We live in a world that constantly, constantly tells us to change. To improve. To get better.
Transform yourself. Get thinner. Be stronger; more fit. Continue to climb the ladder. Make more money. Be a better mother, a better father, a better leader, a better person.
It’s exhausting; the idea that there is always something to fix.
Even when I improve on one area of my life, there is always something else that could do with some polishing. I could lose some weight, advance my yoga practice, become a better parent, scale my business.
At times, I find myself so immersed in improving different areas of my life that when I hit a milestone – when I actually improve on something that I’ve been wanting to change – I barely even notice.
I just move onto the next thing because, honestly … it’s never good enough. I will never be good enough.
I have to remind myself, again and again, when I look out at the world from that place of not-enoughness, when fundamentally, deep inside, I feel unworthy…it will never matter how many pounds I lose or how much money I make or how good of a teacher I am. I’ll always feel like there is something wrong with me. And that in those moments, what actually needs improving – what needs healing – is not my body or my life situation. It’s my heart.
The only way out of a loop of lack is to bring yourself back home to you.
Our gut reaction is to work harder, to try and improve faster, when what we need in those moments is to simply let ourselves be. To go from “how can I change my body right now because I don’t like what I see in the mirror” to “how can I change these negative thoughts – and move toward accepting myself the way I am?”
When you find yourself in the middle of a negative loop, the first step is awareness.
Identifying the inner critic in your mind. Identifying the loop, and then using the tools you have to bring yourself back. For me, the biggest tool and most important fundamental tool is sharing, reaching out for help, for connection, for someone to hold space.
I always return back to sharing because what my inner critic tells me changes all the time. Right now, as I’m in the midst of changing my life, working less and learning how to slow down, it tells me I am failing. That I am missing out. Life is a race and right now everyone is passing me. I’m a loser, an impostor, I’m just pretending. I’m a bad boss. A bad friend.
When you’ve spent your entire life thinking your self-worth lies in your ability to produce, to achieve and to succeed…it’s not that strange that the moment you stop, your inner critical voice gets even louder.
Sharing on these types of exercises is the most important part of this work. It’s when I look other people in the eye – when I let myself become vulnerable – that I can access how I truly feel inside. And the truth is, listening to the inner critic is exhausting. And making space for my inner best friend hurts too, because it reminds me of how little time I actually spend talking to myself with compassion.
First, I remind myself to look inward instead of outward. To gain awareness of the negative loop that my inner critic is spinning. To soften, instead of tensing up. Choose my feeling body over my thinking mind.
What does your inner critic tell you?
If you would speak to yourself the same way you speak to your best friend, what would you say? Share with us! Share in our Yoga Girl Facebook community, here on our interactive community sharing board, or download the 29k app, do the first lesson, and join a sharing group.
Give yourself as many chances as you can in a day to practice self-compassion so that you can marvel a little more over the beauty that you are already bringing to this world. Give yourself time to return home to yourself, to share and connect to bring yourself out of the negative feedback loop and open up your heart into a community filled with love and compassion for you.
Because the truth is that:
In this moment
And in every moment
You are enough
We need each other.
Much more than we think.