It’s amazing the bullshit we tell ourselves.
“No one loves me.”
“I’ll never be successful.”
“There is no way out.”
“I’m a nobody.”
“I can’t do ____.”
“I hate my <insert body part>.”
Blah, blah, blah. The list of negative things we tell ourselves on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis is astounding. It’s almost like we enjoy torturing ourselves. I have told myself so many lies over the years that I, the real me, got completely lost. Lost under all that BS I had been telling myself and it’s been a real bitch trying to dig myself out.
Did I think someone was going to come rescue me because they felt sorry for me? Yes, I did. I’ve wallowed in self-pity for so long that it stained me a very ugly color. But in that long wait to be rescued I realized that it was up to me to rescue myself.
I came to that realization a couple of years ago when I was feeling very stuck and less than enamored with what my life looked like. It was a big slap to the face to finally see that I had created the misery myself:
- I said yes to things when I should have said no
- I did things because everyone else was doing them
- I had limiting beliefs about who I was and what I was capable of
- I sought the easy road rather than the tough one
- I gave away my power
- I let opinions of me matter more than they should have
- I gave up too easily
- I minimized my worth
Does any of this sound familiar? I know. It sucks to read it and find yourself nodding your head, doesn’t it?
There are two simple yet very powerful words we can add to the dialogue with ourselves that will change everything.
I had a huge shift a couple of weeks ago because I started saying these two words. I had been talking with my mentor and she challenged me on the way I thought of myself. She knows the goals I have for myself yet the verbiage and my self-doubt were never going to get me to where I wanted to go.
I thought about what image I had of myself when I was a kid. I was the child of an unhappy marriage so I was never home. I spent fourth grade through senior year with my best friend. She was funny, outgoing, athletic, the youngest of five, from a divorced family (also an alcoholic father) and chose me to be her best friend. As we grew up, she went from a freckle faced gangly child into a beautiful young woman. In my eyes, I grew into her chubby sidekick. I attributed anything and everything to the fact that I was because of my association with her and not from my own merit. I have always been in awe of her because of what she chose to become in spite of her broken home.
I had a time in my life where I stepped up to something big (at that time it was HUGE!) and acted in spite of fear. I ran for Rush Chair of my sorority, not because I wanted the limelight as much as I felt I needed to do something out of necessity. I ran against someone else and I actually won. I thought, “Oh shit. What the hell did I just do?” But I knew that I was doing this to serve and to help guide our house down the right path so I strapped on my boots and went to work. I figured things out as I went along.
The thing that makes this crazy is that I was deathly afraid to speak in front of others and considered myself a team player and not a leader. But there I was, in a leadership role. Funny how I think back on that as just something I had to do and not really who I was.
When I thought about that time as I spoke with my mentor, I realized what a crock I had been feeding myself for so long. Shortly after our talk, I declared to the ladies in my Skinny Dip Society Facebook group who I was. I felt like I was standing on the top of a mountain teetering on plunging forward into the unknown or leaning backwards, tumbling toward old habits and negative self-dialogue. I chose to plunge forward.
And from that moment on, I have felt different inside. I say a lot of I ams these days. Some I believe 100% and some I have to just say it until I do.
These days I say
And these words have changed everything. I stand taller, I walk more confidently, and I am acting as if I am all those things. Because eventually, the more I say it, the more my brain will believe it.
Two words…I am. The rest of the sentence is up to you.