Think of all the things you have wanted to do but didn’t. The relationships you wished you had, the experiences you wanted to try, the words you wished you said.
HOW YOUR IMG IMPACTS YOU
Do you know why you didn’t follow through with any of these desires? I do, you listened to your Inner Mean Girl. She told you, you weren’t good enough, smart enough, interesting enough, thin enough, and a litany of other statements to keep you stuck.
Your IMG keeps you in a specific pattern, think perfectionism, comparison, self-soothing, control, people pleasing and more, in order to keep you safe. Women are particularly susceptible to the voice of the IMG, and her negativity has a profound negative impact on how we perceive ourselves and how we believe others perceive us. Since most of us are hard-wired with a desire for connection, this belief that we are unlikeable for whatever reason is devastating.
This hyper-criticalness leaks out into other areas as well.
No matter how hard you try not to vocalize these thoughts, your children pick up on them and will either internalize that you are judging them or they will start judging themselves in this same negative fashion.
Your IMG can also affect your health and well-being. Negative thoughts contribute to stress, anxiety and despair, which have been proven to suppress the immune system and increase susceptibility to illnesses. Yikes-who needs that??!!
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE & WHAT TO DO
So here’s how it can look like in real life. Last week I got a lead on participating in an online Stress-Free Mom Summit. The topics the organizer was looking for were right up my alley. The submission form said “book your interview early, because once I select a candidate for a topic–it’s gone”. Interviews started on Wednesday and ran through Friday. My IMG spoke up and said “Well, Wednesday is kind of tight, but Friday—Friday is wide open, and if you wait until Friday then maybe you won’t get picked.” Translation — “Wait, don’t embarrass yourself, put yourself in the best position to NOT be selected so you will be safe.”
5 years ago, I know I would not have booked myself for an interview—my IMG was so overwhelming (much less be in a position for this kind of opportunity). Now that I know what my IMG is up to, I was able to set those damaging thoughts aside, and booked myself for the first available appointment that Wednesday. This story has a very happy ending, as I was selected for the topic I chose AND I was asked to do a bonus topic.
Now it’s your turn. Fill in the blank:
I wanted to do:_______________________________________________.
And my Inner Mean Girl told me:_________________________________.
So I: _______________________________________________________.
OVERCOMING THE IMPACT
Awareness is the path to healing and change. This week I invite you to simply be aware of when you IMG is speaking to you. No judgements, no regrets or remorse, simply notice when she speaks to you.
The best news is you really can learn a new way of speaking to yourself—with great love and compassion. I know, because I’ve lived it. Just by making this easy, instant shift you can create major awareness and in turn relieve a great deal of anxiety and stress and start moving towards anything you want to do, be, and have.