Getting Out of Your Own Way

Not long ago, I had a Skype meeting with a guy who was training me on some technical stuff related to my website.

Long story short, I'm not a computer expert. So I'm learning these things as I go, making plenty of mistakes along the way. 

 

THAT'S THE GOOD NEWS. 

Blogging has helped me to:

  • Take imperfect action
  • Mess some things up
  • Learn and grow.

 

NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS... 

As I explained some of my difficulties and frustrations to the tech guy, he told me something that I've heard many times throughout my life.

He said, "I think you're being a little hard on yourself."

Sigh.

That all-too-familiar comment. A comment I've heard over and over again throughout my life. 

The comment that makes me realize that something is getting in my way... again.

And that something is ME.   

 

The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. -Maya Angelou

 

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So often, we're our own worst enemy, aren't we? Instead of seeing what we do right, we see what goes wrong. Instead of focusing on our strengths, we fixate on our weaknesses. Instead of having confidence, we question our abilities.  

 

I recently watched a movie with my husband, which illustrated this point so well. 

My poor husband. He would have chosen some sort of Viking movie. We ended up watching I Feel Pretty. A total chick flick. A female empowerment chick flick. The best kind. :)

I Feel Pretty
Starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Rory Scovel, Emily Ratajkowski, Naomi Campbell

If you haven't seen it, the movie is about a girl who lacks self confidence and fixates on her negative qualities. While exercising in a spin class, she falls off her bike (very dramatically) and suffers a head injury. After that, she starts seeing herself differently.

She sees herself as beautiful and amazing. Her newfound confidence completely changes her demeanor, and it mesmerizes those around her. 

She's the same person, with the same physical appearance and abilities. The only thing that changed is how she thought about herself, and this positively impacted many areas of her life. 

Reminds me of this classic quote by Henry Ford:

Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right. 

 

Whether You Think You Can.png

 

As for my own confidence-lacking, self-sabotaging thoughts that like to creep up from time to time...

I'm grateful when people call me out on being overly harsh on myself. The computer tech guy didn't know it, but when he went to work that day, he positively impacted my mental health. He helped me to recognize that my "inner mean girl" was getting in my way again

 

 

A couple years ago, I completed a program called the Whole Health Medicine Institute. In that program, Dr. Lissa Rankin and Amy Ahlers taught me something that I've found valuable.

They taught me that a good way to handle the self-destructive parts of our ego is "like a small child we love." We can allow the small child "in the car" without allowing them to take the wheel.

In other words, we can lovingly accept these parts of ourselves without letting them define who we are.  

My "inner mean girl" is just fearful and insecure. She's highly critical because she's afraid of making mistakes. She likes to hide behind the veil of perfectionism.  She's very uneasy with putting her guard down and showing her flaws. 

There's no shortage of criticism from her, whether it be about my abilities, my appearance, or my character.

I've learned that when she starts trying to run the show, I need to affectionately (yet firmly) buckle this scared child in the back seat.

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Life's too short to let her drive. 

She doesn't get me very far. :)