I see most of you have met Her. The women who whispers poison into our minds. We agree She is a bully, we agree that the woman She wants us to be is decidedly unappealing. But what the heck do we do about Her?!
Even this week (in spite of the gag) She’s let her voice be heard in my life. She’s told me I’m a terrible mother and a disappointing wife.
Self destructive as it seems, there are reasons we listen to Her and there are reasons Her words cut us so deeply…
We want to change
I know I do! Even the most content person has goals and dreams. There are many great ways I could improve, grow and be transformed – and She knows this. She taps into our inbuilt dissatisfaction and uses it to create an unattainable job specification. Our perfectly reasonable desire to be more organised or change jobs or be fitter are twisted into: “clean and de-clutter the entire house every day”, “start my own successful business by the end of the year”, or “have a body like those pictures on Pinterest”.
She speaks the truth
The hardest thing about dealing with my own personal inner critic is that so much of what She says is true.
The accusations that I’m a terrible mother and disappointing wife? Well, truthfully, I really do struggle to have fun with the children a lot of the time. I’ve not been very cheerful around Dave and he takes the strain when I am weak. I’m neither mother nor wife of the year. I’ve failed and we’re only three weeks in!
Do you relate to this? Isn’t there always that ring of truth when She speaks? (More on this next time!)
We feed Her
She loves it when I spend an hour on Pinterest. I see fabulous ideas for playing with the kids, delicious looking meals, lovely clothes, beautiful crafts and toned bodies. She sees a wish list. She sees a challenge.
She loves it when I’m on Twitter or Facebook and when I read those ultra-beautiful blogs. They remind Her that I’m not as clever, not as adventurous, not as stylish, not as witty, not as good a writer as them.
She even loves it when I read the Lakeland catalogue, for goodness sake! “Ooh!”, She says, “Maybe if you had a steam mop your
house would be cleaner life would be better”.
It’s Her food. It’s Her fuel. It’s Her ammunition. She shoots with deadly accuracy.
We don’t recognise Her voice
This horrible bully, this cruel task-master, this slave-driving witch has learned to speak with a voice that sounds just like ours. We don’t recognise the meanness and the crazy high expectations because that’s just what our thoughts always sound like. We’ve become totally used to Her.
And you know why Her voice sounds just like our own don’t you?
Because She is you. She is me.
There isn’t really another woman in my head – there is only me. I am my own bad friend, my most feared bully and my biggest critic.
In the next post I’m going to talk more about how we can learn to recognise the negative voice and begin to challenge it.
But for now…
- Do you relate to the four points above? Which one resonates most?
- What things feed ‘Her’ in your life? (social media? friends? books? magazines?)
- How does listening to ‘Her’ affect your thoughts and feelings about yourself?
I highly recommend reading the comments on the previous post - I found them reassuring, challenging and I really appreciated the honesty. Thank you. (I especially loved what my Mum wrote about ‘good enough’ parenting – she’s a good ‘un!) xxx