There seems to be this tiny voice in our heads that likes to tell us lies. It likes to remind us that we are not good enough. Our house is not clean enough. Our kids are not loved enough. Our friends don’t really like us. And our boss is always one mistake away from firing us on the spot. I’m not usually one to condone being rude, but sometimes it’s called for. Can we all just agree that it’s ok to tell this voice to SHUT UP!
This is the voice of anxiety. This is the voice of self doubt. And yes, this voice does need to shut up and vacate your precious headspace. As parents and caregivers we are often so quick to build our children up, to remind them of their worth, to shower them in affection, and to console them when they have made an error. Yet when it comes to how we handle our own errors and emotions we are often the harshest of critics. We are worthy of the same love, attention, affection, and grace that we so effortlessly give to others.
After a minor disagreement between one of my children and a neighborhood playmate, I had my child write an apology. I reached out to the other parent via text and explained the situation, apologized for the misunderstanding, and encouraged her to reach out if she had any questions. After the text went unanswered for four hours I had myself convinced that the parent thought we were horrible people, the child would never be allowed to play again, and we would have to move because I simply couldn’t handle the idea of my neighbors hating me. Hour five, she responded “no big deal thanks for reaching out, sorry for the delay I left my phone at home.” My anxiety had once again gotten the better of me. I had started the spiral of catastrophic thought and allowed it to steal five hours of peace from my life.
This is just one instance of that annoying negative voice that sometimes takes residence in my mind like an unwelcome houseguest. Have you ever questioned every word you spoke or every action you took after an interaction with friends, neighbors, or even strangers at the park? You’re not alone! Have you ever replayed a mistake over and over again in your mind until you had yourself convinced that this single mistake now defined the perception that others held of you? Yup, also not alone. Have you ever compared yourself, your house, or your parenting to that of your Facebook friends and other social media accounts you follow? Also not alone.
Sometimes we get so caught up questioning our worth and how we are perceived that we completely rob ourselves of the opportunity to enjoy our life and live in the moment.
We are smart enough to know the difference between the truths and the lies. When this voice of self doubt begins to creep in, remind it who’s boss! You are the landlord of your mind and that voice is a tenant you no longer wish to rent to!
When those thoughts start to creep in, recognize them as false. And remind yourself…
- I am worthy
- I am capable
- I am competent
- I am good enough
- I am genuinely well liked (and if for some reason someone doesn’t like you, that’s only because they are not your people!)
Tell that voice to keep quiet and go be awesome!
Jillian Amodio is a mother of two, mental health advocate and creator of Moms For Mental Health, and social work student at Salisbury School of Social Work. She is passionate about family, health and wellness, and spreading joy like glitter! She lives in Cape Saint Claire with her husband, children, and crazy dog.