How to Disarm Your Inner B*tch
Some people have an inner-critic. I have an inner-terrorist, and she is an absolute b*tch.
Whenever I’m feeling or looking really good, I’ll hear internal negative whispers telling me just the opposite: “You’re not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough”—and on it goes. My inner-terrorist can undermine any great idea in just a few words. But every time she shows up, I’m reminded of an experience I had with a friend of mine, Kate Eckman, who showed me just how to disarm the inner b*tch.
No matter how I look before I head out the door, I usually find something wrong: my legs aren’t tan; I’m not thin enough; my eyes are too small, etc. I’m particularly skilled at spotting my flaws and announcing them to the world. In fact, it’s almost as if I need everyone to know that I know I’m not perfect and they should know, too.
Anyway, Kate would stay at my place whenever she was working in L.A. One morning, I started complaining about something to do with my appearance. My normally bubbly and happy friend turned, justifiable angry, and yelled, “Hey! That’s my friend Krista you’re talking about. Knock it off!”
Whoa, wait, was Kate defending me against me?
She went on to explain that I was talking about her friend, that she only saw me as beautiful, accomplished, successful, kind, and all the nice things that a good friend would think. She most certainly didn’t want to be in the presence of someone who was talking badly about me, even it if was me talking about me. She asked if I’d allow someone to use those same words to describe her. “Are you kidding?” I said. “I’d never let anyone call you those things. First of all, they aren’t true. Second, they’re just mean.”
Kate smiled, “My point exactly.”
I suddenly saw the situation with fresh eyes; I would never let anyone talk about a friend, family member, student, or client like that. I see the people I care about in a much softer, kinder, and more loving way. My negative comments directed at another person would be mean and simply false, so why would they be any different when directed at me?
The answer is: they wouldn’t.
I know we all get a little insecure about ourselves simply for being who we are. We also engage in negative self-talk when we come across something like a great job opportunity. We know hundreds will be applying for the position and assume we won’t get the job and so don’t even bother applying. Alternatively, when we do have a job, we judge ourselves on the simple mistakes we make, like misspelling a name, giving incorrect directions, or screwing up a lunch reservation.
Put simply: we can live and make mistakes without beating ourselves up.
And so what my friend Kate did for me, I want to do for you. When your inner-terrorist gets you in her cross-hairs, stop her in her tracks and simply say, “Hey, that’s one of KP’s MyGrads you’re talking about. KNOCK IT OFF!”