Everyone has that sabotaging voice in their heads that utters discouraging words. This negative internal monologue convinces us to believe things that no one else would agree with but ourselves. Hearing these particular thoughts can be bothersome at best and demoralizing at worst.
Unfortunately, this inner critic pops up in all sorts of inconvenient moments: when we’re about to give an important presentation or meeting someone new for a date.
And even more inconveniently, when you have a form of facial paralysis, these thoughts might be there to greet you when you glimpse at yourself in the mirror:
“You’re so unattractive. Your face looks distorted. Why are you leaving the house looking like that? Just look at your crooked smile, asymmetrical eyebrows,” And the list of negative internal thoughts continues to unravel…
On a personal side note, the idea of trying to silence my inner FP critic during the initial years of my condition seemed inauthentic. In other words, I felt sorry for myself, so I felt some sort of justification in allowing my inner critic to take over.
Yes, feeling sorry for yourself is OK. I’m not trying to tell you that you should avoid your emotions or get a lobotomy…
You are completely entitled to your feelings and should never suppress any emotions. Expressing your sadness, insecurities and disappointment can help diffuse the intensity of how you’re feeling. However, what is NOT ok is when it becomes a proverbial broken record…not knowing how to turn that inner voice off which will limit your potential and lessen your self-worth.
Learning how to silence your inner FP critic is the most valuable skill you can ever acquire. It’s a skill that I still have to practice and struggle with every day.
Here are some ways that have helped me turn the volume down on that unnecessary internal chatter:
Give yourself a deadline: Be mindful of when your feeling insecure and your inner critic is taking over. When this occurs, give yourself permission to feel those emotions but also set a deadline of how long you will feel sorry for yourself. Don’t stew in your emotional soup for too long.
Change the Channel: The best way to change the channel is through distraction — find SOMETHING that will temporarily distract you from the negative tapes playing in your head. The worst thing to do is allow yourself to dive deep down into the trenches of your negative thoughts and get sucked in.
Examine the evidence: Your thoughts aren’t always true. In fact, they’re often not only very negative but exaggerated. It’s essential to examine the evidence before you believe your thoughts. This is something I struggle with to this day due to my anxiety. I’ve learned that when I’m having thoughts that could potentially be irrational, I’ll write them down and asses those notes later on.
Don’t allow the negative thoughts control you. Change the channel or turn down the volume in order to achieve peace within YOURSELF. Insecurities don’t have to stop you, allow it to drive you. You are in charge. Thrive in the face of insecurity. LET IT FUEL YOU.