About a year ago I had a client that was an extreme perfectionist and struggled with a fierce inner dialogue. Let’s call her by a code name, Kim. From the outside it seemed like Kim was living the dream – she was a total beauty, a successful world traveling photographer and had magnetic charisma.
Yet beneath it all she had a thorny habit of sending relentless critical attack thoughts to herself on a regular basis. She never felt ‘good enough’ and was a host for some deep shame. Other bad habits were born from this seed, which made things worse.
Kim bravely reached out for support after one of my yoga classes. As I got to know her I was blown away by her life story, which had some parallels to mine. Over the years she learned to navigate a maze-like terrain of anxiety and finally reached a point where she wanted to shift her inner dialogue to a more uplifting language.
We may not want to admit it, but most of us have some bad habits that we befriended early on as a way to protect or control. The more we ‘feed it’ the more difficult it is to get rid of these habits. But any habit can be transformed.
From my personal experience and observations from working with others, below are some major ways we delay our growth and healing. Lovingly note which ones apply to you. Do you:
- avoid feeling?
- keep pain or shame a secret?
- neglect using the tools + teachings you’ve learned?
- avoid scheduling and practicing daily self-care rituals?
- deny your need to ask for help and create a council of support?
On the flipside we can choose to nurture our inner landscape, even on the ugly days. With persistent practice we will be rewarded with better habits and feel at home in our body as we create a sense of connection and success in our life. The first step is admitting that we want to change. Even one small and consistent healthy habit threaded into your daily life makes an enormous difference.
Take a step back for a moment. Imagine you're standing on a high and mighty mountaintop. Breathe. Take in the view and recognize what you’ve accomplished in your lifetime, even the smallest victories. Acknowledge all of it. This bird's eye view will help bring the pieces together as you venture into new ways of speaking to your beloved self. Whenever you notice that you’re shit talking/thinking, pause and spin it into a more uplifting mantra.
* Every day for the next 7 days repeat this mantra, saying it 3 times in a row. Continue to use it whenever you wish: “I shed habits that hinder my truth. I release and renew.”
To this day Kim is one of my favorite people. Witnessing her dedicated growth has resulted in some of my own growth, which has been a gift. What if there is no 'wrong' way to experience life and all is divinely on track? We don’t need to have it all figured out, perfect and shiny. We deserve the space to pause and inquire about who we are becoming. Be patient with your process, reflect on your journey and be nice to yourself.
Put this into action now! In the comments below tell me some of your daily practices that have helped you create a healthier inner dialogue. And if you’re ready to really go wild, repeat the above mantra right now and share how it made you feel.
As always, thank you for reading and adding your own insights to this conversation!
PS: If this really moved you and you're interested in digging deeper, contact me here to join my one-on-one Soul Love Rehab program.