I was working in my office at Golds Gym one Saturday afternoon when my 6 foot tall, yoga instructor friend walked in. I was more than a little surprised to see her there unscheduled as she had a demanding full time job along with teaching quite a few classes.
“What are you doing here,” I asked after our usual hug.
“Well, ******* is doing some work around the house and I guess I’m in the way so I’d figured I come down and workout a bit because I’m a little tired of getting yelled at,” she said, still smiling that perfect smile.
This women was amazing in every possible way and had the most gentle demeanor I’d ever seen. I looked at her seriously and spoke to her very frankly.
“No one should ever be yelling at you.”
Most of us understand the need to remove negative, destructive people from our lives. My friend very soon moved on from that relationship and found her happily ever after. It’s easy to see that we need to quiet the negative voices around us.
But what if that voice is your own?
What if the most negative voice in your life is inside of your own head? As damaging and hurtful as it can feel when someone else puts you down, isn’t it even more destructive when we do that to ourselves? If your voice is always saying things like, I’m not smart enough, or young enough, or pretty enough, or good enough, or I’m too heavy, or I don’t deserve this or I’m going to fail or I’m not as important as others, or whatever deflating message it delivers to you, how is that a good thing?
If someone else was around saying bad things to you and about you all the time, wouldn’t you get them out of your life? By that same token, you need to silence your own negative, hurtful voice.
Yes, we all have imperfections and yes, we all have insecurities. But it’s one thing to be working on improving yourself to be what and who you want, to become who you are capable of. It’s quite another to beat yourself up for not being perfect. It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to be different. (How boring would life be if we were all perfect and the same?)
So the challenge is to control your voice. It starts with being aware of what you say, think and even feel about yourself and to start treating yourself with more love, compassion, and understanding. Tell yourself the good as you continue to improve the not so good. (Or what you have decided -often incorrectly- is the not so good).
Make your voice an ally not an enemy.
Your voice should not harm or discourage you.
Your voice should not bring or keep you down.
Your voice should empower and uplift you.
You are not too old, or tall, or short, or young, or heavy, or skinny, or whatever.
Your voice should be under your control.
No one should ever be yelling at you.
Not even you!
Photo: Terry Goodlad Model: Ramona Ramjit-Munoz