The answer to that question is yes. We are both our own worst enemy and best friend. With our high standards we demand much of ourselves. We expect to be able to do all things for everyone perfectly without any help. The problem comes with the fact we pull it off much of the time. The results can be exhaustion; frustration; feeling of being alone, not acknowledged, or used. We can also experience feeling of inadequacy, insignificances or as an impostor.
With high standards we automatically critique our performance. In that process we ignore or minimize – what went well, what was accomplished, the level of success achieved, and/or the significance of the contribution. Others may respond with appreciation and are struck by the ease with which you did it. Watch out, as the critic will step in and we think “it was nothing” or “what if they find out the truth, I am not that good”. We need to cultivate our internal BFF. We are of more value to the world when we value ourselves. We value ourselves with self-care and self-love.
How do we cultivate our BFF? We will not silence the internal critic as it has a purpose to – to challenge us, to keep us safe, and to help us improve. However, we also need to recognize our efforts, our journey of mastery, and our excellence. We can develop various tools to encourage our internal FF to speak out:
- One is to pause. When we begin to rag on ourselves, we can stop and take a conscious breath.
- We can ask ourselves: “What are the facts?” “What are the positive aspects?” “What would my best friend tell me?”
- We can celebrate, honoring our process and accomplishments.
- We can write what we feel, both the self-doubt and the exhilaration of the accomplishment – yes brag on ourselves. After all we are writing in our journal, the private realm of our BFF.
There is power in the critic which can be used for growth when approached as a guardian versus a bully. There is power in knowing and conversing with our internal BFF for encouragement, support, acknowledgment, and celebration. Have a conversation with your internal BFF today.
This is tools for life with Dr. Edith Johnston at DareWhimsy.com. To explore more with Dr. Edith wander over to HowToInLIfe.com