BY: CAROLINE ROLF
Dealing with that asshole that lives inside your brain seems like a never-ending battle.
As hard as you try, as confident as your new jeans are making you feel, there’s always going to be a little voice inside your head reminding you that you suck. We all have that voice, some louder than others – the one that prevents people from completing projects, letting an unfinished painting collect dust, abandoning brilliant ideas and ultimately letting themselves down. It’s time to shut that asshole up or it’s going to ruin your life.
It’s not going to be easy to silence the jackass in your mind completely, but if you can manage the negativity it is constantly spewing, you’ll be much more confident and content.
Learn to take things as they come
If you judge your accomplishments by the year, month, or even week, your growth and efforts can seem insignificant. Instead, take a look at your life at the end of each day. There is so much value in 24 hours.
Tell the jerk in your mind that today, you completed x, y and z, or felt good when you found a solution to a problem, or simply what Internet video inspired you. Don’t let the asshole team up with your calendar. Maybe by the end of the month you didn’t get a raise at work, or perhaps you didn’t reach your goal weight by December 31st, but you sure as hell achieved a lot every one of those 365 days.
When each day becomes valuable, you can stop stressing about long-term goals. You can breathe again. You can rest your eyes for a moment. A day’s accomplishments are a small stepping-stone towards a major goal, so don’t panic if you slept in today.
The small victories matter
The asshole in your mind wants you to believe that only the big things matter. It considers the small shit you have to deal with every day, obsolete. It is quick to forget your triumphs at the end of a single day and is the first to give you a bad performance review after the most minuscule of mistakes.
This is why you have to do a little dance to celebrate every victory. No matter the capacity, you should feel proud of what you can do. Perfecting the ratio of frozen fruit to almond milk in your smoothie, mailing a thank you card, finding a quarter, helping a friend – your life has been made up of thousands of these small things that you have been building up since your first victory (be that your first words or steps).
It’s easy to focus on what needs fixing, but try and shift your focus on what’s going right, even in the moment, and you’ll see how quickly the good can outweigh the bad. The small things are so important, especially when you do the math, for many small victories add up to one very big and meaningful win. The more you appreciate each and every win, the less breathing room you’re giving that asshole and soon it just may suffocate.
Being mindful changes everything
Try and keep things in perspective. You can’t be good at everything. Nobody is going to hold you accountable for not being bilingual or getting booed off the stage at karaoke night, so why would you? For every one thing you fail at, there are three things you have mastered.
Who gives a damn what you’re bad at? You learned something isn’t for you when you got knocked down, now it’s time to get back up and kick some ass. You can reflect on your failure and seek improvement or forget it ever happened. Watch a movie you’ve seen ten times, read a trashy magazine, call your mom, just do something you love to forget that you sucked just this once. Because when the asshole creeps back into your mind, you can remind it of the hundred things you can do better than anyone else.