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For the second month of my 2016 Self-Love Project, I’m focusing on “Overcoming Negative Self-Talk”. To start things off, here’s an open letter to silence the inner critic – the person who’s responsible for all my negative self-talk.
Dear Mr. Inner Critic,
Are you my ally or my enemy?
I know you for many years, but I don’t seem to know you very well. I used to think that you are my friend. But lately, I think I was wrong about you. I was informed that you had been stealing my identity and disguising as me.
I don’t like what you had done. So there are three things I want to make clear to you today:
- I’m not your servant.
- I don’t like the way you talk to me.
- Stop attacking my flaws.
1. I’m not your servant.
I’m the master; you are the servant. Please get that straight. You’re not in the position to tell me what to do.
Don’t tell me that I’m not making enough money and I need to make more. Don’t tell me that my work isn’t perfect and I need to spend more time doing research. Lastly, don’t tell me that I’m not spending enough time and effort on my work because I am!
I know what to do.
Stop pretending like you are helping me to achieve my goals when you are not. You are just making me more stressed and anxious about your incessant wanting.
I also realize some of my goals were set by you, not me. You want me to be someone special, significant, and rich. It seems innocently constructive, but you cannot fool me anymore. I can see through all your tricks. I know you are secretly making me feel like not good enough with myself and with what I have right now.
Stop making me believe that everything isn’t enough.
Everything is perfect as it is. I’m not going to be busy just because you tell me to. And stop measuring my self-worth according to what I have. You don’t get to decide how much I’m worth. I’m the one who decides that.
Remember you are the servant, so follow my lead.
2. I don’t like the way you talk to me.
We have been fine for the past six years or so, but do you know that you took it a little bit too far when I had depression recently? It wasn’t nice of you to make use of that opportunity and open up my past wounds. We had this conversation before, remember.
Talking down to me doesn’t help.
If you want to say something, say it nicely. I’ll not stand being belittled by you anymore. If you couldn’t speak nicely to me, don’t speak at all. Otherwise, please leave.
I don’t wish to be heartless, but if you continue to do that, you leave me no choice but to let you go.
3. Stop attacking my flaws.
And for the last time, stop attacking my flaws and weaknesses. I know you know everything about me – all my shame, all my foolishness, and all my history that aren’t pretty. But stop bringing them up because it’s the past. I’m tired of you repeating the same, old stories.
Don’t tell me that no one loves me because I’m not _____ enough.
Don’t trick me into believing that I’m someone who I’m not. And don’t tell me lies about what other people are thinking about me.
When I was young, you made me believe that my parents didn’t like me. When I was in school, you told me that I had no friends. And at work, you made me worried about what my colleagues and managers think of me.
You created this separation between others and me, but you had no proof of what other people are thinking about me. Even if what you say is true, what other people think of me is really none of my business. I can’t control that. What matters is what I think of myself.
And most importantly, there’s nothing wrong with being imperfect.
P.S: Would you leave my family and friends alone too? Thank you.
Featured Photo Credit: Write With a Graphic Pen / VIKTOR HANACEK