Are you a hard-working woman who regularly feels stressed, overworked, or exhausted and struggle with an inner critic that just-doesn’t-shut-up? Do you have a to-do list as long as your arm and feel as if you’re always behind? I bet it isn’t about the goal you chose or how you broke up that goal into small tasks that it makes your to-do list as long as that.
I know: balancing your life and living your purpose is more difficult than you always thought. What I notice is that (mostly) women give themselves too little room to rise above themselves. I mean, it is much easier to do things for others first instead of for yourself! I know, it feels as if you have no choice at all. Most things pop up and need to be taken care of – and who else but you need to do it? And if this takes away precious time for self-care, then so be it. Self-care is easily ignored when it comes to making choices.
But did you know that women who are successful in both their career and in their private life have elevated self-care to a form of art? They give themselves time and space to achieve that great performance.
But you already know this. I’m not telling you anything new. This is also what you tell your friends how you should do this or should do that. And there you are, always ready to listen, to give a hug or come up with brilliant advice. I mean, you really know how to give advice. Nothing wrong with that!
But do you follow your own advice? Or are you sitting on the couch in the evening feeling shitty because you’re too tired and totally overwhelmed?
Why do you put up with this?
I bet you know very well what you need. The only thing is that you don’t do it. Instead, you sit there and mentally attack yourself in an unparalleled way. Take a moment to listen carefully to what you tell yourself.
I am talking about that inner critic who is jabbering and won’t shut up? And you keep listening to it. You have so many opinions about yourself, and it just doesn’t stop.
- What tone do you use to talk to yourself?
- What kind of words do you use over and over?
- Do you sound angry, annoyed, disappointed, critical?
- How do you judge yourself? Do you call yourself lazy, stupid, ugly, or slow?
Write it all down to see it with your own eyes. Would you also talk to your friend like that? To your neighbor? Would you allow it when your coach or therapist would talk to you like this? No? Then why do you put up with it?
There is work to be done for your inner critic
Sit your inner critic in the corner of the couch, put their bunny slippers on and give them a blanky. Tell them that it is okay, and it is time to rest. Be nice, if only you can do it once a week. Lower those expectations and stop hurting yourself.
Stop shoulding yourself around. There is nothing you should do or must do, or need to do. Not a thing.
If you were your friend, what advice would you have? Just stop it – that’s what you’d say. Don’t make it more difficult than it already is because, between you and me and the Fairy Godmother, we are all tired and overwhelmed sometimes.
Set some boundaries and tell people who are too vocal about what you should do for them to bugger off. Okay, maybe not to say it like to your boss, but there are polite ways to say it as long as you don’t connect any emotional labels to the conversation. If you bring it like a statement, then it is what it is. But most people have excellent ears for guilt trips that you’re not even talking about but still emit from all the pores in your body.
Stop your inner critic from monkey-ing your around
Especially notice guilt words, like “should” when you talk about yourself. Most dominant people pick up on words like this and use it for their own good. They will do this because they’re upset with you for setting boundaries or telling them that you’re giving back a certain responsibility you took upon yourself while it was theirs.
In Dutch, we have an expression that comes down to “leave the monkey where it belongs” – is it your monkey, or is it theirs? Well, it often is truly their monkey, so it isn’t even your responsibility.
Drop the fight
Ask your inner critic to drop the fight. You may notice that it may be unwilling to do so at first, but when you move deeper and connect to how it feels, your inner critic will be just so tired or so overwhelmed that you’ll instantly feel that it needs help instead of a battle.
It’s not worth it to listen to things that are not true. No matter how much you put on your to-do list, you don’t become a better person. You become a better person when you give yourself some slack and decide to drop the fight off the constant inner critic discussion you have to listen to day in day out.
If there is some truth in what this inner critic has to say, then how can you make things easy for yourself? We already know that nothing good comes from listening to down talk all the time. Good things come from wholehearted encouragement, setting intentions that are easy to do and still create a good feeling, and to be realistic about what is possible and what not. I mean: successful businesses are not built in six months, no matter what that program-selling dodo is trying to sell you.
I see so many women who try to build a booming business while they have four kids at home that they’re trying to home school, have a clean house, be a flawless partner and a successful entrepreneur.
It is okay to stop everything and to eat easy meals for a week because you’re overwhelmed. Your kids will live; your partner will stop commenting on your meal choices, and if not, let them do it. Before you know it, there will be a pizza delivery at your door. I’ll bet you 10 dollars for it.
So if you are willing to listen to a crying friend who pours her heart out about how hard her life is: her relationship, the children, her work, parents, you name it, what are you telling her? That she should stop whining and keep going? Not really … So why do you say this to yourself?
My personal story about the inner critic
I have the aspect of failing strongly built into my Divine Soul Blueprint. This resulted in a life-long struggle with fear of failure and made me very insecure about my own talents. Failing caused me to underperform in school and the first two decades of my career. I was so afraid I couldn’t perform at the right moment that I literally manifested it. It was so strong that people even labeled me as someone who could only fail. That inner voice that told me that whatever I did, wasn’t good enough developed pretty strongly because of that.
A breakthrough came when a coach, whom I contacted because of my fear of visibility, told me: “But if marketing is such a struggle for you, then why do you do it? What if you allow yourself to stop doing it and see what happens?” I was mortified. Was she suggesting I’d give up? No, f’ing way!
Two sides to it
So on one side, I was super scared to fail and to create stuff that didn’t meet my standards (which were, of course, way too high), and on the other side, I wasn’t allowed to quit. How about being stuck in the twilight zone of reliving your patterns over and over? I followed her advice and quit putting myself out there when my anxiety just rose too high. That’s where you guys lost me for a while. And you may again; I don’t know. I’ve accepted that I’m just an anxious person.
But the allowance to quit kept lingering in my mind, and I wondered why I replied with so much anxiety to visibility issues. And then it came to me. I was creating things there weren’t aligned with who I am – trying to “sell” things that I had left behind me because I grew over it. I needed to allow myself to change the subject of what I’m writing about. When I saw that, I knew I had to come out with my new spiritual concept. It took me a year to not only study it, but I also had to get over another discussion with my inner critic, who told me you’d find me a weirdo who’d now really lost it. But it still felt good and slowly but surely I got used to the idea that I might actually have something to say about living a soul-aligned life. So, there you go. Another weirdo blog post was written. I hope you liked it. 😉
In my dealings with my inner critic, I’ve noticed that the moment I understood who I really am as a soul by reading my Divine Soul Blueprint in an Akashic Records Reading, it became so much easier to decide what was right for me or not. Suddenly I knew it if things were aligned with who I am or not! It was such a relief but also such an insight into how easy this really was.
If you want to know more about the Akashic Records Readings I do, click here.