Every time I meet a woman for a photo shoot, the first thing I hear from her is a list of what is “wrong” with her.
Have you noticed that “ego feed” that pops into your brain throughout the day? That mean girl voice that show up on most days and that voices things that you would never say to anyone else?
Well, I would hear that all the time. The more I heard these unkind words of self-loathing, the more I would remember feeling that way about myself. It was like looking into a mirror, and it just made me sad.
And so I did an experiment to see if I could “catch” that mean girl and tell her to shut the fuck up whenever I heard those unkind statements. Everything from, ‘Are you SURE you’re good enough to do that?!” or “Why do YOU need to be successful and make lots of money...you sure you deserve that?”
Each time that happened (and it was plenty!), I would stop and remind myself that I would never talk to a friend that way. The mean girl would get a slap in the face after I would also remind myself that I’d never show someone I loved such a lack of love or caring. I would never say cruel things to a friend; it would just be mean, and that is not who I am.
So my mean girl was starting to be ignored.
But listen, she screamed that scream you see but you don’t hear (loud and long and painful)! I felt it in my body on some days because I would wonder, “Who the fuck do you think you are Rupa trying to be better, smarter, a badass version of you?”
But that is when the true self love started showing up. I decided instead to start giving myself permission to be all of those things.
Become a badass.
So I decided to explore self-love a little deeper. I took out a journal and I wrote down all the quirky things that I thought about myself. One of the things I wrote down was that I have one eye that pretty much closes when I smile or laugh. Someone once called it my “Terminator Eye.” From that moment on, I became so aware of my squinting eye any time I had a photo taken, or when I laughed hard. That was one of my quirks and I needed to learn to embrace AND love! So, I added it to my (very long) list.
After writing down all of my (so-called) imperfections, I turned it around. On the other side of the page, I listed all of my amazing attributes that I know to be true. I wrote down compliments and praise my friends and colleagues had said to me. I used their kind, beautiful words that had meant to much when they had said them.
Then, I ripped the page in half so that both lists were separated. I folded up the list of imperfections tightly. And I put a match to it.
I watched it burn.
I felt the flames.
I cried harder.
I threw it into a glass of water and watched it flake away into pieces.
A burden had lifted.
I took the courage to be kind to myself.
And I told that mean girl to quiet down, well actually, it was more like ‘shut the fuck up and I don’t need you here!”
And even though on some days, she still won’t shut up, the cool thing is that with practice and diligence, I now have that “toolbelt” to help me quiet her down at moments that I am ready to fly and take off and create that better life and business!
What do you think it would feel like if you could do the same thing?
Are you ready to curb your mean girl and talk to yourself as you would your best friend? I promise, your inner goddess will thank you for it!
So, I challenge you…
Take the courage to be kind to yourself, too.
I encourage you to grab a piece of paper right now, and follow the steps above. Write down your quirks, then write down all the traits that people love and admire about you.
Feel it, cry it out, and feel and hear that rip of that paper when you tear it in two. It’s talking to you!
Seriously, it has a voice and it is beautiful….
Just listen to it.
As you burn the imperfections, watch the flame, feel it with your body, then let it go. Breathe. Cry. Smile.
Take the list of your amazing traits and fold it up. Put it inside your purse or in a special box in your office. Open it and read it every morning to remind yourself of who you really are. Then, just smile and let the energy of your courage and beauty wash over you.