What does your inner dialogue sound like? You know, the things you tell yourself consciously or unconsciously? My inner dialogue is vicious. That is why I call her my Wicked Inner Stepmother, my WIS. My WIS has consistently told me three things for as long as I can remember.
1. I am not smart.
2. I am not maternal.
3. I am not an athlete.
Three degrees, two kids and one marathon later, WIS continued to badger me with these ideas. Daily. No matter how hard I tried to be better in each category, she continued to tell me I wasn’t.
To make matters worse, these thoughts about myself were what I was told, by the person who knows me best: me (or at least the wicked inner version of me). So it must be true, right?
So where does my WIS find these word daggers, so sharp they can penetrate even the thickest armor of positive self-talk and inspirational pinterest quotes? They are my own limiting beliefs. And you know what drives them? What fuels them? Comparison! COMPARISON!
Listen, Comparison is a mean sonofagun and it is also the WIS’s sidekick of choice. Put these two ladies in one boiling pot and you have a potion powerful enough to make even the most confident women question her waistline as she flips through the pages of Cosmo. If her WIS is already telling her that she needs to lose weight, place just one photoshopped Victoria’s Secret ad to compare her own body to and you have the perfect fuel for body image issues.
So what happens when the WIS shows up in your bedroom, before or during sex and you hear her saying.
- I’m too fat.
- He won’t want to see me naked.
- I don’t taste good down there.
- I am not pretty/handsome enough.
- She won’t like it if I initiate.
- I won’t be able to last long enough.
- My face goes weird when I orgasm.
So what do you do? How do we have a reasonable conversation with the ever-unreasonable WIS? Well, here’s how I fired mine.
There will always be people smarter than me, more maternal than me and certainly more athletic than me. Always. Perhaps the most liberating thing I have ever done was ACTIVELY stop comparing myself to others. I quit focusing on what little I had to say in conversations that were over my head and started asking questions instead. I refrained from looking at other moms and comparing my parenting style and instead focused on how my own kids were thriving. I avoided picking up Fitness magazine and went for Forbes instead. And you know what? My WIS started to back off. I was finally speaking louder than her. It was empowering and I loved it.
In your own life, and in your own bedroom why don’t you start to address your WIS and begin to shut her crotchety old word hole. Be conscience of what you are comparing yourself to. Is it the sex you see on TV? The sex you had when you were younger? The bodies in the gym? The story line in the racy novel? Cosmo’s “Hot Tips to Make Him Squeal?” These are NOT your current life. Nor will they ever be! So why don’t we lay them to rest and start to re-focus on what is. Because I bet when you start to do that, your own WIS will have nothing to say. You will be empowered to take up the conversation where she left off. And if you need a little help taking over that conversation, let me assist you.
My friends, you are beautiful.
You are perfect.
You are more than enough.
You are unique.
You are totally awesome and I’m rooting for you, always.
Wicked Inner Stepmother…here’s your pink slip.