I can vividly remember going to a networking event last year and being ridiculously nervous.
I was new to Portland, had recently had a baby, and wasn’t really feeling like myself but wanted to meet new people.
The event was nice enough, full of women hoping to make new connections, but I felt like an outsider, unsure of where to go or what to do. I tried to think positively remembering that I’m confident, that I can do this! Yet still that little voice in my head still whispered things like:
You’re not going to fit into Portland.
You might as well just leave.
Everyone can tell you’re uncomfortable.
What are people going to think?
We all have a unique inner-critic, so maybe you can relate.
However, I decided to stay and ended up having conversations with a few pretty cool women. As I was driving home that little voice started up again, telling me that I should’ve connected with more people, that maybe people didn’t like me, that I didn’t try hard enough.
In the past before I did self-love work, I would’ve spiraled down into a tornado of negativity, becoming completely unsure of myself.
But that night in the car I took control. I said, “enough is enough!” I dropped the thought immediately, blasted some upbeat music, and danced my way home.
Let me tell you, it was so empowering! So freeing! So light!
At some point we have to free ourselves and take our power back by being secure in who we are — flaws and all.
This isn’t easy, of course — it’s a journey and it takes a lot of support. But here are some things to remember when you feel unsure of yourself:
1. The story you tell yourself is the story you’re living by.
The meaning that you give to things, the questions you ask yourself, and the story you tell yourself every single moment is what’s shaping and molding your reality.
You are constantly building yourself out of that story because it shapes every action that you either take or don’t take.
There is a big difference between: “I’m ugly and I’ll never lose weight so no one is ever going to love me.” and “I am lovable the way I am! How can I lose weight in a way that’s fun and enjoyable?”
Ask yourself if you’re telling an empowering story, or one that tears you down?
If it’s not empowering then write a new story. One that’s full of romance, determination, excitement, or abundance.
2. Your struggles have been making you, not breaking you.
Everyone goes through struggles in life, but you get to decide what they are going to mean to you.
Sometimes we must go through a breakup, financial loss, or rejection, in order to grow and discover some powerful truths about our courage, our tenacity, our love, and our faith.
Any struggles that you have been through recently or maybe are going through right now, my thoughts are with you and I wish you happiness and an end to your suffering.
It may be hard to see now, but know that these challenges are making you, not breaking you.
3. Your biggest critic lives in how you believe people think of you, not how they are actually thinking of you.
Have you ever had an experience where you text or call someone and you don’t hear back from them?
For a few hours it’s fine but then you start to get worried. Maybe a day goes by and now you’re upset! You start thinking that they must be mad at you, that maybe you did or said something wrong, or that you were stupid to think they were your friend at all.
This person finally gets back to you, extremely apologetic because a crisis came up.
This is what our inner critic does! We’re so concerned about how other people perceive us that we make up all kinds of lies in our head that aren’t actually true.
One of the greatest journeys in life is overcoming insecure thoughts and learning to truly not care so much about other people’s opinions. When you stop worrying so much about the impression you’re making, you’ll start to make a better impression.
What a beautiful paradox.