Your Own Inner Critic Vs External Critics. Get Rid Of Both Of Them.
Dealing with your own inner critic and your own self doubt can be challenging enough. Eventually you find the strength to take steps to overcome it… But unfortunately there’s always someone who will try and bring you back down.
My title is a Nutritionist and a Personal Trainer. Because they are my titles, they don’t necessarily define who I am and they don’t always guide my life. I try to be healthy 80-90% of the time, and the other 10-20% of the time, I’m just enjoying life!
I have come across people who say to me “Oh look, the Nutritionist is eating chocolate”, as though it’s criminal of my title.
Comments of these kind are no different from expecting a painter to have a perfectly painted house. A make up artist and hair dresser to have a perfect face of make-up and amazing hair every single day. Expecting accountants, stock brokers and financial advisers to be the wealthiest of all. Teachers to have the smartest children and builders to have the best homes.
Unfortunately, there’s a small minority of people that have their say because I don’t have minimal body fat, because I sometimes eat Maccas, and some Sunday’s I’m hungover!
Do you know what, I’m a human!
I’m as healthy as a healthy person is, probably healthier. And if shedding myself of every one of my indulgences is the ambition, or what is required to be healthy, well to me, that just sounds like the dour existence. Not a life that I would want, or would want my readers to have, or to aspire too.
On a greater societal level, defining people by their titles is damaging and is what has caused years of uproar. Prime example: feminism. Woman is a title. Preconceived ideas of the woman title have been be a housewife. Be a mum. Women are not bosses of companies, they shouldn’t even work. We as a society are slowly getting better at changing our perspective on the woman title in this sense.
Have you ever given yourself a title before? Do you, still now, have a title for yourself?
Lola Berry recently published a book called #StopBeingAFatBitch. Lola said she called it this because it’s what she used to call herself. The name of the book caused a big stir amongst her followers. Regardless of the stir it caused, Lola used to call herself a fat bitch, which she later realised that self-love was a more beneficial way to live with herself than that of negative self talk.
If you negatively title yourself, please try to make a conscious effort to change these negative thoughts into positive self-talk. If you haven’t succeeded sticking to your goals in the past, try looking deeply into why you couldn’t stick to them. Then put in physical solutions to change, but most importantly, focus on changing your mindset – ‘you can do this’, and try to block the negative inner and external critics out.
A good exercise for this is to write down 3 positive things about yourself. Keep it on you for the day, and re-read them before you go to bed. When you genuinely believe those 3 things, write down another 3 things and repeat the process.
This exercise is effective because initially you might write 3 things down, but you kind of feel you’re only writing them down because you have to. You might not actually believe it. If I was to write down 3 things, and one of them was “I give my time to others”. To just write that can be meaningless. But if you carry that piece of paper on you as a reinforcement, every time throughout the day that you offer you’re time to someone, you will really start to believe it.
What can cause us to give ourselves a title can be other people’s ideas about us. Have, or do other people give you titles?
Or maybe not believe in you or support you?
An example could be that when you tell someone close to you that you want to lose weight and they make some condescendingly, jokingly comment about how you’ll never be able to do that.
Or if they don’t support you in what you’re doing, what you’re working towards. They pretend they are, but they’re indirectly bullying you about your approach and progress.
Do you listen to them, or even believe them? Don’t.
Understand that these people are just unhappy and dissatisfied with their own lives and as a result, mistreating you is their way of dealing with their own insecurities. These people don’t want to see you succeed. It would make them feel even more inadequate.
Just remember that you don’t need anyone’s approval. You are not your title. You have no framework to work within. The only boundaries stopping you are the ones you put up.
It takes a lot of courage to move out of our perceived framework, and our comfort zones. And when we finally find the courage to step up, there’s always going to be someone who will try to knock you down. So surround yourself with genuine people who genuinely support you, and who make you a better person and who genuinely want to see you succeed.
Keep stepping up, my dear. Too often we don’t follow our dreams in fear of failure and in fear of being judged. Keep stepping up. I promise you, you won’t look back.
P.S. I have to remind myself of this at times too. It’s okay to not be perfect.