Can you imagine your life without the weight of your inner critic? What would your days feel like without all the negative self-talk? What possibilities would emerge in its absence?The effects of a crappy inner dialogue might feel all too familiar, but rarely do we stop to consider its true cost. Without an honest exploration of the war we wage with ourselves, we fall prey to things like imposter syndrome, the comparison trap, and self-doubt.
Not only do these make us feel bad, but they also keep us from putting ourselves out there, trying new things, stretching into new skills, and claiming a well-lived life. I’m sure you didn’t sign up for cheating yourself out of your best life. And I’m certain that you wouldn’t choose self-doubt given the option.
So, what’s going on here? Why does this happen? Negative self-talk and all its effects arise from a strained relationship with ourselves. That strained self-relationship is what I call inner opposition.
It’s the resistance we have with ourselves — resistance to our worth, our competency, our “enough-ness.” The result is self-doubt and an ensuing belief that we’re lacking in some way (neither of which feel great). And here’s what’s wonky: we choose our beliefs. So then, if a belief feels so bad, why do we buy into it? And if its weight holds us back and keeps us from thriving, why do we keep choosing it? “Evidence is conclusive that your self-talk has a direct bearing on your performance.” – Zig ZiglarAs humans, we’re hardwired for connection and belonging. Our brain’s job is to keep us safe, and it treats social threats the same as environmental threats.
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