02/10/2015 01:10 pm ET Updated Apr 12, 2015

How to Quiet the Mean Voice in Your Head

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Life can be exhausting. Especially if you're a mother. Yes, because of all the physical demands of cleaning up bodily fluids, buckling and unbuckling seatbelts, and navigating through pumpkin patches and sibling rivalries... but even more so because of the very critical and very cruel voice in our own heads saying (or in my case yelling) that we're not doing it well enough.

After I became a mother in 2007, the mean voice in my head pointing out all my deficiencies and inadequacies got louder and louder.

  • Why is it so hard for you to get this parenting thing down? Everyone else has it figured out.
  • How could you possibly miss that school event for a meeting? Get your priorities straight!
  • What must other moms think of you?

As the voice got louder, I started working harder to prove it wrong. Putting my two children to bed, then working until midnight from my laptop on the couch. Baking cupcakes for school events, then racing to the airport for a business trip. I wanted to prove I could do it all -- but continued to believe I was getting it all wrong.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore.

The mean voice in my head was making me so mentally and physically bone-tired and exhausted that I knew I needed to do something drastic. Since I couldn't escape the voice, I decided to expose it.

I took to the TEDx stage and told the world that I had no idea what I was doing. And I asked the mothers of the world if they felt the same. Turns out they do.

Admitting my vulnerability out loud changed my life. I have a new sense of freedom I never experienced before. People say the truth hurts, but when it's your truth it doesn't hurt: it feels awesome.

I shared my truth. What's yours?