After editing my blog post about my shadow side (AKA that time I accidentally snapped at my new boyfriend and his mate), my incredible assistant Rogelyn messaged me this in Slack:
Whenever I edit your posts — and while I was reviewing the posts in the blog for retagging the past couple of weeks,
it really surprised me how negative you see yourself and how long this journey has been for you.
And I always think, how could you possibly think that of yourself?!
I really feel that you are such an awesome human being — you know what you want and you go for it, you are intelligent, independent, not afraid to speak your mind, business savvy — and the list goes on.
And yet at times, I still read how you still seem to try to prove yourself and what you are capable of when I honestly feel there is no need for it at all.
It’s really funny how we are often our worst enemy and critic.”
I was blown away by Rodge’s kind words. I replied…
“That is one of the nicest things I think I’ve ever read! Thank you for your incredibly beautiful words.
I think an incredible benefit for me that I’ve got out of coaching overachievers, is that I sit in front of these crazily powerful, beautiful, intelligent women [and a few epic men too], and they tell me all of their self-criticisms and how much they don’t believe in themselves and it AMAZES me every time.
Which is how I know what you mean when you say,
WTF?? Why would anyone doubt themselves when they are so brilliant?
This mind thing is an actual mad badger!”
Are you with me and Rodge? It’s time we stopped listening to our minds.
Take whatever negative shite your mind says to you and cut it in half.
Then take the square root of that, add three, subtract 4, and then multiply that by 0.
That will give you a rough estimate of how much of what your mind says is true.
Every human on this planet is an incredible being here to do something unique and brilliant.
Even completely confused badgers like Trump are here for a purpose. Trump’s purpose is to wake us all up and bring us back together, by showing us just how bad things can get when we war with each other.
He may not exaccctly know this purpose, but he’s living it nonetheless.
We need all the assholes, we need all the legends, and everyone in between.
But it seems that no matter where we are on the spectrum, our mind tells us things that aren’t true. Trump’s mind tells him he’s superior to others. Most of our minds tell us we’re complete rubbish.
But it’s not our mind’s fault.
The mind (voice in our head) develops as we learn language. And we learn language from the people and things around us.
Unfortunately, because of the way our society is structured, we are fed signs that we are rubbish from the moment we are born.
And these thoughts gain momentum over time, the longer we are exposed to this shit.
Which is why most young children (who haven’t faced trauma) are free and vibrant and secure and confident.
Until their mind grows up. And then their confidence wanes. Or turns into an unhealthy arrogance, which is just a mask for insecurity.
One of the main ways our mind learns is by observing the prevailing narratives of the society we grow up in.
And unfortunately, the best way to sell things to people is to make sure they don’t know how brilliant they are.
Even better – make them think they are complete rubbish.
It’s MUCH worse for women, but men can’t escape it either. Advertising gets us all eventually.
I say this often in my corporate mindfulness workshops…
How often do you see a billboard that says “You are wonderful! You don’t need ANYTHING else to make you a better person. Have a good day!”?
They all say something more along these lines:
“You really are an incredibly average specimen. In fact, you’re SO average, you’re probably beyond hope…
look how fat you are compared to this model! She looks like this all the time, truly. Especially after a run.”
“Look how wrinkly you are! Can you see how smooth this woman’s forehead is? Compare yourself to her, ughh. Botox for you my friend. Double ugh – how shit is your car?! And look at those puny muscles compared to this guy… Honestly, you’re a disgrace.”
“But since I, [Corporation], am incredibly generous, I’ll do my best to help you sort out your wreck of a life.”
“Tell you what, I’ll let you in on a secret… If you want to be a better human, you just need THIS fantastical product!”
“Oh cool, you bought that. Sheesh, that was easy. Ah well, let’s be honest, that didn’t really do the trick, you’ll also need THIS.”
“And this. And this, and this. And oh look,
now you’re barely meeting the benchmark of mediocrity… let me help you become great now.”
“All you need is this hair and this body and this house and these eye drops (because your dry eyes have NOTHING to do with unnaturally bright fluorescent office lights and aircon, you just have rubbish eyes), and oh god, is that a yawn? Jayus you look haggard, here, have this coffee too, your tiredness definitely has nothing to do with the fact that you’re overworked and need a nap. And a holiday.”
Then Instagram chimes in, god bless her fake-tanned soul:
“Oh you’re on holiday now, are you? Well god, your holiday looks pretty average compared to this Maldivian luxury escape with an underwater hotel room.”
“Ah that’s a shame, see this turtle swimming over me as I lie in these 10,000 thread count Egyptian sheets? You’ll never be able to afford this. You’re just too average.”
“Look at all these hot influencers you could be hanging out with if only you were cool enough.
But you’ll never be here, because you eat too many donuts.
You’re a lost cause really aren’t you. Oh well, buy this handbag.”
Ok, so maybe I don’t say allll of that in a corporate workshop.
If we want to live a Bloody Good Life, we MUST work out how to stop listening to our well-meaning, but incredibly biased minds.
In the words of Rodge, there is no need for it at all.
To listen to your mind is like watching the Bachelor and thinking it’s all real.
I know I don’t know you, but I’d bet money on it – you’re brilliant.
Your mind just hasn’t cleared enough to let you see it yet.