I feel so fortunate that I have done the work I have so that I can recognize these statements for what they are. Lies. Lies designed to keep me safe—and stuck. I can always tell when I am dancing on my edge. I become very uncomfortable and my Inner Mean Girl shows up – right on cue. Just like she did last week. In the past I would have listened very carefully to this voice, believing every word and heading her advice. Even though I can recognize her now, it can still feel very painful. Yet unlike before, I no longer let her stop me and keep me stuck in a “safe” place. I am able to move beyond these statements in order to grow.
It’s not always easy to differentiate between your IMG and a true situation that you wish to find a solution for. Here are some ways your IMG shows up and what you can do instead.
This is when we hear “I can’t tell him how I feel” or “This project is too hard to finish” or “I’m getting so fat!” This type of self-talk creates a self-fulfilling prophecy because we assume defeat when our IMG tells us that we can’t handle what we are facing. Instead, practice saying something else when these statements occur. Say out loud, “I can tell him how I feel, and I will tell him now” or “This project has the challenges I have been looking for, and I want to finish it” or “I look great!”
jumping to conclusions
This occurs when we are in an uncomfortable situation. Our IMG begins making interpretations instead of stating the facts. She might say “I tried on my skirt and looked disgusting” or “When Betsy talked to me, I made a fool of myself” or “If I go to the gym, people will laugh at me”. When she does this, she is assuming the worst instead of looking at the facts. We can stop this! When feeling uncomfortable, state that you are uncomfortable with no assumptions about what other people are thinking. For example, “I tried on my skirt, and it didn’t fit as well as I would like” or “When Betsy talked to me, she said some very interesting things” or “If I go to the gym, I will have access to equipment that I can use to better my body.”
Speech patterns can be automatic and unnoticeable. Once we are aware of what we are actually saying, we can change the pattern. In response to mistakes, this may sound like “What do you expect from a silly blonde?” or “I’m so stupid!” It shows up in conversations with others as a way to not look conceited. For example, someone tells us we look nice, and we respond, “Yeah, right!” We may try to be humorous, but it isn’t funny. We can stop this by simply becoming aware of how we talk and respond to others. When we catch ourselves repeating what our IMG says, we can stop and say something positive instead such as, “Thank you, I feel good, too!” or “Oops, I made a mistake.”
You are the only one who can make this shift for yourself.
No matter how many people tell you how wonderful you are, until you begin to make these internal shifts, you will not believe them. Start practicing today and see how many times you can change your Inner Mean Girl’s statements.
If you want more help with your IMG, use the contact form with your challenge around your IMG, and I’ll send you a resource you can start using immediately!
Karen Gruber – The Inspired Mama