I wrote about feeling self conscious recently because I was experienceing a work environment that was a bit distracting. But the sensation of feeling “self-conscious” actually comes from within us not from our environment. It originates from our thoughts and beliefs about the environment. Often our thoughts and beliefs are subconscious and are driven by the internal voice we all have that just won’t shut up.” This is not the Inner Voice of our Heart/Soul Space but the collection of all the “should-can’ts- don’ts” that we have heard throughout our lives. If you stop to listen and note the things being played on a contiguous loop in your mind you might even be able to name who told you that; such as a school teacher, a sibling or a parent. You can then go deeper and acknowledge that they may believe that statement but you don’t. Then you can consciously choose to “let it go” – I love using bubbles or balloons to symbolize the letting go of an old sub-conscious belief. It makes the process fun and adds humor which is always good medicine. 🙂
Every now and then I get judgmental about how others “see” me or what they are thinking about me and my actions. Now how in the world can I even know what others see or think? I can’t! I am not behind their eyes or in their mind. Unless they say something or I get a non-verbal reaction I simply have no clue as to what they are thinking and yet I “go there” and have this crazy conversation in my head and before long I don’t feel very good.
I did it the other day. I am trying to stop and laugh at myself when I do this and it usually works but Tuesday was difficult. This is my crazy story…see if you can relate.
I had discovered on Monday that the spot I have to park my car while at my temporary job leaves it in the west sun by 5:00 when I leave. Now this is Phoenix, Arizona and we are at 110 degrees by then, so my seat, arm rest and steering wheel were too hot to touch! My 1999 RAV 4 does not have tinted windows.
So the next day I grabbed a bath towel in the color of my car and hung it in my window which now blocks the west sun from cooking my seat and steering wheel. Good fix, right? But I can see my car from the receptionist desk and this is a nice place – a design center – and suddenly I feel like people are judging me and my car. It looks okay and most Arizonans are fine with this behavior but I have been judging myself all day over it.
So what did I do? Did I stop the Monkey Mind judgment voice or listen to it, take the towel down, and have a blazing hot car when I go home?
I’ll tell you. I choose to ignore this insane voice (which originates from an older sister) and to laugh at it. I also have a crazy refrain that keeps popping up now that I am almost 60 years old (one year to go) and that is “I’m too freaking old to care about this anymore” lol What this means is that I know better now. I know from years of experience doing the self-judgement voice that most people don’t know, see or care about me and how I look or what I am doing. Most people are so self-absorbed (like I am being with my self-criticism) to even be aware of me and my little idiosyncrasies.
Tips For Healing Our Self-Judgmental Voice
- Stop and listen to it – write down what was said
- Ask yourself if you believe this anymore
- Ask yourself who gave you this belief – then write under it “I forgive you” which means you know they were doing the best they could and you are now letting go of their words – “forgive” means to give-up.
- Next, find a way to symbolize letting go of the belief. You can carry bubbles with you and visualize them leaving as you blow a bubble.
- If you wrote it on paper, you could rip it into shreds and toss it where it will be out of your house. You can flush it if it is tiny, or safely burn the paper and visualize the thought/belief disintegrating into thin air.
It’s not easy catching our thoughts, so when we do it really helps if we take a moment to examine them. Feeling good is an internal job, one we can all make a priority. How do you handle the self-judgmental voice? Share your story and how you solved it – we all learn together this way.
’till next time
Your Personal Space Coach