emotional intelligence

How to quiet that inner mean girl (self critic)

We all have an inner self critic or what I like to refer to as the mean girl. Sometimes she’s by herself and sometimes she comes with her squad. These inner critics can find themselves wiggling into our lives at different moments and when we least expect them -- starting a new job or venture, moments in a relationship or while dating, and even in stages of parenting or motherhood. When that inner mean girl comes along she typically brings with her statements of fear, anxiousness, and feelings of unworthiness or lack of and it can really feel like a bitch. As painfully exhausting having conversations with our inner mean girl(s) can be, they can also offer us some really important insight.

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Here are 5 ways to have a better relationship with your inner mean girl squad.

  1. Acknowledge the inner mean girl. Often times we shut her out or shove her out of you way so that we can move towards something more productive like our goals. BUT, shutting that mean girl in that moment often brings her back at a later point in life. Try saying hi to her and asking her “What message are you trying to tell me today?” This can allow you to reframe her role in your life. Often times our inner mean girl is trying to tell us something more meaningful than her annoying and hateful messages. If you take a moment to simply ask her what she wants to say then you can slowly work towards the root cause or insecurity she’s trying to show you.

  2. Get productive with that inner mean girl. Although it’s tough to listen to that nagging voice, they can often bring up some deep rooted issues that need to be addressed. Befriending that mean girl and letting her take the lead is never useful, but you can use her messages to work on some small tangible action items that will help you get closer to your goals. Gradually working on these issues through small baby steps will help quiet that inner critic with positive thoughts and can get you closer to your goals.

  3. Ask yourself this important question: “Would you say this to your 8 year old self?”  Would you yell your 8 year old self you’re not good enough, that you’re overweight or not good enough? OF COURSE NOT! You would want your 8 year old version to feel like she could accomplish anything she put her mind to or be anything her heart desires. Your current self deserves that same encouragement and nourishing love. Self-acceptance is a practice we develop at every age and we have every permission to work on that today!

  4. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and amazing! We often tell our friends how incredible and deserving of love they are. Why do we expect less for ourselves? Sometimes saying daily affirmations can feel in-genuine especially if it’s a new practice so instead of saying things like “I am awesome!” Or “I am beautiful” try making a list of your most recent accomplishments, especially the small ones! Take an inventory of the last two weeks and list down the small wins and celebrate them! You are so deserving of a mini celebration that includes a solo dance party or shower of emojis that acknowledge your hard work! So put on your favorite song, do a little shimmy, and dance like no ones watching!

  5. Sometimes we need a little reminder of how awesome we really are. So if no one has shared that with you this week, I want to be the first. You’re fucking awesome! You’re doing your best and that’s imperfectly perfect. Tell your inner mean girl “Not today!” and dance your little heart out! 

6 Tips on Improving your Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Awareness

Yesterday I was in something I like to refer to as an emotional wreckage. I was all in my feels for absolutely no reason, no cause, and no real triggers. I’m blaming it on the solar eclipse, new moon, and my hormones. When these moments happen it’s a great opportunity for  to practice improving your emotional literacy and recognizing patterns, two skills needed to improve your emotional intelligence. 


Two Skills Needed to Improve Emotional Intelligence

Improving Emotional Literacy includes increasing awareness  and understanding of feelings, including the ability to accurately label emotions.

Recognizing Patterns is extremely important because it helps identify recurring reactions of thought, feeling, and action.

Working on both of these skills has not only helped me improve my relationships with those around me, but also helped me develop a stronger sense of self and create the loving relationship I want with myself.

Here are 6 tips improve your emotional intelligence and awareness.

  1. Get fluent in the language of emotions! Most of the time we feel a multitude of different emotions all at once. Especially if you’re in a state of emotional wreckage. Understanding the profile of each emotional helps define it and understand the message its trying to tell you. It also helps when communicating how your feeling to the those around you, especially your loved ones.

  2. Name the your emotional gremlin. A gremlin is a negative voice that we have inside that gives negative feedback. It often can say things like “I’m stuck. I feel powerless. I’m not good enough. What’s wrong with me?” Neuroscience research has revealed this as a simple practice that can help calm the stormy waters.

  3. Observe without trying to fix. Let yourself be frustrated, or angry, or sad. We have been socialized to think of some emotions as bad, and because of that, we have a tendency to try to push them away as soon as we feel them. Give yourself and body time to absorb whatever emotional chemical reactions are coming up for you.

  4. Feel your emotions in your body. We often feel our emotions in our physical body. Emotional feelings are often manifested in the body, become aware of where you feel them. Decreased limb sensations with sadness, increased sensations in the upper limbs with anger, sensations around the throat and the digestive system with disgust, sensations in the chest with surprise and fear, and enhanced sensations all over the body with happiness.

  5. Rewrite the myth of bad emotions. We often get stuck antagonizing the relationship we have with our emotions thinking them as bad or worse seeing ourselves as bad for having these emotions.They are neurohormones that we release as a response to our perceptions about the world. They focus our attention and motivate us toward a specific course of action. So there aren’t good and bad emotions. They all have a unique purpose and message.

  6. Recognize recurring patterns that happen when you’re in this state. This is probably the most transformative part of radical self-acceptance. Our brains will naturally follow the same neural pathways that currently exist. Whether you’re in a relationship with someone else or trying to build a better relationship with yourself, we all tend to form and follow patterns. Not all patterns serve us well and we have the ability to change the partners that aren’t. The first step to changing an existing pattern is recognizing the pattern in yourself.

Emotions are simply data. They offer us incredible insight on how we perceive ourselves and the world. Self-acceptance is about opening up yourself to the data, the next step is to choose where you want to go once you’ve gain better clarity and understanding.

Feelings are complicated and historically we’re only really taught a handful of core emotions. The Feelings Wheel developed by Dr Gloria Willcox is very useful in identifying the specific feelings and emotions you are experiencing at any given point in time so that they can be addressed and resolved. You can download this the Feelings Wheel by clicking the button below which includes two steps on how to use this wheel.