by Doris Helge, Ph.D.
WHY DOES SELF-DOUBT
REAPPEAR AFTER PERSONAL GROWTH?
You’ve done so much work on yourself, and you love yourself more than ever. You began with the baby steps, like “I deserve a treat today!” Then you progressed through “I deserve better than that!” and “I’m okay just like I am!” You continued to graduate yourself through level after level of personal empowerment until you heard yourself saying, “I deserve to have everything I want. I’m no longer willing to settle for bits and pieces of heaven on Earth.”
Why does your inner critic so often emerge after you meet an intense personal growth challenge? Why, after each new layer of personal empowerment, do you still sometimes judge your appearance, your ability to have loving relationships or the quality of your work? Because all of us have core issues, they sometimes rear their heads again when we think we’ve already dealt with certain challenges.
Most of us react to this unpleasant nudge to take our next step of growth with the temptation to blame someone else for our uneasiness. We may ask ourselves a question like, “Is someone else’s negative energy trying to invade the spaces that I just washed squeaky clean?”
WHOSE “STUFF” IS THIS?
Here’s a quick and easy way to know if an issue is yours. If a situation produces an emotional reaction, you still resonate with that issue. There’s another gold nugget for you to devour, even if only a teeny tiny percentage of your anger, fear or sadness about a particular challenge remains. If the issue is no longer yours, you may feel tremendous compassion for the other person, but you’ll know the conflict is no longer yours. However, if an uncomfortable situation continues to show up, your painful feeling is offering you a splendid opportunity to gain even more self-love.
Maybe you already love yourself 99 percent of the time, but the other person is acting like a human mirror. They’re providing you an opportunity to see and honor an unpleasant shadow side of yourself — like feeling afraid, unworthy, or unlovable. Is it worth it to dip back into “the sewer of insecurity, self-doubt and self-judgment” when you already love yourself most of the time? You betcha!
A SIMPLE TOOL WILL HELP YOU AVOID
UNNECESSARY PAIN AND CALM YOUR INNER CRITIC
The following simple little test helps me when my ego gets in the way of “owning my stuff.” First, I ask myself, “Is the person who is irritating me a human mirror? Are they showing me something about myself I either don’t want to see or can’t see unless I’m in their presence? Are they helping me become aware of my feelings so I can experience and then release them?”
Sometimes the other person shows us a mirror of our most recent learning experience. They help us synthesize what we’ve learned. Sometimes they show us how we cause ourselves headaches by expecting life to match a certain picture instead of accepting and learning from every challenge that exists.
Many times, I’ve caught my ego saying, “Wait a minute! You don’t need to deal with that old stuff again.” Of course, we can temporarily suppress unpleasant feelings, like “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not lovable.” Unfortunately, this approach to unpleasant emotions backfires! It guarantees that I’ll re-create additional opportunities to deal with those issues. The uncomfortable situation and my negative feelings magnify until I finally allow myself to learn a valuable lesson and gain even higher levels of confidence and inner peace.
THE TRUTH ABOUT NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
If you don’t want to delay or magnify your pain, fully USE the opportunity of discomfort the first time it appears. Remember that pain and pleasure reside next to each other in your brain. When you have the courage to dip into what doesn’t feel good – such as, “I feel unlovable,” the opposite feeling, “I’m awesome!,” is right there for you!
There’s no reason to feel ashamed when you discover another area in which you don’t quite love yourself as much as you thought you did. This unpleasant revelation is a gift in disguise! When you move to the other side of your challenge, you’ll be so thankful that you didn’t cheat yourself out of the incredible benefits of another luscious level of the most magnificent self-love!
ACCEPT THE ASSISTANCE YOU DESERVE
Asking for help when you feel stuck is a sign of high self-esteem because you’re saying to yourself, “I deserve a better life!” Your inner critic will take a nap because you’re taking positive action. Discover more easy ways to conquer your inner critic now at www.ConquerYourInnerCritic.com.
Doris Helge, Ph.D., named “One of America’s Top Ten Coaches” at an event at FedEx in New York City and interviewed on “The Today Show” is author of bestsellers like “Conquer Your Inner Critic,” “Transforming Pain Into Power” and “Joy on the Job.”
© 2013. Permission to reprint this article is granted if the article is in tact, with proper credit given. All reprints must state, “Reprinted with permission by Doris Helge, Ph.D. Originally published in the Bestselling book, “Conquer Your Inner Critic” www.ConquerYourInnerCritic.com © 2012.
Tags: acceptance, anger, appreciation, coach, confidence, Doris Helge, emotional healing, emotions, fear, happiness, happiness at work, hardwiring, human mirrors, inner critic, insecurity, joy, joy on the job, layers of the onion, love, loving relationships, negative emotions, negative feelings, neuroscience and emotions, pain and pleasure, painful emotions, painful events, personal empowerment, personal growth, positive emotions, positive psychology, positive thinking, respect, sadness, self-acceptance, self-doubt, self-empowerment, self-esteem, self-judgment, self-love, shadow self