Thursday is Valentine’s Day which may make you want to roll your eyes or it may find you affixing glitter to a handcrafted treat for your sweetie. Whether you love or hate the notion of Valentine’s Day there is no escaping the blitz of hearts, candy, flowers and happy couples that we will be bombarded with between now and the 14th. This got me thinking about relationships and specifically the most important relationship which is the one with ourselves.
Author Kevin Burk says “True romance requires intimacy, vulnerability, honesty—and a tremendous amount of courage. This is why it’s such a rare commodity.” Kevin was talking about a relationship between two people but what if we turn this around and ask “are we being vulnerable and honest with ourselves?” Which, I would argue, probably requires as much courage as being vulnerable and honest with someone else.
Take a minute to ask yourself:
Does your happiness hinge on what someone else says and does?
Are you depending on the opinion of others because you don’t trust yourself?
Are you believing old thoughts that no longer serve you because you’re afraid of what it might take to change them? Or what may change if you do?
Our experiences in life shape how we see things going forward. For example, if you’ve internalized over the years that you’re not talented, not smart enough, not good enough or some other notion that makes you less than, that is how you will likely feel and show up in the world.
We all have a critic inner voice. What matters is whether you buy into what it is saying or not. Just because the world has taught you to believe these things about yourself does not make it true.
So, this February let’s shake it up a bit and be our own Valentine. Let’s get honest and vulnerable about all of the BS that we tell ourselves and how that gets in the way of just about everything. Imagine what would shift if you stopped listening to the critic and started believing that you are creative, resourceful, whole, worthwhile and beautiful inside and out. Find evidence of it in your life now. If your critic wants to tell you that you are too stupid to understand your tax return for example, find ways that you aren’t stupid...you graduated high school or college or grad school perhaps. When you’re critic starts picking apart the size of your thighs, remind yourself of the compliment you received just the other day or that you like your eye color. Remind yourself so that you don’t buy into the critic.
It has the potential to impact every relationship and every facet of your life. No candy or flowers required.
I'd love to know what your critical voice tells you and what you could use as evidence to counter it. Share with us in the comments below.