If you are anything like me, and by “like me” I mean human, you have been known to, on occasion, beat yourself up. Not physically beat yourself up, like with a right hook to the eye or a blow to the chest, but beat yourself up like let that nasty-ass mean inner voice take over.

We all do it. Some of us more than others.

I am not here to tell you you can or even should get rid of that biyotch (or whatever the male version of it is). I don’t think that is possible. Just like those people who will tell you “Just get rid of your fear, c’mon you know you can do it!” It doesn’t work that way. The nasty voice and your many fears, large and small, are objective entities. They exist, and will continue to exist, no matter what you do, don’t do, think or don’t think. Think of them as trusty workers who show up for their job come rain, snow, holiday or natural disaster. Like an “Employee of the Month” on steroids.

What happens for those of us who are PhD candidates in “Nasty Self-Talk” is that when we get worn down, when the fear’s work ethic eclipses even our best efforts to rise above it, the nasty voice seems louder and stronger than ever. To me, it says things like:

“I can’t believe you had that broken link for your book on the website. Duh, you failed Web Sales 101.”

“Who told you it was a good idea to get married at age 24?”

“I can’t believe you still give your kids so much unhealthy food.”

“You aren’t _____ enough.”

“You are too ______.”

“How did you manage to go to a college with the best business school in the world but never take one business class?! How practical!”

“Your constant feeling of being ‘on-call’ for people and their problems is your fault not theirs.”

“It’s all your fault.”

“Even your dog wishes you would leave the house more.”

“That verbally-abusive person was right about you. You know it. ”

“You waste so much precious time on nonsense. How do you expect to have what you want when you are so focused on what you don’t want?”

And so on….Sound familiar?


Here is what I know: The better I love myself and the more I heal, the more detached I am from this voice, from its nastiness. The better I treat myself — physically, emotionally and otherwise, the better I am able to rise above whatever crap exists.

Healing is about accepting the presence of this voice and living your life despite and even because of it. Healing is about seeing this voice for what it is. It is about deliberately choosing how you spend your time, who you spend your time with and how your treat yourself. Healing is about using this voice to break bad patterns, create new boundaries and believe, radically, in yourself NO MATTER WHAT.

I could say more, but I think you get the picture.


What about you…what are some of the dumb things YOU have done?!


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