Do you put yourself on trial?
Ok, I admit it, I’m a HUGE fan of courtroom dramas.
I’m showing my age here but do you remember Crown Court… or LA Law? Let’s bring it up to date a bit… how about Law & Order, The Good Wife or my new box-set crush Suits? (I’m only on season 6 so far so no spoilers please!)
I love the glamour and drama, the swagger and wordsmithery of the legal teams, the tension of the final decision by a jury.
And it got me thinking this week about how many of us live our lives in a courtroom because we’re constantly putting ourselves on trial.
First, like a prosecutor we search for evidence to prove our self-beliefs. Then, as judge and jury, we pass judgement and lay down a sentence of self-criticism, remorse and quitting. It’s really important to recognise that when it comes to our self-worth, only one opinion truly matters — our own, but because we tend to be our own harshest critics, even that one should be carefully evaluated.
Some years ago when I was struggling as a new mama and in the depths of my depression, my self-worth fell through the floor. I had no faith in my ability to parent my beautiful daughter, I felt a huge weight of expectation hanging over me and I just couldn’t see my way past the next 5 minutes. I felt imperfect, ashamed, lost, broken and useless.
I couldn’t see a time when I would teach my daughter to ride her bike when I would explain how the planets align with the sun, when we would share Friday movie-night when her little brother had gone to bed, when she would tell me how much she loves me.
I couldn’t see that just being me, as I was, was enough for her.
I couldn’t see any of that because I had no compassion for myself, I didn’t love myself, I didn’t value myself… I was constantly putting myself on trial and finding me guilty because I had little or no self-worth.
Self-worth is about how we feel about ourselves. It’s about appreciating every little part of us, it’s about looking in the mirror and honestly saying ‘I love you’. It’s about seeing all our flaws and imperfections and smiling and knowing in our hearts that we are beautiful and perfect because of them, not in spite of them. Self-worth is knowing that we are worthy right now, just as we are.
So here are 7 strategies to help you break free of your inner courtroom drama:
#1 Call TIME on your inner judge and jury
That little voice inside your head that judges you, blames you for everything that goes wrong in your life, tells you you’re lazy, that someone will find you out, that you’re not as good as that person over there… you need to call TIME on that.
When you hear that voice close your eyes and get really calm and quiet just for a moment and thank it.
Yup, THANK it. “Thank you for worrying about me and keeping me safe, but I know this doesn’t define me, I am strong and I can handle this on my own.” Say it out loud if you have to! And then take one positive, forward action step to PROVE it to yourself.
#2 Remind yourself what you REALLY REALLY love to do and OWN it
Love to drool over planners and stationery? Own it. Like painting pictures of beetles? Own it. Read graphic novels about Roman soldiers? Own it. Love spending every spare minute figuring out how to run webinars for your business? Own it.
The things that make us happy are important. Life is too short to ditch what we love to do for what we think we should do. If your social circle doesn’t get what you love, find a new social circle that does.
#3 Look in the mirror every day and love what you see
I know you probably already look in the mirror every day, right? But I want you to really look. Look at every little wrinkle and crease, look at every line, scar and stretch mark, every lump and bump, the frizzy hair and untamed eyebrow. Tell yourself…
“Everything I see is ME in all my perfect imperfection and I am beautiful and worthy just as I am. Everything else my mind is trying to tell me is an expectation that has been planted there. Everything else isn’t real. I am real and I LOVE me.”
This is going to feel strange at first but stick with it. Tell yourself every day.
#4 Create an “I’m AMAZING” book
We are all amazing and there is SO much evidence of that all around us but we just don’t see it! So I want you to create an “I’m amazing” book.
Go out and buy the most beautiful notebook that you can afford that’s small enough to fit in your handbag. Whenever you feel great about yourself, write it in the book. When you pull together a fab outfit and you feel on top of the world, write it in the book. When you do something you’re proud of; when you make that sale; when someone says something nice to you, or about you; when you get an email thanking you for something; when a customer gives you a testimonial; when one of your readers writes a lovely comment on your website… write it ALL in the book.
Over time you’ll have a beautiful reminder of all the ways that you are amazing that you can use on those bad days when your self-worth dips. (This is a tool I use with my coaching clients and it really works.)
#5 Honour your commitments to yourself
When you do what you know deep down inside you is the right thing, it builds and strengthens your self-worth.
Honour the commitments you make to yourself just as much as those that you make to other people. In fact, put yourself FIRST on that list of to-dos! It might feel selfish but you cannot keep giving to others without filling yourself up first.
Made a promise to meditate 3 times a week? Keep that promise. Made a commitment to exercise for 10 minutes a day? Lay out your kit the night before and put it on first thing in the morning so you don’t get swept away by the day. Decided you’ll go live on your Facebook page once a week? Put it on your calendar and get it done.
One way to make keeping those commitments easier is to do one thing for you first thing in the morning. It sets the tone for the rest of the day.
#6 Be as compassionate with yourself as you are to others
If your children fall down and bump themselves, I’ll bet you comfort and soothe them. If YOU stumble and bruise your ego, dent your self-esteem, bomb at that product launch or feel like a failure, do you comfort and soothe yourself? Probably not.
You deserve as much love, compassion and forgiveness as everyone else in your life. Go for good enough rather than perfect. Read through your ‘I’m amazing’ book. Remind yourself that failures are just lessons we need to learn.
#7 Spend time with people that lift you up
There is a saying: “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Whether you believe that or not, what is true is that the people you spend time with can either lift your energy or drain it.
You know what I mean right? The constant complainers, the “why on earth would you want to do that?” brigade, the “you mean people pay you for that?” tribe, the doubters, the naysayers, the never-anything-but-negatives.
I’m all for honesty and sharing when you’ve had a bad day but constant negativity WILL affect you. It drains your energy and lowers your emotional vibration and resilience. Choose to spend time with people that love you for who you are not what you have, who support you and lift you up, who only ever want the best for you – and give that back to them too.
If you’re looking for a group of female entrepreneurs just like you who are interested in personal development and business networking, check out my new Facebook group – The Ideal Life Club
BOOK A TASTER COACHING SESSION WITH ME
If you’re ready to finally start living your ideal life (and bring that sparkle back into your eyes), book a free 45 min clarity call with me. I’ll help you get crystal clear on what you want for your life and business, what’s really holding you back and the steps you can start taking today to overcome those obstacles. You’ll also get a taste of what coaching with me is like, we’ll get to know each other and see if we’re a good fit to continue working together now or perhaps in the future. Either way, I’ll send you a follow-up email with tools, tips and resources you can use based on our time together.