So many of the women I coach know deep inside that they could be playing a bigger game. The same truth also applies to many of you who read this blog.

You know that you could be leading the team. Or presenting in public. Or speaking up in meetings more often.

Yet something holds you back. And you spend a whole lot of time kicking yourself for it.

In fact, you kick yourself harder than you’d ever let anyone else kick you. You talk to yourself in a way that you’d never even think about speaking to anyone else.

And the truth is, this behaviour is a form of self abuse.

Yes, we abuse ourselves far more than we’d ever let anyone else abuse us. Yet half the time, we aren’t fully aware we are doing it.

Whether we call it our inner mean girl, our lizard voice or some variant, the truth is we all have that voice in our heads. And what’s worse, many of us give it credence and listen to it.

Listening to that level of self abuse has an impact. And it’s not a good one. It immediately reduces your confidence. It creates a vicious cycle that sees you never achieving your goals and continually beating yourself for that fact.

If you think you might be suffering from self abuse in this space, here are some tips to help you replace your thoughts with something kinder.

Tips to overcome self abuse

Tip one

I bang on about it all the time, but catching the voice, and the stories it’s telling you, is ultra important. You can’t fix what you don’t know about. So becoming aware of the messages you are sending yourself is a vital first step. If you do catch yourself telling an abusive story, stop the narrative immediately and consider if there’s any validity to the words. Chances are they won’t be true – and they’ll be overly harsh to boot.

Tip two

Once you establish if your words are based on fact, dig into why you might be talking to yourself in an unkind manner. It’s really only when we understand why we might be doing something that we can change it. It’s always worth taking to time to meditate or journal to gather a deeper understanding of the root of your self abuse. Make sure you are compassionate with yourself as you undertake this exploration.

Tip three

Learn to replace the narrative in your mind with something far more empowering. It surprises many women to realise that we can actually control our thoughts. It’s important to note that I’m not just talking about positive thinking here. I’m suggesting you make a habit of telling yourself kind and empowering stories. My best advice is to take baby steps here. It’s not always possible to go from self abusive thinking to self loving and supporting thoughts. So rather than expecting to change your thinking immediately, show yourself some grace and allow your thoughts to evolve bit by bit.

Tip four

Remember these abusive voices are sneaky. And while you may be able to transform your thinking in one aspect of your life, you may find the nasty voices switch to another part of your life. Similar to the idea that the work is never done, we need to remain vigilant with our thoughts.

Have you ever considered that your thoughts could be a form of self abuse? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments section below.


Photo Credit: Haute Stock

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