Mastering Your Inner Mean Girl
To outsiders, I appeared to have it all—great job, nice house, loving family, thriving blog and social media presence. But, behind the scenes, I was spiraling. I was in law school with an eating disorder, then I was in a marriage where I was afraid to think, eat or breathe, so I just spent any free time asleep. Then, after the birth of my daughter I was exhausted, but felt like I had to keep all the balls in play for all the things in my life, career, and family.
I tried all the avenues to lower my stress and an anxiety and pull myself out of depression—meditating, yoga, clean eating, 30 minutes of exercise each day. But honestly, none of these things helped me experience meaningful change until I took a bold step to wage war against my inner mean girl and decided to commit to life coaching. Your inner mean girl, you know, the bad angel who sits on your shoulder whispering (or yelling), “You’re not enough.”
Ya’ll, I have this loud inner voice that is constantly telling me that I am not enough—not smart enough, good enough, successful enough. Finally, after years if feeling so lost, I realized the first relationship I needed to heal was the one I have with myself. This is what I have been doing for the past weeks in my life coaching journey. I am learning to master my inner mean girl (IMG) and become an unstoppable woman.
Sounds cheesy right? But, yet the more I deep dive into the inner monologue in my head, the more I have come to realize that this is EXACTLY what I needed. So, here’s a little recap of how I am learning to master that mean girl in my own life.
Mastering Your Inner Mean Girl
1. Play detective
The first step to overcoming your IMG is to identify it! That means coming face-to-face with her and shining a light on her ways. I had to take an inventory (literally) of all the thoughts I had about myself. Ya’ll, seeing how I really feel about myself on paper—well, it sucked. It made me feel like such a fraud.
My IMG is a pleaser, a perfectionist and my own worst critic. She can also be a bit of an avoider. She tells me I am not good enough, that I am not normal, that my own wants are not as important as the wants of other and pushes me to achieve “success” by other people’s standard, not my own.
But, as hard as it was to see all of that on paper, it allowed me start to close the door on that negativity. I have to learn to close the door on those thoughts, but in a gentle way. After all, your inner mean girl is there to protect you from all the bullet holes in your life—all the experiences and pain you have endured and internalized. You have to learn to tell her “Thank you, but no thank you.”
I interviewed my inner mean girl. Like sat down and had to answer a series of questions as the inner mean girl I named “The Devil Wears Prada.” It opened up wounds and scars, but I cried cathartic tears as I realized that that voice, she means well, but I do not need her to protect me.
2. Remind yourself: love over fear
The inner mean girl in your head—she thrives off fear and that fear is fueled over and over in your daily life. Mine, I realized was constantly telling me that I needed to have this job, wear these clothes, act this way in order to be loved, respected, successful, etc… She was the loudest voice in my head and I was miserable.
To stop it, Lindsay, taught me you have to choose love, love of self—and rely on your authentic self every time those negative thoughts creep in your head. My authentic self, she was buried so deep within that when I was asked about her, I often could not even tell you what she was like. I had a hard finding times when I was truly happy. But in true Lindsay fashion, she pushed me. She made me look deeper to truly find what activities, thoughts and such truly make me happy. Finding that creative, fun-loving woman brought me so much freedom.
3. Find the Wins
Alright, I know the thought of finding love over or fear might sound a little out there, but the concrete practice I was taught was to journal and write down my wins. Yup. I have a little book that I write in that literally is just to document those tiny wins in my day. It has truly made me feel more grateful and calm.
4. Exploit your strengths
I am sure most of you have taken the Strengths Finder quiz. If you haven’t, I urge you to do it. It is quite eye opening. What are your strengths? They are those things that energize you and come easily to you. They are your God-given gifts and you do them naturally, without thought.
My top 5 are:
Achiever - People exceptionally talented in the Achiever theme work hard and possess a great deal of stamina. They take immense satisfaction in being busy and productive.
Communication - People exceptionally talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
Strategic - People exceptionally talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
Input - People exceptionally talented in the Input theme have a need to collect and archive. They may accumulate information, ideas, artifacts or even relationships.
Responsibility - People exceptionally talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
Learning these strengths and who they really are is one of the best things I have done. I literally interviewed them. I asked them their best qualities, how they move me forward, hold me back and how I am using them.
So you need to exploit them! Use them to best of your ability to live authentically.
This is just the start ya’ll. There are still several weeks to go in my journey to master my inner mean girl, but it has been one of the best experiences in my life.
If you are curious what life coaching you can read my other recaps here and here and visit my coach’s site Lindsay E. Preston. I recommend she you start with the 21 Day Life Luvrs Challenge. It was what got me hooked. You can use my code for 20% off LYNN20.