I was talking to a client the other day about how to stop the constant criticism running through her head. The voice that tells her she's not smart enough, fun enough, thin enough, and that her eyes are too close together. I know that voice well as it used to run my life too. It took consistent vigilance, but I was finally able to put a stop to most of what my Inner Mean Girl was saying.
One of the key ingredients in making peace with my Inner Mean Girl was dialoguing with her when she popped up to figure out where her criticism was coming from. Hint: your Inner Mean Girl isn't mean, she's afraid and usually her reality is based in something that happened to you a long time ago.
Another piece of the equation was that I had to start replacing her negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Easier said than done, I know, but here's the thing: we all have things that we don’t like about ourselves, but our brains are super sensitive to our negativity. In fact, it takes 5 positive statements to overcome the effect of 1 negative one. That’s right.
Kind of makes your Inner Mean Girl seem like a giant, doesn't it?
To make matters worse, a recent study found that women in their late 30s to early 60s are especially vulnerable to negative self-talk thanks to the hormonal changes associated with perimenopause and menopause. Yikes!
So what can you do to change this negative self-talk? What advice did I give my client who is trying to put a stop to the steady stream of negativity in her head. I told her I wanted her to take the Sticky Note Challenge. “What’s the Sticky Note Challenge?” you ask. Have you ever heard of Operation Beautiful? The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find – notes that would brighten their day. Something like “You are Beautiful.”
I want you to use this idea for to create sticky note for yourself. Ideally you would make several sticky notes that contain that phrase and put them places where you will see them. Places like your wallet, purse, office cubicle, bathroom, etc. As a psychologist, I know that the more we see certain messages, the more we start to believe them. This is why my office is literally filled with positive messages, inspirational quotes, and pictures of things that remind me that I am a Goddess – see above for a photo of where the magic happens! 😉
I'd love it if you would join my client in the Sticky Note Challenge. Let us know how you are faring. And as always, if you have a comment or question, leave me a note below.