So, I did it! I started blogging. But before I typed my first word, I had to figure out a way to say goodbye to my inner critic.
Latisha. That’s what I named her.
I thought about Latisha as I worked on my project. In particular, about what she would be saying while I prepared to launch my ship into Cyberspace had I not learned to put her in check.
“You’re going to crash and burn, girl,” she would say.
“Your Facebook friends are going to tear you apart,” she would argue.
“Why bother? You’ll never get any followers,” she would contend.
“Nobody believes in you,” she would assert.
Everybody Has an Inner Critic
Latisha was my inner critic, and she was a regular pain in the butt! She was the voice in my head that would constantly tell me that I wasn’t good, beautiful, smart, or worthy enough.
Moreover, she continuously looked for ways to sabotage my efforts to get ahead in life.
I can’t really pinpoint the precise moment that Latisha first showed up.
However, I know that I was just a kid.
A preschooler, to be more exact.
I went to sleep one night and when I awoke the next morning, there she was in all of her glory.
And she wasn’t nice about it, either. Like every other bully she was mean, bossy, and never had anything positive to say.
She took up residence in my head for what seemed like forever.
When I was about 19 years old, I decided something had to give.
Firstly, because I’d grown tired of how Latisha threw her weight around and always made me feel like a complete failure.
Secondly, the lack of confidence, low self-esteem, and non-existent self-love were getting in the way of being able to date and sustain healthy relationships.
And thirdly, the fear of taking risks was costing me jobs and educational opportunities.
I reasoned that maybe if I knew where Latisha came from and how she got in my head that I could get her out for good. So, the quest for figuring out how she got in my head begun.
Where the Hell Did Latisha Come From?
For weeks I observed every single thing in my environment trying to figure it out and wrote about it.
I journaled about what made me feel good, what made me feel bad, and what triggered the negative feelings and beliefs.
I journaled and journaled, and when I was about to give up there it was, clear as day-the answer to the how.
They opened the door wide open for her.
I reviewed my journaling and noticed that every time my parents said something mean and hurtful to me, that Latisha would play loud 80s music and dance to the sound of their tune over and over again.
Once figured out, the how she got into my head became how the hell do I get her out.
My inner critic had to be evicted and quickly.
With that end in mind, I did a bunch of research and established a plan of action.
For the next 21 days, it was on!
They say that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit.
I rolled up my sleeves, pulled my hair back into a ponytail, took off my hoop earrings, put on some shorts, and went to work.
For 21 days I fought to keep her negative crap out of my head.
She put up a good fight.
But I was determined to win.
Whenever she said, “You can’t do anything right,” I’d counter with “It’s okay. I just need to plan more carefully next time.”
Whenever she said, “You’ll never succeed at anything. You’re always messing up,” I’d counter with, “No one’s perfect. This experience will make it so much easier for me to succeed.”
Whenever she said, “Girl, look at him. He wouldn’t be caught dead with the likes of you,” I’d counter with, “I’m beautiful inside and out. I’m confident in who I am. If he doesn’t think I’m good enough for him, his loss.”
Whenever she said, “You’ll never make it in college. As a matter of fact, you’ll be lucky if you succeed on a factory assembly line,” I’d counter with, “I’m smart. I’m intelligent. I can do anything I set my mind to, to include getting you out of my head, witch!”
Saying goodbye to my inner critic
At the end of the 21 days Latisha was still there.
Weaker, but there.
She kept rearing her head and trying to mess with my mind.
I realized during that time that she was more than a bad habit, and that 21 days weren’t enough to say goodbye to her once and for all.
More work had to be done.
Stay tuned for Part II of How to Say Goodbye to Your Inner Critic.