Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your two ears – Laird Hamilton
We all have a dream we want to achieve:
“I want to become a best-selling author.”
“I want to start my own skincare company”
“I want to become a digital nomad and travel the world while doing work I love.”
You’re excited about your goal but, before you know it, self-doubt creeps in.
“You’re not rich/qualified/smart/pretty enough for that,” your Inner Mean Girl keeps reminding you.
She’s trying to convince you that lack of money/time/opportunity/whatever is the problem. But they’re not what’s holding you back.
Your Inner Mean Girl and the doubts she plants into your mind are the problem. If you want to achieve your dreams and live the life you want to live, you need to tame your Inner Mean Girl. Get her on your side, even.
But, how? Here are 4 helpful ways to stop the negative self-talk in your head so you can confidently get started on your dreams… and achieve them.
I’m Never Going To Get Fit/Eat Healthy/Meditate Regularly…
Inner Mean Girl: “Go on, eat that box of chocolate chip cookies – you’ll never be healthy anyway.”
“Are you seriously thinking about getting a gym membership? Please! We both know you’ll never go.”
“You want to meditate now? What are you, a hippie? That stuff doesn’t work. Save your time and watch Netflix instead.”
We all have a habit we want to adopt, or one that we want to break, or a goal that we want to accomplish. But as you soon as you even think of doing something about it, your Inner Mean Girl rears her ugly head and reminds you of all the reasons why you’ll fail… until you agree with her. What’s the point of even beginning if you can’t finish?
THE FIX: Stop saying “I can’t.” Start saying, “I don’t.”
A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that people who used I DON’T were 8x more likely to stick to their goals. Why?
Can’t is disempowering. Don’t is empowering.
“I CAN’T eat that chocolate cake” feels like someone is preventing you from doing it. It feels like a restriction.
“I DON’T eat chocolate cake” is a choice. No one is preventing you from eating the cake. You just choose not to because you’re the kind of person who cares about her health.
See how powerful a simple change of words is?
Pick a habit you want to adopt/break or a goal you want to reach. Next, write down your Inner Mean Girl’s objections on a piece of paper. How can you reframe the can’ts to don’ts?
Related: A Simple Trick To Break Bad Habits
I Hate My Face/Body/Hair…
Inner Mean Girl: “OMG, look at that cellulite. You are disgusting. Cover it up, now!”
“You’ve got a pimple again? You’re so ugly. How can you show your face in public?”
“Your hair is so flat and lifeless. Why can’t you have beautiful beach waves like that model?”
We all have days when we look in the mirror and we don’t like what we see. Maybe yesterday’s pizza is making you feel a little fatter. Or a pimple has suddenly reared its ugly head on your chin. Or you’re just having a bad day and you’re finding fault in everything. Or maybe, the constant diet of young, flawless, perfect-looking women Instagram and the media are feeding you is getting to you and making you feel like you’ll never come close to conforming to their beauty standards. And it’s making you feel ugly.
THE FIX: Treat your body as a friend.
Celebrate it. Listen to it. Think of all the good things it does for you. Your legs are carrying you around everyday. They allow you to walk, jump, run… Do they really deserve so much hate just because they’ve got a little cellulite? And, as for that pimple… could it be you did something to your skin that upset it? Maybe your skin is trying to tell you it doesn’t like that new moisturizer or that you need to change your diet.
Stand in front of the mirror (preferably without clothes on). Focus on an area of your body you don’t like. Now think about all the things that body part does for you, how it enriches your life. Thank it for all that. Do you already start to like it a little more?
I’m Not As Pretty/Successful/Smart Like Her
Inner Mean Girl: “Did you hear? Your old schoolmate has just become the youngest CEO at her company and you haven’t even been able to get a promotion yet. You’ll never go anywhere.”
“All your friends are getting married and you’re still single. You’re such a failure!”
“Look at her. She has a job, kids and still finds the time to go to the gym. What do you have to be such a slob?”
Do you ever feel like everyone’s got it together but you? Your social media feed is full of women travelling the world clad in designer clothes you still can’t afford. Your mum is always telling you about what her friends’ children are up to and, for some reason, they all seem to have more successful careers than you. And now your last single friend is getting married. You feel like a failure. You caught the bug, my beautiful friend. You’ve got a bad case of comparisonitis.
THE FIX: Focus on your own journey.
I know, it’s hard to focus on your own thing when everyone else’s thing seems more exciting. But, remember, you don’t know the whole story. You don’t know how hard they worked and what sacrifices they had to make to get to where they are now. If you did, would you even want what they have? Everyone’s has their own path in life, their own calling. Honour yours. You are right where you need to be right now. Keep walking on your path and you’ll get where YOU want to go.
What action could you take right now to get you closer to YOUR goals? Do it. Now.
I’ll Never Achieve My Dreams
Inner Mean Girl: “You want to write a book? Who do you think you are, Stephen King?”
“You want to start a business? Don’t you know that 8 out of 10 businesses fail within a year? What makes you think YOURS will be successful?”
“You want to quit your job to become a coach? Please! Who will ever be mad enough to hire YOU?”
You have a dream. A goal. A calling. Something inside you that screams to come out. You know that’s what you’re meant to do with your life but… not yet. It’s not the right time. You don’t have the time. Or the money. Or don’t feel like you’re qualified enough. Pretty enough. Smart enough. Deep down, you’re afraid you’ll never be ready. Your dreams will always stay a dream.
THE FIX: Believe in yourself.
Listen, girl. You can fill a hundred notebooks with plans, have a gazillion dollars in the bank and be the smartest person on the planet. But if you don’t believe you can do it, you’ll never even try to make your dream come true. And you know what? You can do it. Because if you didn’t have what it took to make your dream a reality, you wouldn’t have that dream in the first place. I’m not saying you’ll never face self-doubt – that’s part of being human. Just don’t let it discourage you. You’ll find a way to overcome every obstacle in your way and achieve your wildest dreams. I believe in you.
Take pen and paper and jot down all your accomplishments. The skills you’ve learned. The challenges you’ve overcome. Finishing the marathon, even if you didn’t arrive first counts. Learning to bake those delicious cookies counts. Getting into your college counts. Everything you ever achieved in your life counts. Once you have your list, stick it somewhere you’ll see it often. Every time you start doubting yourself, read it. You’ve achieved so much already. You can achieve so much more.
Over to you, now. What’s your Inner Mean Girl’s constantly telling you and how are you stopping the negative self-talk in your head? Share your experience in the comments below.