Beating up on yourself seems impossible to stopApr 22, 2019
When beating up on yourself seems impossible to stop...
So often I'm asked:
- how did you stop beating up on yourself?
- how did you stop feeling so hopeless all the time?
Here’s one of the strategies I used to *beat* beating up on myself 😊
I'm a very visual thinker – so awaken your imagination…
Mental pictures help me break patterns or habits
Every time I'm:
- beating up on myself
- criticising myself
- putting myself down
- making myself feel less than
- feeling unworthy
***Visual image generator*** it's like sucking air out of a vacuum bag…
Whatever is inside this bag (e.g. clothes) gets more restricted the more air you remove.
Until there’s no room left to move!
Let me explain 😊
First let’s pay attention to what’s going on for us when those inner demons get rowdy with those unhelpful shame loaded messages…
This is what’s happening for me, is this the case for you to?
- Feeling tight
- Change in breathing
- Tense shoulders
- Feeling preoccupied with those thoughts
- Clenching jaw or fists
- Twisting stomach
- Ruminating or obsessively thinking same thoughts
***And all this with a sprinkle of anger, self-hate and self-doubt***
Which in turn makes us feel really tight (no air left in this vacuum bag now)
Sadly, for most trauma survivors there's little to no hope about a better future accompanied by deep sense of hopelessness.
I felt like I'm the most useless person ever for most my life.
IMPORTANT: Essentially, we repeat to ourselves internally (over and over), what our abusers said to us or how they made us feel about ourselves. This is the identity our abusers created for us. That's the identity they forced onto us with threat and manipulation.
So, how do we reverse this?
We need to give ourselves some room to move again. Room to be curious and have some sparks of hope again in this bubble around us
***Instantly when I tense up, I have this visual of putting air back into this empty vacuum bag***
Which is equivalent to:
- saying something kind to myself right now
- I need to pause and put my hands on my chest and send some love to my heart
- saying something nurturing to my wounded child/children within
- being a little bit more accepting of myself
Right, how wicked difficult is this!!
I used to be my biggest enemy or critic. I used to be so harsh with myself and tear myself apart forever searching for what’s wrong with me.
By giving myself more room to breathe, allowed me to tap into my inner resourcefulness.
The inner resource treasure box was hiding for a loooong long time. Didn’t think I had one…
But I was persistent and reminded myself to give myself room to breathe by saying kind and nurturing things to myself and my wounded inner children. Will you too?
Believing that all these are skills I can get better at and I can make change happen is key.
Every single day we have that choice.
You can choose to keep living into the identity your abusers created for you or you can say:
- Hey stop!
- Today I am growing into the person I want to become.
- I am going to create the future that I want to have for myself.
You might not know what this future looks like right now. That’s ok. I didn't initially either. Everything was just so dark & hopeless. I couldn't imagine that my future would ever hold anything good for me or that people will ever find me lovable.
If that's the case for you too, then just:
- hold yourself kindly
- trust that there’s good things ahead for you
- trust that there is something good about you
- believe you’ll make change happen
***You just can't see it yet, because the trauma blinded you to it***
That's one technique I found useful. Using this visual to give myself some room to breathe and find true myself.
And ever so slowly more and more sparks of hope popped up in my bubble 😊
Yes, it took me many year & therapy session (I was super slow progress).
Please be awesomely patient with yourself. Learn from my mistakes, so it won’t take you half the time to create a sparklier and brighter future for yourself. One where you’ll feel ok about yourself.
And with kindness and self-compassion those inner demons lose their power fast – yep they’ll shrivel away.
With persistence, you’ll become Speedy Gonzales in catching those unhelpful thoughts and blast them away with kindness
Those thoughts never served us well or helped us be more productive or achieve goals. No, they were holding us back from reaching our true potential.
Let me know how you go with this. Just type me an email [email protected] . I'm curious to hear your techniques as well. There’s many metaphors or mantras that can be super powerful on our healing journey.
Do you feel disconnected from your body? This is a normal coping mechanism to survive the trauma but puts as at great risk of developing burnout and disease in adulthood. This video series is for you to become more aware of all the different ways your body is talking to you and some practices, tips and exercises.
Here are the recordings from FB lives where I shared tips, practices and tools that helped me on my healing journey
For more videos hop on over and check out my YouTube Channel.
In the meantime, as always, sending you lots & lots of love and rainbows to brighten up the tough times just a little.