Me: ..? Doing the Wreck This Journal?
- Inner me: WITH THE GOOD COFFEE?! You're a very very bad lady!
- Me: Jesus, here we go again...
- Inner me: This Miss Smith may tell you to spill, drip or pour coffee on this page but I demand yo--
- Me: *flicks coffee onto page*
- Inner me: AAAH! *sobs*
Dear Anxiety/Self-Doubt/Inner Critic,
You don’t own me. I own you.
To anyone who is paralyzed by anxiety,
to the point where you’re tired and on the brink of tears, I wish I could give you all a shoulder to lean on, a hand to hold on, a comforting hug to make it better. Because I know. I understand.
Whenever those kind of thoughts and emotions come, stand your ground, and either out loud or in your mind, say:
“Fuck YOU. Fuck this. You DON’T own me. I OWN YOU.”
And close the door on it.
Should it come back, say it again and again.
I am just as tired. Just about to lose my mind of having this kind of shit pull me back from living life.
Sometimes, anger is liberating. And sometimes, cursing never felt better than ever.
Tragedies happen. What’re you gonna do, give up? Quit? No. I realize now that when your heart breaks, you gotta fight like hell to make sure you’re still alive. ‘Cause you are, and that pain you feel: it’s life. The confusion and fear.. that’s there to remind you that somewhere out there is something better. And that something is worth fighting for. - One Tree Hill