Midlife Strategies

How to Stop Treating Yourself in a Negative Way

Turn your inner bully into your own inner best friend. Kay Newton tells you how.

By Kay Newton

I love a conversation, especially with my best friend. We fall into our easy way of talking and the rest of the world can be ignored. Time slips by quickly and there is always so much more to catch up on, so much to ask and tell.

Yet in reality this person is not my best friend; that can only be me. Let me explain.

In the past, I often treated myself in a negative way. I had been bullied at school and in my first full-time job, and I began to believe the things these people told me about myself. “You are not very bright, you are ugly.” “You’re fat, you’ll never amount to much.” And so it went on.

It took me many years to realize that none of their beliefs about me was true unless I wanted to believe them. My thoughts create my reality and I have control over my thoughts. If I didn’t like my thoughts or my reality, all I had to do was change the way I perceived them.

At the same time, I also became aware of the little voice inside of my head. This voice was one that agreed with my bullies. On and on it goes, full of criticism. It never seems to want to stop, even popping up in the middle of a meditation session!

In the past I would have been abusive towards this inner voice, laughing at it, shouting, getting angry, calling it names. Then I had another realization.

This inner voice is still part of me, in fact, it is my best friend. It is there to keep me safe from harm and hurt and will do anything in its power to stop me pursuing anything that could harm me. My inner voice bases its concerns upon our past history, its recollection of events. Yet because my inner voice is part of me, by behaving like a bully, just as I was bullied in the external world, I was actually doing myself more harm than good.

Now, I sit and listen to my inner voice, paying close attention to what it has to say. I listen deeply with love and then I calmly tell it my point of view. We have real and great conversations, both airing our thoughts, just as I would do with my best friend. We often agree to disagree and I go on to do my work, whilst my inner voice may agree to watch over my shoulder and continue criticizing or wander off to do other things.

sommerfest-1471809.jpgThe more I wrap myself and my inner voice in love, the fewer disagreements we have and the more we seem to be in alignment, allowing me to go on and achieve my goals without stress.

For example, I have always been overweight, some years more than others. Since menopause, I have found it hard to lose weight until I found The Wild Fit program. Now I know that reducing carbohydrates and walking every day, is the key to my healthy lifestyle. This is the big picture, to stay healthy in 2018, yet my inner voice still likes to tell me, it is alright to give in and go back to old ways, to have a drink, eat a plate of chips and so on.

Now we can laugh about it together. Sometimes I let my inner voice win and indulge, just not all of the time. In fact, the more I take control, the less my inner voice bothers to react. It is a win-win all around.

I am the only person I am ever going to spend the whole of my life with here on this planet. I came into the world alone and will leave it alone and that is a fact. Yet my inner voice will be with me for the whole of this journey too. Together, we are going to make it one hell of a ride.

Follow the author on Kay-Newton.com. 

Photography credit: Pixabay. First published in the February issue of eShe magazine. Read it for free here.

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