For me, 2016 was mentally, spiritually and emotionally charged. It was 366 days of face plants and feeling not good enough, peppered with some of the most soul-liberating experiences of my life. I became part of a tribe that breathed oxygen into the embers of my soul; I found a man that sees the world the way I do; and I finally began to experience the joy of living in the moment. Against all I’m hearing, 2016 was a fan-freaking-tastic year.
As amazing the year, I am still troubled by my mental gremlins and inner nay-sayers. The kind that insidiously infuse my thoughts with sharp and pointed words. I have never been so self-aware, and it highlights a thought that has played and continues to mercilessly plague my mind:
I’m not good enough
As a fiercely independent woman running her own business and home, the voice that speaks ‘I’m not good enough’ feels paralyzing and wholly incongruent. The more I noticed the relentless renegade on my confidence, the more I realized that this four-word sentence tortures me daily – hourly even. It’s a tape on constant loop.
But I can’t be the only one, right? I had to know. I reached out to some of my heroines and I was shocked. My idols beat themselves up, too! I guess even Queen B rests her crown while she falls apart.
You’re still not good enough…
Goddamn. Do you hear that? I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of this voice getting the most airtime in my head. It drags me further away from what I desperately desire to be. My suspicion? This small voice, my Inner Critic, wants to see me fail.
What a bitch…
If you’re noticing me talk about this ‘not good enough’ voice as a separate entity, you’d be 100% correct. If I’ve learned anything about my scatterbrain, it’s that not all the voices I hear are my own, and some voices aren’t worth my attention. While some are humbly brilliant, other voices appear to exist for myself decimation or evolutionary speaking, my protection.
Either way, my Inner Critic’s voice isn’t one I want myself or clients to hear, and so I’d like to share how we wage war to win our ‘not good enough’ battles.
How to win the ‘I’m not good enough’ battle with yourself
1. Observe when this voice comes to mind.
- In what situations does your Inner Critic’s voice grow louder?
- How do you feel when its voice roars?
- What does the voice sound like? Angry, defeated, lost, sinister?
2. Ask yourself the purpose of the ‘not good enough’ voice.
- What is the voice trying to protect you from?
- What might your Inner Critic be trying to tell you?
3. Notice your natural tendency with this voice.
- What is your go-to reaction when you hear your Inner Critic?
- Do you amplify it like a loudspeaker or become weighed down by its heavy fog?
- How do you want to react?
4. Watch how the Voice influences your actions.
- What happens when you internalize your ‘not good enough’ voice?
- How does it affect your interactions with people around you, particularly loved ones?
Flip the Script + Shift Gears!
5. Question the cost-benefit OF believing this voice at face value.
- What benefit is there for you to invest in the belief of ‘I’m not good enough’?
- What will it cost you to listen to your Inner Critic?
6. Find an ally.
- You have many voices in your head bigger than this niggling one. Find it.
- When do you hear your bigger, calm and omnipotent voice emerge? Yes, you have one.
- What do they sound like? What advice might this voice offer you for your Inner Critic battle?
- Name it. Name your Inner Sage and love them intensely. They want you to succeed.
The Power of Choice
As long as we’re breathing there will always be a version of the ‘I’m not good enough’ tape on repeat in our heads. How loudly we play the tape, how often we hit play, and how we choose to dance to it is another story. If your Inner Critic is loud, stop, drop, and choose another voice to help you along.
I am constantly astounded by the tenacity and resourcefulness of humans. We have such capacity to love each other beyond measure, and it’s only a matter of practice for us to extend this love inwards.
// K xo