Why are we harder on ourselves than we would be toward the stranger standing next to us?
You know that little voice inside your head that seems to think the worst? The one that tends to criticize your every move and leaves you questioning your actions and self worth?
Well that voice lies. ALL. THE. TIME.
What's more, that voice is extraordinarily fond of sharing "limiting beliefs," or beliefs-based language disguised as facts that hold you back from thriving and moving forward. You can spot these when you start picking out words like "can't," "never," "always," "don't,""should" or "shouldn't." But there are plenty of other sneaky beliefs that masquerade as facts under the radar.
This is something I've personally experienced many times throughout my life. A few examples:
When I thought that getting a divorce meant I was a quitter, a liar and a failure
When I thought that quitting a toxic job showed I lacked a disciplined work ethic
When I thought that my daughter's struggles at school reflected on my parenting abilities
But you know what? None of those things were true. Those "facts" (e.g., "If you get a divorce, you are a quitter.") were simply beliefs in disguise. Even more surprising -- they were beliefs that I didn't actually hold. I would not have drawn those harsh judgments to others facing the same situations.
That's when the light bulb went off. It was time to start treating myself (and speaking to myself) the same way I would to the stranger sitting next to me.
When you start to hear this sabotaging voice, it's within your power to silence it. You can start by simply asking if what the voice is saying is true. What evidence is there that backs up these bold, negative claims? How does this voice know for certain that the only outcome of your efforts will be negative? What are some other possible outcomes instead?
Once you start questioning this unwanted nay-sayer, you take away its power and return your own. And when that happens, your opportunities become endless.