I substitute taught in Relief Society yesterday. The lesson was the “Good Shepherd, Lamb of God” by Elder Gong. I was well prepared, I felt guided by the Spirit and we had a good discussion with lots of participation. I felt good during the lesson, but as I gathered up my things to go home my inner mean voice started in. These are some of the things she had to say to me – “You didn’t share enough scriptures”, “You didn’t have enough quotes from the lesson”. My inner voice had a LOTS to say – all the way home from church and into my house. The inner chatter continued during the afternoon while I ignored it, but soothed my thoughts with dark chocolate almond butter cups, a bag of popcorn and a nap. After my nap I felt ready to take charge of that inner voice. “Hey – inner mean girl – I don’t listen to you any more – you are not helpful to me.” I interrupted her every time she pointed out a new short coming. I repeated, “I don’t listen to you anymore”, with my hands over my ears and saying “La, la, la – I can’t hear you” over and over.
This is something that has plagued me my entire life. I do something and then the inner critic starts. I usually end up doing the things that I planned to do, but feeling like I did a terrible job and everyone hated it. Sound familiar to anyone? I’ve spent a couple of years working on that inner voice and I think that she and I are coming to terms with each other. I continue to talk, write, speak and share however I know this mean girl, inner critic comes along for the ride. I know this part of my brain is trying to protect me and keep me safe, but I can’t stand up and share if I let her take over, she’s too pushy and if I listen to her, I would never speak in public – or publish a blog post, or take a stand or anything else. My response to her now is, “Ok girlfriend, I know you are there, but I am NOT listening to you anymore.” I still need to watch out for times when I am really tired, and do my best not to turn to chocolate for comfort. I know that causes more problems than it solves. Knowing when I am weak gives me a chance to plan ahead for those times when a nap will work better than a snack. I am learning patience with myself as I learn to overcome that inner mean girl voice. I am not perfect, merely learning and trying. She’s probably never going away, but I’ve convinced her to stay in her corner most of the time and be very quiet.
What about you? Do you have an inner mean girl talking to you?
What have you done to stop listening to her?