This article first appeared on SHESAID and has been republished with permission.
There’s this person who tells me the most terrible things about myself all the time. She says things like, “you’re too fat – look how disgusting you are,” and “no one’s ever going to love you the way you want them to — if it was going to happen, it would have happened by now.” She tells me I’m too old to become successful, and I should just give up, and whenever anything bad happens, she says I should have seen it coming.
I can’t get her voice out of my head, because that’s where she lives. She’s me. It’s me, telling myself all this toxic bullshit all day every day. Even when I know it’s not true, even when another voice inside my head is telling this bitch to shut up, part of me truly believes everything she says, deep down.
We all have these inner critics inside us, constantly nagging at us and telling us we’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, that our friends don’t really like us — you name it, and someone is telling themselves the very same awful thing right now.
Just in case you ever feel alone, here are nine things we all tell ourselves, that we all need to stop telling ourselves immediately. Because honestly, that inner critic is ruining your life. Tell that jerk to shut up. Here are some of her fave lines…
1. You can’t do that.
You can’t apply for that job. You can’t run that marathon. You can’t stick to a diet. Remember that annoying person who used to tell you “there’s no such word as can’t”? Be that person. There’s no such word as can’t.
2. You’re too scared.
Being brave doesn’t mean never feeling scared. It means being fucking terrified all the time, and doing it anyway. There’s no such thing as being too scared. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
3. You’re too messed up to be in a relationship.
Look around at all the people you know who are in relationships. Are they all perfectly mentally well-balanced, with their lives in order and everything going well? Exactly. If those hot messes can find love, so can you.
4. There’s nothing better out there for you.
You’ll never know what’s out there for you until you let go of whatever you’re clinging to right now. Open up your hands and just let go. Now you’re ready to receive whatever’s coming next. It’s out there – believe me.
5. You’re horrible.
First of all, you’re not horrible. Second of all, who cares if you are? Everyone’s horrible in their own special way. You are who you are. Embrace it and move on.
6. What’s wrong with you?
Are you dumb or something? Why are you always screwing up? Why aren’t you happy? It must be because something is deeply, fundamentally wrong with you, right? Wrong. Repeat after me: “Nothing is wrong with me.” Nothing! Got that?
7. Everyone else knows what they’re doing.
Here’s the thing: everyone thinks everyone else has it all figured out, and none of us actually do. People probably actually think you know what you’re doing. So, fake it. That’s what we’re all doing. Welcome to the club.
8. You don’t deserve anything good.
When shitty things keep happening to you, it’s easy to think it must be because you don’t deserve good things. But the truth is, no one deserves good things – or bad things, either. Some people just get lucky, or unlucky. Take a deep breath and hold your head high. You’re okay.
9. You’ll _____ when you _____.
You’ll find a boyfriend when you lose enough weight. You’ll start eating better when you get a less stressful job. You’ll keep your apartment neat and clean once you declutter the whole place, Konmarie-style. You’ll break up with your toxic boyfriend when you’re in a better place mentally.
Telling yourself this stuff is a great way to stay stuck, forever. But you’re good enough right now. Let yourself do the thing you think you can’t do until you’ve properly prepared yourself – because no one is ever ready for anything. All there is, is right now. So do it. Just do it.
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