Most everyone I know, myself included, spends a lot of time in self critique. Often times we’re not even aware of what is going on in our minds, we just know that we are really, really motivated to do a good job at everything we do, not make mistakes, say YES to others requests as often as possible, stay super busy and show the world how well we’re doing.
It’s interesting that when we pause to go to yoga or take a break it’s not that rejuvenating after all and really it just cuts into the precious time we have to get things done.
If you were to really, really pause and investigate inside why it’s so hard to prioritize yourself, what do you think you might find?
I’m going to just guess here and suggest that you might find an overactive mind that loves to criticize and berate you. A mind so used to being listened to that it currently rules the roost.
But I also know who you are beyond your active, capable mind and your to-do list. You are a sensitive soul who knows enough and has learned enough and has enough confidence and intuition and heart to do anything you want in life including prioritize, care for and be kind toward yourself.
You just need a little help believing that yourself.
You’re hiding behind doing and giving and saying yes and achieving and working and stressing because the minute you stop, you become vulnerable. Vulnerable to your own judgments and criticisms and hey, maybe even a life more healthy and present and calm than you even imagined possible.
Your excuses about being too busy and too tired are limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck in a self-critical way of life that continually perpetuates itself. At this point you have two options, right?
Option #1: Keep running your life the way it is and hope for health and presence and joy sometime later when all the work is done.
Option #2: Break through the painful critiques of yourself that are running the show of your life in order to speak your truth now and be your personal best now.
I get it. I’ve worked with many, many women who are breaking free from old beliefs within themselves so they can finally live who they really, really are in their hearts.
I’ve supported hugely successful professionals questioning their workload and their overwhelm. I’ve seen women step so boldly into their truth that they do the same amount of work in half the time while also taking care of their bodies and their hearts.
In fact, I’ve done and continue to do this work on myself.
As I’ve explored for myself and worked with others, I’ve been able to pinpoint some ways that smart, intuitive and sensitive women get stuck in these harsh self-critiques, and what to do about it.
#1: Give yourself permission to take a break! We so often lack permission from ourselves to have needs. Take breaks for little things like drinking some water throughout the day and getting fresh air for five minutes even when you’re busy.
#2: Get to know your own feelings and needs. When we live a life separate from knowing our own selves, we live a life for everyone else. When we claim our feelings and needs, we treat ourselves with respect and empathy and hush our inner critics.
#3: Practice acts of vulnerability. So many of us hide our vulnerabilities behind our to-do lists. Practice slowly and gently by admitting mistakes, writing your fears down in a journal, speaking your truth to a really close friend, complimenting someone on their performance. Each act will show you that it is safe to be real and to be you.
#4: Paint yourself a mental (or physical) picture of who you really are beyond your to-do list and your overwhelming schedule. Go into as much detail as you possibly can. What will it FEEL like to be honoring all of you, heart, body and mind? What circumstances will change when you do? Dream BIG here. Go all the way with what your heart is longing to express and then take action steps starting today that lead you toward that vision. Check in with how you are spending your time and see if it is leading you toward that vision.
Often, a few simple but consistent practices in getting to know yourself will make a huge difference whether you control your to-do list or if it controls you.
Lexi Koch is an intuitive life coach who empowers women gain a profound knowing of themselves. Within the sacred and soulful space of sessions with her, clients are guided to see that their overwhelm, feelings of being spread too thin and burnout are a cry from within to find spaciousness, presence and to know themselves on a whole new level.
Working with Lexi is a process of befriending all parts of yourself through visualizations, deep introspection, calling out Stories and getting to the bottom of what’s been keeping you stuck. The best part is having someone who by completely meeting you wherever you are at teaches you how to do the same for yourself.