Your inner critic.

We all have one…honestly, I am convinced we do. If you never get that Negative Nelly in your head, bad mouthing you, trying to convince you that you should or shouldn’t be doing something or should or shouldn’t be wearing that, or eating that, then I invite you to form a support group on how the hell you have achieved that and invite all your friends! Invite me!

Your Bitch voice really can rule your life, it can stop you from doing so many things that you would really love to do. It can make up stories so that you think people don’t like you. It can insult you on a daily basis to your face. It has no shame, no conscience, no remorse, it just lets rip whenever it fancies…and you just suck it up…and worse still, change your behaviour accordingly, because you believe the bullshit that is coming out of it’s imaginary mouth!

I do not think it is possible to ignore your Bitch Voice, Inner Critic, Monkey Mind, Parrot on your shoulder, whatever you want to call it. I also don’t think you should ignore it, but that doesn’t mean to say you have to take everything you hear from it as the truth. You certainly do not have to do what it says. You are in charge. Realising that can be quite daunting as it means you will have to start taking more ownership.

The best thing to do is to acknowledge it, accept that it is part of you and the best way I found to do that is give it a name.

As I have already said, mine is called Betty. We get along a lot better than we used to. She can get out of hand sometimes, but more often than not she knows her place and she is no longer the one in charge.

Now I have told you her name I will lose the ‘it’ as it feels a bit rude and I like to treat her with respect sometimes!

I honestly believe, acknowledging that Betty Bitch Voice will always be a part of my life, has really helped me to have the confidence to do the complete opposite of what she sometimes strongly suggests.

Here are just a few examples…

Me…I did my Learn to Nordic Walk Instructors Course

Betty…You look ridiculous with those poles, everyone is going to think you are stupid.

Me…I went back to the gym to help with weight loss after having my 3rd child

Betty…Are you having a laugh, you will look awful in your gym kit. Have you not seen all the cellulite on your legs. Make sure you wear a giant oversized T shirt so other people can’t see what you have done to yourself!

Me…I started running weekend retreats from my local gym

Betty…Now you are just getting above your station. Who the hell do you think you are. People won’t want to come and you will be rubbish.

Me…I went to Liz’s 40th Birthday party at the new job I have just started

Betty…steady on love, you will not know anyone. You will be left out as you are shit at making conversations with new people so you will just drink too much and make a fool of yourself. Besides you have nothing to wear as you look lie a pig in a bag in that new pink dress!

I literally could go on, and on, and on. It is frightening how much we let her rule our lives. All these are my real life examples.

The good news is that on these occasions, I chose not to listen to her and I did them anyway. However, I doubted myself so much because Betty doesn’t quit easily. I was so nervous before I did all of these things. I questioned my decisions and had hour long conversations with Betty as she continued to try her best to keep me small and confined. It horrifies me to think I could have not done these things. Some of them could have been life changing had I listened to her constant rants.

If I had not done my Nordic Walking course or run my first retreat at my local gym…I would never have met all the amazing women and been part of their transformations and I would absolutely not be doing what I love doing now and running The Tribe.

I am now a lot more aware of Betty and we have become friends, but sometimes we do fall out.

Just recently she was on fine form after I watched a recording of myself after my first dance session…she was cruel and it stopped me posting the video for 10 days.

I got over myself and posted it anyway, but it served as a great reminder that if we let our inner critics have full reign of us then we really can hold ourselves back from living a life full of experiences.

Become aware of yours, notice when she is in full flow and remember you always get to choose if you listen to her and for how long…now isn’t that a gift.

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