Even if you have what looks like a really great life: great family, friends, a good job, why is it that deep inside, you feel restless, as though something is missing?
Why is it that most of the time, you don’t feel the way you want about yourself or your life? No matter how much it looks to the world like you are doing great, on the inside, you feel like shit. You compare yourself to others, feel like you don’t measure up, beat yourself up, and you’re probably sick and tired of feeling like no matter what life looks like, this isn’t it!
Here’s how learning to like myself started for me: I spent much of my adolescent and early adult life struggling to find inner peace. On all fronts, I had a fantastic life. I had loving parents, wonderful friends, good health, boyfriends, and a good job. Why, then, did I frequently feel I was just not “good enough?”
Life was all about getting to the next level. Once I got “there”, all would be right in the world. Once I got into college, life would come together. Check. Once I got my first job, then I would feel complete. Check. Once I moved out of my parents’ house, all would be right in the world. Check, check, check.
Nope. Nope. Nope. When I got to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore, I enrolled in a six-day retreat, to learn how to experience more joy and satisfaction in my life.
And I had an epiphany that would forever change my life.
One of the retreat’s challenges was a ropes course designed to force you to confront your fears. As I stood on a platform the size of a dinner plate, mounted 100 feet in the air, the instructions were simply to step off. Although I knew intellectually that my safety harness would keep me safe, it didn’t stop my feet from remaining on that dinner plate for almost a half hour. Finally, a voice from somewhere spoke to me: “Don’t let fear stop you,” it said. Even though I was scared to death, shaking and crying, I stepped off the platform. The result from this simple step, was a question that would forever change the course of my life: “Who gives a f*@k if you’re scared?”
It was the moment that I decided that the way I act in my life would have nothing to do with the fearful thoughts in my mind.
When I came home, I started experimenting. Rather than listening to the voice telling me to stay in my comfort zone, I pushed myself into being uncomfortable, all with the same question: “Who gives a f*@k if you’re scared?”
I started meeting new people I would never have talked to before. I joined a lacrosse team, and I’m terrible at lacrosse! I started having more fun! And the irony was, the more I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, the calmer and more balanced I felt, because I was no longer afraid of being afraid!
It is this question that introduced me to the voice of my Inner Critic: the voice of “don’t do it, or this could happen!” I caught my inner critic worrying about how I would be judged or how I would fit in and be perceived by others, and I would say, “Who gives a f*@k if you’re scared?” I was no longer allowing my broken record voice to have power over me.
In fact, the only reason you are even reading this now is because my lifelong personal work has been to override my inner critic. If it were up to my Inner Critic, there is no way I would be leading workshops all over the country, writing blogs, and working on a book! With every step I take, the question remains the same: “Who gives a f*@#k if you’re scared?”
Liking yourself begins with the choice to no longer give power to the broken record thoughts that play over and over in your mind. The truth is that right now, the way you think is automatic. Your mind goes to the same thoughts, all day, every day, about why you just don’t cut it. It is your thinking that is FUNDAMENTAL to how you feel about yourself and your life. You automatically base your worth on everything you do, have, or say, or what you look like. And this never ending chase to “be good enough” is a race to no where. You are like a hamster on a hamster wheel. No wonder you’re exhausted!
What if you could really feel like you are enough? Just as you are, without changing or fixing anything? It really is possible!
And it starts with this one step: Stop letting your Inner Critic keep you stuck in fear.
Remember, who gives a f*@#k if you’re scared!!