I have some exciting news for you!
I am working with a fantastic publishing team (nod to Alison Jones and her amazing team at Practical Inspiration Publishing, who I can’t recommend highly enough to any of you aspiring authors) on my first book! It’s called StressHacking – 52 Simple Strategies To Get Your Life, Your Mind, And Your Mojo Back. It is packed full of doable hacks to kick stress into touch and allow you to be the amazing human being that you are. The release date will be early next summer and I can’t wait to share it with you!
When I sat down to write the book, I kept you all in my mind and heart. Here is the note I stuck on the table next to my laptop to help to inspire me to write the best book that I could.
In the meantime, let’s start hacking stress right away!!
I am going to share some of the hacks from the book with you in this monthly Blog and in my Inspired Zone Podcast. I am determined to reduce stress in as many people’s lives as I can, so I hope that you will find these useful, and if you do, please do forward or pass them on. We really can make the world a better place for each other.
So without further ado, here is a peek at one of the hacks from my book. I have started with this one because I see it affect so many people and I really would love people to be a little less self-judgemental and a little more loving to themselves. You included.
Can you be your own worse enemy at times?
Our own-worse-enemy can sabotage all sorts of things in life, and you can probably recognise your own-worse-enemy-self in action. You might be familiar with that harsh inner-critic? At times, this inner-critic sits quietly in the background, just putting a damper on the things you want to get excited about. When you dare to dream, it will remind you of all the reasons your idea is stupid, or of how many times things have gone wrong in the past. It compares you with all the filtered, faked up versions of anyone else you think is better than you.
And then there’s the nagging self-doubt. I don’t know many people that don’t feel self-doubt at times. Actually, I’m not sure I know any. A bit of self-doubt is healthy, after all, life often invites us outside of our comfort zone and not everything turns out as we want it to. That aside, it’s the crippling self-doubt that our own-worse-enemy-self thrives on. We have all suffered disappointments, some more devastating than others. In the fast-paced world that we live in, we don’t always allow ourselves time to process the very normal human emotions we go through when things affect us. But if we don’t process those feelings, our own-worse-enemy will take great pleasure in turning them all in on ourself. Without even realising it, we can unconsciously self-sabotage everything that we want and everything that we care about – all to avoid feeling any more potential disappointment or pain. We hold ourselves back and beat ourselves up – and we invest a vast amount of time and energy in doing so. All this at the hands of our very own-worse-enemy-self. It’s the villain in our very own Hero’s Journey.
But what if we could stop doing that? What if we could actually encourage and support ourselves in life?
Here’s the thing. At some point, we really do need to stop being our own-worse-enemy. Well, we do if we want to be happier and less stressed. Somehow, we need to learn to be our own-best-friend-self. We need to start supporting and encouraging ourselves just like a best friend would. We need to give ourself a chance in life.
It’s ok – I hear you
The first step in becoming your own-best-friend-self (OBFS) is to make time to listen to your own-worse-enemy-self (OWES) and to hear all of its fears. Why? Because, as self-sabotaging as your OWES is, it’s only trying to stop you from being hurt. It thinks it’s got your best interests at heart, even though it doesn’t.
So, before you go any further, go and get yourself a pen and plenty of paper. Get yourself a cuppa, and maybe a box of tissues, and go shut yourself in a room somewhere quiet and comfortable. It’s time to call out every self-sabotaging thought or feeling you have. If you really want to reduce your stress and feel more fulfilled in life, you have to look these lovingly in the face. Not in a judgemental way. In an ‘I’m your best friend, and I want to support you in life’ way. So, let’s be really honest; lovingly and encouragingly. Get them all out of your closet, and get them onto paper. How exactly are you being your own worse enemy? You have to own them all, otherwise they will continue to get in your way.
What are your self-judgements? How about your self-doubt? What are your very own ‘I’m not good enough’ beliefs? How about your ‘I could never do/be/have that’ beliefs? Even the ‘there’s no point because’ beliefs. Let’s have them. All of them.
Now, look at that list. What would your best friend say about those things? I know that all those judgements and beliefs are a part of who you are right now but you can free yourself from any of these – if you want to. Yes, it is going to take some effort, and it would be easier not to bother at all. But if you don’t bother, you won’t change. But you do want to change. You want to be happier and more fulfilled. You don’t want to be stressed or anxious.
So, to look at this list through the loving eyes of your OBFS; look at each thing you have written down and know that at some point in your life, it served a purpose, so make peace with it.
Then go through your entire list, one thing at a time, and ask yourself:
- Do I still need that judgement or belief now?
- Does it serve me? If so, how?
- Or, do I want to let that go now?
Write your answers down. Don’t just skip through it in your head. I say that because I can be the world’s worse at understanding the theory but not doing the required practice to actually make a real difference, which is another OWES trait we can all fall for. Writing things down gets you to look at them, and own them, at a deeper level. It’s transformational. When you have looked at them in this way you are more likely to spot them when they are playing out in your everyday life. You will have more chance of interrupting those self-sabotaging OWES reactions and replacing them with OBFS responses. More about becoming your OBFS in the next blog, but please don’t skip this bit first. Your OWES would definitely try to skip this.
# The Hack
Through the lens of your loving and supportive own-best-friend-self, take the time and effort to write down all the ways that you are your own-worse-enemy-self. Make peace with them. Review which ones you still want to keep, and which ones you are ready to let go of. Let any emotion that surfaces be there – it’s all part of releasing that which no longer serves you.
Look out for moments where your own-worse-enemy-self is surfacing in everyday life. When you notice it showing up, take a deep, conscious breath and consider what a more supportive response would be in that moment.
In next month’s blog, I will cover how to be more own-best-friend-self, so in the meantime get calling your own-worse-enemy out, lovingly, but determinedly.