Are you undermining your sense of self-worth? Is your self-esteem weakened by your words, thoughts and actions without you even realizing it? Are you taking your fabulousness for granted? Are you your own worst enemy?
Throughout our lives, we may be surrounded by those who are wolves in sheep clothing. They smile in our face while twisting the knife deep in our back. They pretend to be a friend, but their actions speak otherwise. They throw backhanded compliments designed to lure us into the trust zone. In time, we see them for what they really are: they are our enemy.
Once we identify our enemies, we know to be wary of them, to steer clear of them, to shield ourselves from them. But how do we protect ourselves from ourselves?
We often believe that our criticisms come from others, causing us to have feelings of sadness, confusion and even anger. But there’s also another voice lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce with harsh words, and we should be just as sad, just as confused, just as angry with this culprit. That offender is our inner critic.
The inner critic can be a destructive force that is the catalyst for condemning self-analysis, casts doubt on our abilities, is anxiety-provoking and, at times, can cripple us with fear and shame. One of the many unpleasantries about our inner voice is that it is corroborated by attitudes that we have long held about ourselves — views which are deeply engrained within us.
Your inner critic was tailor-made for castigation and, for you, it could be the mother of all saboteurs. Stop that voice in its tracks. When you look in the mirror and think or say things like, “I’m not as pretty as she is,” “I’m so stupid,” “I’m not worthy of love,” “Why didn’t I…,” “I’m not good enough,” or “I’m such a failure,” you negate everything that is right with you. To get a feel for the impact harsh, negative words can have on you, flip that negative talk around and speak in second person.
“You’re not as pretty as she is,” “You’re so stupid,” “You’re not worthy of love,” “Why didn’t you…,” “You’re not good enough,” or “You’re such a failure.”
When these words come out of the mouth of someone else, they sting. That they come from your mouth doesn’t make them any less acerbic.
Sabotage is real. Self-sabotage even more so. We’ve all likely been guilty of demeaning ourselves with our words. In the midst of our diatribe, we fail to realize that our words ― and even our thoughts ― are wounding the very essence of who we are as women. Thoughts and feelings can be toxic and we need to understand that our words, especially the ones we say to ourselves, matter.
You can also be your own worst enemy when you judge yourself against others. When you gauge your gifts, your accomplishments, your looks or anything else against those of another, your life will be out of balance. It’s commendable to expect great things of yourself. However, when those expectations are built on the endeavors of others, you will forever be comparing yourself to the realizations of others. You’ll never live up to your expectations because they aren’t yours to begin with.
Don’t lose your ability to soar. It’s time to silence that inner critic, to cease the sabotaging, to stop with the side-by-side analysis. It’s time to map out your potential, as defined by you and no one else. It’s time to manage your expectations. It’s time to get the hell out of your own way.
What are you going to do today to stop being your own worst enemy?