You are an idiot. A lesson in telling your inner critic to fuck right off.

I am not sure where this blog post will end up, but let’s just suck it and see?

“I am my own worst enemy.” I told a mate recently to which she responded with “You said it sister!” and then we clinked our cans of Diet Coke together. Then she admitted that she felt that her own confidence was on the decline, and I know that there are a lot of you, reading this right now, who will know exactly what I am talking about.

And since then, I have spent a lot of time trying to work out why I continue to self sabotage, and concentrate on the negative crap, and worry about things that I have no control over. My negative inner critic has stopped me from doing so many things, particularly in the media, because I still believe that deep down, I am a fraud and will be called out for it at any given moment.

So fucking stupid. I know. I chose to ignore the fact that I bring joy to many people, that I provide a space for thousands of women to come together and know that they are not alone. I have two happy, healthy boys and a man who loves me. So on the outside, it is painted quite the picture.

Scratch that paint, and the canvas is black.

And I am so over it. My inner voice has been lying to me for years and I am here to tell it to back the fuck off. Self talk is often directed at negativity and the best thing you can do is to challenge it. Look for the evidence. Challenge it. Are you jumping to inaccurate conclusions?

I am sometimes asked to come on radio as a “social commentator” and my first response is NO WAY. What if I say something dumb? What if I don’t know the answer to the question. But because I am in the business these days of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I say yes. Then I worry like an idiot and almost always want to cancel. But I have discovered a super power.

A minute before I go live, I grab a bit of paper and write down the opposite of everything that is going on in my head.

YOU HAVE GOT THIS

YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT

YOU ARE AS FUNNY AS FUCK

YOU DESERVE TO BE HERE

WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU GOT DRESSED?

THEY ASKED YOU TO COME ON BECAUSE THEY KNOW YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.

And by the time I am introduced, I take a big deep breathe and GO.

Isn’t it extraordinary the things you can say to yourself that you would never say to anyone else? Now let’s all hold hands together, sing kumbaya and make the following promise.

BE GENTLE AND ENCOURAGING WITH MYSELF.

If your negative inner Nancy comes into your brain, challenge her, realise she is a fucking bitch face liar and tell her about all the good things about yourself, before politely asking her to leave.

Are you guilty of being your own worst critic?

You know that it’s bullshit, right? You are actually pretty awesome….

  • Heidi D

    The worst thing about negative self talk at the moment is watching it in my 14 year old daughter. If only she believed what others could see & recognise the positive in herself. Last year she came 2nd in a school drawing competition, this year she came 1st, she has real talent but still doubts everything she does. I really hope she can learn how to get tough with that negative voice soon.

    • She sounds like she might have a touch of perfectionism?

      • Heidi D

        She definitely does

  • danmeek

    Mrs Woog, you know I love you, and I know you’ve got a metric fucktonne more life experience than me, but I’ve been down this road and it’s a dead end. You cannot use that critical, abusive voice to solve the problem of a critical, abusive self-narrative. You’re just strengthening that habit. Kristin Neff’s work on self-compassion is a better bet for long-term relief.

    • Thanks Dan. I will check it out xx

  • Michelle Duncan

    Dear Mrs Woog, have you been living inside my head of late? Thank you for this post… very timely!
    And danmeek, I’ll be checking that resource out too 😉

    • Yes I am in your head! And we want a Kit Kat. Xx

      • Michelle Duncan

        Sorry I am GF – Snickers bar ok? Lol…….

        • Snickers? We can no longer be mates….

  • Angela C

    Awesome post – I thought I was loosing my mind last year with all the negative thoughts triggered by some unpleasantness. Things that didn’t used to rattle me, now did. Have since realised that those wonderful peri menopause hormones play a major part, sucks arse being a woman sometimes!

  • Bee

    yep that is me all over

  • What I can’t figure out is how some people can be the complete opposite and have ZERO self awareness, I believe that’s more of a curse. Still – what would I know? (see what I did there) xxx

  • Bevlaa

    Ha. Wasn’t this a timely post sat in my inbox. Just been berating myself all the way home from work, muttering what a stupid bitch I am walking from the car to my house…..

    • No you are NOT. Say the opposite to yourself in a mirror right now xx

      • Bevlaa

        Tried. Then actually raised my middle finger and told the gremlin thoughts to fuck right off as I’m too hormonal to deal with their shit. Will keep trying to do this.

        • Go you! Give it the middle finger! And then do try and look yourself in the face, and show yourself compassion. We need it. We need it so badly.

  • Oh this is a very good blog post (I mean they all are – in case your inner critic has you wondering). I think most of the battle is realising when that voice in your head is being a dick, it’s actually lying to you. Once you realise it’s bullshit, you can bring yourself back to sanity. That’s something I’m always working on x

  • I am a big advocate for self-talk. I never struggled with you are fat/ugly/stupid, but I did struggle with your mum rejected you, you’re kind of fucked up and unloveable. Yay, adoption!!
    I worked bloody hard to stop that shit. It took a long time, baby steps and many stumbles, but it WORKED. And it will work for anyone, anywhere! Patience and persistence is where it’s at.
    My daily self talk now goes like this –
    good morning *winks at self in mirror*
    your hair looks fab today *winks*
    thinks thoughts of self-love while brushing teeth *smiles*
    Then I go through the day not worrying or thinking once; does my bum look big, what is that person thinking of me, I suck etc etc.
    I still get frustrated when I can’t pick up a work task as quickly as I have pre-determined I should, but I know now that I have stupid expectations of myself, so I might feel stressed in the moment, but there’s no hangover. I just let it go and tell myself, again, it’s okay. I’m okay.
    In times of high stress, or at the onset of tears or in the rare moment when I have a caveman reflex to bash myself verbally, I say, out loud, you’ll be okay Nettie, it’s okay. I tell myself, out loud, to be gentle with myself. I am allowed to show myself compassion. I must show myself compassion. And I must defend myself, always. I am not my biggest critic, I’m my biggest cheerleader.

  • I know it is a cliche, however the non-chronic, nagging self-doubt, is a hell of a lot more prevalent in women than in men.

    I know lots of blokes who get depressed, and that is a shocker, but I just don’t know all that many blokes who suffer from it. Obviously it’s not something we advertise, but us blokes do talk about our feelings to other lads occasionally.

    But I know a shitload of women who do suffer from it