Last week I talked a lot about trolls and the how to turn around the inner voices that shut us down.
This week I’ve been thinking about building up the voices that encourage us, that believe in us, that urge us forward. I call these voices our champions.
It’s hard to ask for what we’re worth.
It’s hard to know what we’re worth, much less ask for it. We’re conditioned to devalue, minimize, deflect and downplay our thoughts, our ideas, our bodies, our selves. The worst thing we could be is FULL OF OURSELVES.
Noticing our own value and saying it out loud feels alien to us: no idea what it is or how to do it and vaguely terrified by the prospect of coming face to face with it. So we take that idea and stuff it in the closet.
I’ve been playing around with ways to coax out that idea and make it feel more comfortable. Maybe pull out some feather boas and fuzzy bathrobes to wrap around that tiny spark of self admiration and breathe it into a nice healthy campfire of love and approval.
Is this metaphor working for you? Is your idea of self approval looking like this right now?
I’ve got a simple exercise for reverse engineering self-admiration:
- Think of someone you admire. Maybe someone you’re jealous of, someone you imagine surrounded by golden shimmering light who is a different better kind of human than you are. Maybe it’s someone on the national stage like Emma Gonzalez, maybe it’s a friend who moves through the world with a grace you wish you had. See them in your mind.
2. Draw a picture of them. I drew a picture of my friend Kate!
3. Write a list of their traits you admire:
Kate is good at business
Kate is fearless about finding mentors
Kate is an incurable optimist
4. Look at your list and replace their name with “I”. Write out each trait with I:
I am good at business
I am fearless about finding mentors
I am an incurable optimist
See what comes up for you when you write each of these down. Maybe you have deep resistance – that isn’t true at all! – or maybe you feel a thrill of deep resonance.
5. Circle five words that stand out to you, and turn them into a poem. Write them down. Try them on. For me it was:
Fearless hustler flair, I’m a shameless optimist
6. Stand up and speak your list out loud. I am in incurable optimist. Speak your poem, repeat it like a mantra. Move around like the person you admire. How do they stand? How do they dance? Find a song they would dance to and practice moving like them. Try it on!
If any of this seems ludicrous, that’s okay. You can laugh with yourself. That doesn’t mean some part of you doesn’t believe it’s true.
I would love to hear what you learn! And because this is what a shameless optimist hustler would do, I gotta tell you that if you dig this kind of fun inner self work/play, this is exactly what we do in the Creative Magic Workout which is open for registration now! It’s a lot easier to champion yourself when other people are championing you too.
Take care of yourself out there, dreamer!