A Self-Sabotaging Habit We All Need to Shake (& Leave Behind in 2017)
A Self-Sabotaging Habit We All Need to Shake (& Leave Behind in 2017)
With Christmas just a few days from now, there’s so much beauty all around us.
Bright Christmas lights line the streets, adorable holiday cards adore our walls, presents are shiny under the tree, outfits are planned and beautiful for Christmas Day, but many of us still wrestle with feelings of discontentment, sorrow & irritation. It’s a crazy reality that the holidays have become the most stressful time of year for many Americans. “Stress-mas” is definitely not what “Christmas” was designed to be, so if you’re feeling the intensity, let’s take a few minutes together to look at one of the possible reasons why your brain is feeling so overwhelmed & hopeless.
One of my favorite mentors Pamela Dunn, helped me this last week to peel back the layers of the onion (so to speak) to reveal what the biggest contributor to my stress load is right now.
I took some time to really analyze what the biggest challenge I was facing in my life right now. As a parent, wife, entrepreneur, daughter & friend, who’s growing a business, raising two littles, pouring into my marriage, organizing schedules, building relationships and seeking to deepen my faith in humanity & God. What I realized was profound.
-Not my kids
-Not my exhaustion
-Not my busy schedule
-Not my frustration about my littles’ fighting
-Not my husband’s new intense work schedule
-Not my crazy puppy
-Not my budget
-Not any of the food sensitivities I battle with
-Not my hubby traveling a ton for work now
-Not having to let go of a friendship this year that was no longer bringing joy
-Not the giant to do-list I keep as a solo-prenuer
but instead ME. My own brain!
It’s my abusive negative self-talk that is simply GNARLY and definitely is the biggest problem in my life…
to the point where it has literally hijacked my brain & stops me at times from moving forward.
One BIG thing I’ve learned in life is when something happens to me, it for sure is happening for others. I love normalizing imperfection and debunking the myth that any of us have it all together (no matter how shiny & beautiful our instagram galleries are), so that’s why I share this vulnerable discovery with you all this week. As a type A, go getter, dream-chasing, perfectionist…this NST (negative self-talk) is getting in my way of being awesome and has to go! I KNOW there’s got to be a few of you out there who also get a little hard on yourself.
Do you ever catch yourself having thoughts like this?
–I suck as a mom
-If I was a better _____, everything would be easier
-I’m so lazy, I should be doing more
-My kids are ALWAYS fighting and it’s probably something I’m doing that makes it worse
-I should eat more veggies, drink less wine, eat less sugar, drink more water…just generally be better with all things eating / drinking
–I suck as a wife
-My hubby is an angel, I don’t know what I did to deserve him
-I’m a messy, pile-maker who’s horrible at keeping the house as clean as I should
-I’ve slacked off on my exercise program. I should jog longer & do pilates more consistently
-I stay up too late and then can’t get up early enough to do the things I want to do, why do I suck?
-I should have more self-discipline, it’s rediculous that I’ve set out for years to have quiet time each morning but instead I just snooze. I suck
-I talk too much
-I am too extroverted. if I was more chill, my kids would be too
-People think I’m crazy because I talk too much
-I’m a slow learner, I should learn faster, I suck.
-Success comes easily to others, but because I suck, it comes slower for me.
-Christmas is overwhelming because I’ve ruined it with committing to too many activities / things and waiting too long to finish shopping
Ugggghhhhh, just writing them all is exhausting!
However, seeing them all written out is powerful & makes it so clear that this is too intense and overwhelming of a burden to carry. This NST (negative self talk) ends up adding stress to our lives, making it tougher to find the compassion, patience, and courage we all need to be great parents.
Plus, these thoughts are mostly false.
-My kids don’t fight ALL the time (just some of the time, and actually they’re pretty darn sweet with each other a lot!)
-I don’t talk TOO much, I just have a lot I care about & want to share with the world (and I’m really fun to have at a party!)
-I’m not horrible at keeping my house clean (the downstairs always looks great for the most part (I just let the closet hide the messes!).
-I’m an incredible wife who does deserve an amazing kind, loving husband (I’m imperfect yes, but I’ve poured into loving my sweet guy now for 23 years and would do anything for him!)
-I haven’t slacked off on my exercise program (but instead adapted it to fit my new busy work schedule, and haven’t completely given up, what an accomplishment!)
-I don’t suck as a mom, I’m actually freakin awesome (in a thousand ways).
-This Christmas season has had it’s overwhelming moments, but also SO many wonderful ones too that I had a big role in creating.
This kind of negative, false self-talk that fills our brain is what many experts refer to as Imposter Syndrome. In true definition, it’s a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. This idea that we NEED to have it all together, or else we suck is how I describe it!
Not good enough, not smart enough, not kind enough, not successful enough, not everything enough. But it’s all total BS!
As a group, we took time at her seminar to write down all the negative self-talk we told ourselves as entrepreneurs & then went back afterwards & ranked them with a truth scale of 1-5. If it had a strong element of truth, we were guided to make a plan for positive action, but the interesting this was, most of us in the end had almost a 100% false rate. Meaning the statements just weren’t true. We then took time to re-write them to be more true & were sent off with encouragement to try replacing those old thoughts with the new true ones. Funny thinking back, because after that night, I’m now realizing that I compartmentalized those negative self-thoughts as “things about being an entrepreneur” but now realize that they actually permeated my entire life!
Nico also referenced some of the most high ranking executives at huge corporations, like Cheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook saying everyday she battles NST that says “I’m not good enough or deserving to be in such a high position”. From Cheryl’s book, Lean In, she writes: “We all know people who could do so much more if only they believed in themselves. Like so many things, a lack of confidence can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t know how to convince anyone to believe deep down that she is the best person for the job, not even myself.” Crazy, Cheryl Sandberg, one of the most successful women in the entire world suffers from the same Imposter Syndrome many of us do. Oh thank goodness, we’re not crazy!
So what do we do with this intense reality? What’s on your NST list that is NOT ok that you’re telling yourself?
As the year wraps up, I’m challenging us all to leave those old negative-self talk thoughts in 2017, and head into 2018 with a solid plan to “lean in” to truth & positivity. I’ve created a Worksheet to make this process as simple as possible called “Fresh Cuts“. “Fresh Cuts” because as I sit here, writing in front of my beautiful fragrant Christmas tree & the gorgeous Christmas flower bouquet my hubby got me this week, I’m reminded that these living organisms need fresh cuts to stay gorgeous & soak up the nutrients we give them in their water. With out a fresh cut, their stems & trunk harden & they have trouble soaking in what they need to survive & flourish (water!). So the old NST thoughts need a fresh cut…adios, goodbye, sayonara, see ya…wouldn’t wanna be ya!
Grab this “Fresh Cuts” worksheet and take 10 minutes to do the exercise before you ring in the new year. Then, start 2018 with great intention to replace the old false self talk with new encouraging TRUE self-talk. I think it’s going to do amazing things for us all!
Always a pleasure to cheer you on…