Kick your inner critic's butt

Hey beauty, I have a question for you.


What would you choose to do, if there was ZERO CHANCE YOU'D FAIL? Or zero chance anyone would laugh at you, judge you or call you out for being a fraud / flop / failure?

I want you to be totally honest with yourself... Do you have a deep yearning for something more?

More happiness? More confidence? More love? More trust? More success and wealth? You’re human, so I’m assuming there was a YES somewhere in there. If not, please feel free to abort yourself immediately from this blog post and continue living your epic, enlightened life - I’m happy for you!

For the rest of you… Read on.

I also know there’s probably a mean voice in your head that’s stopping you from going after that BIG amazing stuff. 

The girl in your brain who likes to keep you safe and STUCK. Telling you it wouldn't ever happen for you. Telling you your dreams aren't valid or realistic. Telling you it’s too hard, and you should just turn back now and cut your losses.

She probably tells you occasionally that you'll end up alone or a failure. Or that you'd flop hard on your face if you did really go for it (like really go for it). She probably makes it really hard to even make a decision or trust your "gut" feeling. She scrambles your head like eggs and makes you doubt whether that little niggle you have is even a real thing.

Don’t worry, I've had that bitchy, confusing voice in my head before too. She ruled my life 'til 2.5 years ago. She called ALLLLL the shots in my life too.
 
How many times have you been in a room of people and compared yourself to the beautiful confident women? Or felt paralysed with SOCIAL ANXIETY, convinced that every single person was judging you or worse, laughing at you?
 
How many times have you judged yourself, sabotaged yourself when things were getting good or taken a step forward, then 5 steps back? How many times have you looked in the mirror and told yourself you weren’t enough?
 
I have news for you. None of that criticism was/is YOU. It's HER. And you get to choose who rents the room in your head. That’s some precious real estate in there and not just anyone can live there.

This voice with the acid tongue… She isn’t the REAL YOU. This voice that cripples you with her comparisons… She isn’t the TRUE YOU. She tells you that you don’t belong, but really it is HER that doesn’t belong inside of you. This nasty roommate in your head, that makes you feel small… She isn’t YOU at all.
 
You don’t need to be trapped by her bullying anymore. You don’t need her permission. You don’t need to live YOUR life on her terms. In fact, you don’t need to live your life worrying about what ANYONE thinks of you. Or people pleasing to be liked.
 
You ARE a smart, sophisticated and soulful woman.
You have SO MUCH TO GIVE.

 You are absolutely glorious!
 

Deep down, I know that you know it too. You KNOW in your heart that you were born for more than this. 
 
…. But, when if you’re trapped in this inner battle every single day, the world won’t get to witness what you have to offer. If you let the mean inner critic control your choice forever, you’ll never be able to chase those amazing dreams.
 
Because it’s her job to keep you small, safe and STUCK where you are.

In order to evict this inner bitch, we need to focus on amping up the volume on your much nicer roommate - your inner cheerleader. She hasn’t been around much - maybe she’s even a myth to you at this point.

So how do you encourage and amp up the volume on the nice voice in your head? You need to get really intentional about it. You need to MAKE TIME every, single day for a few simple practices. Here’s a few examples below of how I’ve done it.

Exercise 1

Everyday for the next 2 weeks, write down 3 things that you’re really good at. Make yourself sit there and do it, even though you won’t want to. Even when your inner bitch tells you it’s stupid and so are you. She won’t like it, because it goes against her wishes and makes her feel abandoned. Get writing every single day and watch your mindset start to shift.

Exercise 2

Practice gratitude daily - make it a morning ritual and focus on all the stuff you have in your life to be grateful for, regardless of whether you’re failing, stressed or shit is just hitting the fan completely in your life right now. When we come back to what we always intrinsically have to be thankful for, we start to rewire our brain’s filter to see the good, even when there’s tons of bad floating around too. You can only let in so many thoughts a day or your brain would explode. In fact, you have about 70,000 a day. Your brain filters what it thinks you want to see and ignores what is irrelevant to you. When you reprogram your filter for gratitude, better things start to appear and your life feels a lot better, plus you’ll feel a lot more resilient towards your inner critic.

Exercise 3

Carry a journal (or use your iPhone notes if you must) and catch yourself when you hear your negative inner critic saying bad things to you. Write down everything she says throughout the day, whether it’s about your intelligence or your body or everything about you. Start to create consciousness around the thoughts you are engaging with everyday. Notice the ones that keep popping up. With awareness, we can start to be mindful of the thoughts we are having, which affect our habits and behaviours. Without awareness, you can’t change - because you wouldn’t know where to start. Do it for 2 weeks and start to brainstorm ways you can be kinder to you. You deserve it.

How "rock bottom" changed my future forever

Life isn’t linear. It's messy too. 
 
4 years ago I was struggling, in therapy, with totally different ‘friends’, obsessed with weight loss, a 9-5 career, binge drinking and smoking, and my business didn't even exist in my mind. 

Even 2.5 years ago I had no money, no husband and none of the close friendships I have now.
 
Just over 2 years ago I decided to move to London, a place I had never even visited... and to dedicate my life to creating a business in an industry I knew only a little about. Something I’d dreamed of doing for years but which I’d always let my inner critic talk me out of. 

I had no real friendship group and the 3 people I did know were kind enough to let me crash on their couch, but they busy with their own established lives and jobs and friends.

Here I was, new in a big city with room the size of my single bed in a flat-share trying to make this totally farfetched dream life of mine happen – to inspire women to transform their lives and inner well-being too.

Up until 2016 I’d been in three failed relationships, I’d had a mental health crisis, changed career direction twice and I was living in constant cycle of debt. I had nothing but a big vision in my journal and no idea how to pull it off.

In the beginning I didn't feel ready at all. There were a lot of times I didn’t believe it would happen.⠀

Yet, every time I'd think about throwing in the towel, something inside of me urged me to keep going just a little further.

My vision was bigger than me (It still is). It’s what my soul is called to do. 

2 years later and I've had what some people refer to as a complete LIFE MAKEOVER. It's true. I've totally changed my life. And I've had some massive lightbulb moments along the way. 

I've realised that my mental health problems have been a gift, so I could reconnect to my emotional self.  
I've realised that my challenges had been tests that revealed my inner strength and resilience.
I've realised that my horrendous breakup was the blessing that led me to my soul mate, my husband Tristan.
 
All of the heartbreaks we experience are gifts – they break our hearts open wide so we can return to who we really are beneath all of the layers that life lays on us. 

Beneath all of the stress.
The self-doubt.
The stories we tell ourselves growing up. 
 
Life breaks us so we can have our big breakthroughs.

Sometimes life cracks us so wide open, so that when we put the pieces back together we know how it feels to be whole again. 

We NEVER see it this way at the time.

And I certainly didn’t when my life was in a crisis either. The dots only ever connect in hindsight. 

When I spent nights crying myself to sleep I thought life was unfair.
I thought I was a failure. 
I thought I'd never make anything of myself.
That these challenges were the end of me. 
I'd wonder whether that feeling of loneliness and "not good enough" would ever dissolve. 

But now, when I open my eyes every morning the first thing I do is smile. I smile knowing that I have made it.

I made EVERY dream in that journal I wrote only 2 years ago into a reality, plus more.
 
I smile every time a client leaves my office, knowing I made a huge difference to that person’s life.

Or when I look out the window of my apartment over the London city skyline and think about how grateful I am to live here.

Or when I stare into Tristan’s eyes every morning and we recite what we are grateful for in our lives.
 
These small but meaningful moments were made possible by those days spent crying in my bathtub with a glass of red wine.
 
They are made possible by 2 years worth of 14-hour days working for minimum wage to pay my bills, whilst also juggling my full-time training, study, personal growth and reading as much as I could.
 
These moments are all the more special knowing that I was scared and uncertain, but I kept taking the steps anyway.

And because of all the things I said no to, the compromises I had to make and the sacrifices I made along the way.

This transformation was possible when I finally let go of the old safe me and invited the new me to show up and flourish.  
 
If you’re ever comparing yourself to others (or even me) I want you to know that nobody is ever an overnight success story and they are no more special than you.
 
The only difference is that they turned their tears and confusion into motivation. They took action even though they had doubts and even though they were scared shitless.

They took that breakdown and turned it into a breakthrough. They took their struggles and leaned in closer to discover their strengths. 

They kept moving even though they weren't sure if it would work out. 
 
This is exactly what I’ve done and it’s what propels me EVERY day, through every challenge in my personal life and my young business.
 
Everything you want to resist is actually preparing you for what you most want in your life.
 
Every challenge that rattles your confidence, is preparing you for the massive courage you'll need to go after your soul's calling. 
 
Every struggle is shaking you to your core, so you can figure out who you reallyyyyy are at your core.
 
Trust this process. Lean in to those emotions and self doubt.

Feel those fears and give them the middle finger while you show up anyway. 

... And when the time comes and your soul calls you to follow your passion or make that crazy, farfetched new start, follow the voice. Say YES.

Let it lead you into the unknown.
 
Because the future you don’t know about yet, is far greater than the perfect one you’ve got mapped out.  

The 5 Common Self-Love Blocks – and the solutions

Do you ever struggle to love yourself?


Well, you’re not alone.

There is so much noise right now about…

“Self Love!”

“Empowered women!”

“Confidence!”

 

…But, almost every woman I meet still struggles with practicing self-love in her everyday life. If it was as easy as telling ourselves how great we are, we would all be crazy in love with ourselves by now!

 

Even though I get paid to coach women on how to have healthy levels of confidence, well-being and self-love, I too have struggled with loving myself before. Loving myself through the cellulite, through the debt, the self-doubt when I make a mistake, through the breakups and the losses.

 

It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am now and I’d be lying if I said I loved myself every single moment of every single day. What I can say truthfully though, is that I’ve learned to love myself 99% of the time. And for the other times, I’ve learned how to shut up that mean inner critic in a matter of seconds.

 

Through many years of self-loathing combined with my experience as a women’s wellness and life coach, I’ve observed 5 common barriers to self-love that show up time and time again.

 

I’ve also road-tested tons of different methods and techniques on myself and my 1:1 clients in an effort to find out what really works and what is just purely self-help fluff.

 

Block #1 : You don’t believe you are good enough

 

This is the biggest limiting belief that I see – and the reason it’s a limiting belief is because it limits you in almost every capacity. If you want to accomplish anything, you have to believe you deserve it.

 

If you constantly believe you will fall short, you’ll most likely be looking for love and validation outside of yourself– other people, material things and experiences. The problem with this is that these things are forever changing – so you stay forever searching.

 

 

Block #2: You feel like an imposter

 

When you feel like you don’t deserve to be somewhere, it can play on your mind and your self-esteem, which both affect how much you love yourself at your very core.

 

Up to 70% of people experience imposter phenomenon at some point in their life and it’s especially common in women. If you feel like an imposter at work or in your life, it causes you to doubt your accomplishments and also internalise fears of being exposed as a fraud. Those feelings go round and round and often manifest as feeling unworthy of love and belonging.

 

 

Block #3: You let people’s opinions define you

 

Fear of being judged by others keeps you playing small in your choices and goals, but it also blocks self-love. When we are so much about what others think, we derive our identity from looking good to other people and avoiding looking bad.

 

The catch is that no matter what you do or how wonderful you are, there will be someone won’t like it – you can’t please everyone. You could be the juiciest, ripest peach in the world and there will still be someone who doesn’t like peaches! When we judge our worthiness based on others’ judgments of us, we can never win. 

 

 

Block #4: You’re waiting to achieve something BEFORE you can be happy

 

Soooooo many women I work with tell me that they’ll just be happy and love themselves, when they reach a particular goal or get something they think will make them feel good. But, if you don’t feel good now while reaching for your goals, achieving them won’t result in anything better in the long run.

 

Aiming for extrinsic goals to make us feel the way we want to feel has us searching for answers outside of us. People who set intrinsic goals (how they want to feel on a day-to-day basis) are much more likely to achieve those goals but they also love themselves and feel good along the journey.

 

Block #5: Perfectionism

Self-love is a muscle that is built through trial, error and effort – but if you’re a perfectionist, you may never get started with that process.  Self-love is loving the parts of ourselves that aren’t perfect.

 

Many people I know wear their perfectionism like a badge of honour, but it’s totally crippling when it comes to self-love and confidence. Perfectionism is an attempt at avoiding judgment, criticism and blame.

 

 

THE SOLUTIONS

 

It’s not easy to re-wire your brain for self-love but it can be done. I know because I’ve struggled with all these blocks (and more!) and I’ve finally gotten to a place where I feel fearless in my pursuit of self-love and there is very little that can knock that.

 

Solution 1: Allow yourself to be seen

 

One of the key differences between those who love themselves fiercely and those who don’t is an ability to consistently show up and put themselves out there and allow the world to witness them.  It’s an act of courage and it’s a muscle you need to work on to build strength.

 

One of the ways I did this was early on in my business, starting an Instagram account and committing (to myself) to post regularly, authentically and without over-thinking or analysing what people might think about my new venture. I was worried people wouldn’t like it, but they did. And the best part was that I got to feel loved and appreciated for being EXACTLY WHO I AM, rather than a fake version of myself.

 

Ask yourself: What’s one way I would express who I really am if I wasn’t afraid of being seen?

 

 

Solution 2: Associate your worth with your values, not your lifestyle

 

As I’ve touched on, most people associate how good they are (their worth) based on outside factors like their job, their bank balance, their body, online followers or relationships. You’ll always feel like there’s something missing or you’re coming up short, because there will always someone who has more than you.

 

The habit of associating your worth with who you are being is a much healthier one. Newborn babies do little more than cry, poo their pants and need feeding all the time – yet we believe they are worthy of unconditional love – and so are you!

 

Instead of defining yourself by your extrinsic goals, write a list of your most important values and natural strengths and focus on aligning with these intrinsic goals. By aligning with who you already are, you’ll be living in your truth and building that inner faith that you’re great and loveable no matter what happens in life.

 

Ask yourself: In my ideal future world, how do the people in my life describe me?

 

 

Solution 3: Dare to be imperfect

 

Perfectionism is the way we try to belong and to minimise pain and judgment. In reality, it’s destructive and addictive. If we never encounter criticism and blame we can never become immune to it. So when we do feel criticised and blamed, it’s devastating.

 

Giving up being perfect allows us to give the world our unique gifts, rather than becoming paralysed in fear. Daring to be imperfect builds the f0undation of worthiness and self-love that helps us withstand the occasional criticism and judgment we face in the world. We start to learn to see it as subjective feedback, rather than a direct mirror image of our self worth.

 

Turning our focus inward allows us to try and become better people on the inside and the best version of ourselves. When we strive for that goal, we aren’t concerned about perfectionism.

 

Ask yourself: If I could do anything in my life knowing I wouldn’t fail, what would I do?