self love

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! 

How Self-Gratitude can boost your confidence

We’re now in that time of the year where we’re thinking about all the people and the reasons we’re grateful for the lives we have. Gratitude is one form of emotion I have no problem expressing to others and I’m pretty sure we share the same perspective on this, but can I ask you something? When is the last time you said ‘THANK YOU’ to yourself? When is the last time you honored yourself for the hard work you’ve put into the life you’ve created?

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Life is filled with choices: good ones, bad ones. And while the people in your life probably make your life worthwhile, you’re still the one responsible for making the changes, the decisions, the sacrifices, and the successes for the life you have cultivated. Give yourself some well deserved credit, maybe a standing ovation even because YOU DESERVE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT! Each and every single day you make a choice to show up, to put in the effort, to work hard towards your dreams. You make the choice to change your life, to be better every single damn day, and to dig deep on those days that you want to give up.

Life is filled with choices: good ones, bad ones. And while the people in your life probably make your life worthwhile, you’re still the one responsible for making the changes, the decisions, the sacrifices, and the successes for the life you have cultivated.

I’ve seen dark days. I know what it feels like to be depressed; to not want to live, to give up on life, to lose hope, and not see the light. Just remember you’re in a lifelong relationship with yourself. There’s a little “me” inside of you that will be there to weather the storm with you, overcome the hardships, and help you create the healthy, fulfilled, and loving life that you desire. That little “me” inside you will be there during your heartaches, moments of sadness, moments of pain, and that person will never leave your side. While its easier to express gratitude to others, you cannot forget the most important person in your life, YOU.

Expressing self-gratitude is just one of the ways to boost your self-confidence. A practice of self-gratitude allows you to acknowledge even the smallest efforts you've made to improve your life. At first, it might feel a little weird. But over time you'll begin to recognize how awesome you are and the things others see in you. 

You can focus on being grateful to yourself for:

  1. Making it through a tough workout.
  2. Showing kindness to others
  3. Showing kindness to yourself 
  4. Your determination and work ethic
  5. A body part you love
  6. The lesson learned in a struggle
  7. Your recent accomplishments
  8. Making it through the day 
  9. Showing up for life
  10. Cooking a healthy meal for yourself
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Anxiety and depression can make it hard to see ways to express self-gratitude. So here are some simple ideas that can help open your mindset to it: 

  • What are you planning for yourself in the future? Can you be grateful to yourself for your hopes, goals, and dreams?
  • Are there things in your past that make you feel good about yourself?
  • What was the one thing in your day that wanted to accomplish?

Do you have a self-gratitude practice and if so, what is it?

Loving the Skin You're in Through All the Stages of Your Fitness Journey

Loving the Skin You're in Through All the Stages of Your Fitness Journey

I once heard that our reality is largely made up of our perceptions and beliefs, not facts. And that our ideas and theories are based on experiences and opinions, so much so that we start to create stories from these views and judgements. Over time we start to believe these judgements as our truths.  Since we experience life differently from one another, how can we separate what's fact and what's merely a story created by opinions, judgements, and false validations from others and experiences?

The Refined Collective: Self Care

Self-care, self-love, self-discovery. These three things have been the theme of my life for the past 4 years and every single time I've learned a thing or two about each area, life seems to throw me another curve ball to teach me another lesson about what these areas mean in my life. 

When I became a mom, I did exactly what most women do when they become a new mom. They pour out all their love and energy into raising a family (as you should). But the one thing that I didn't recognize or value in the first few years, or 9 years of motherhood, was to find ways to fill my own cup so that I can continue serve others especially my family.

You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
— Eleanor Brownn

The life of a working mom began and soon enough I was hustling left and right, backwards, sideways, you name the direction I was there. I was overworked and overwhelmed with the idea of juggling motherhood, work, my passions, my relationships with girlfriends, and my relationship with my husband. I remember feeling spread thin thinking that it was a normal feeling until I started to find myself dealing with anxiety and depression. Things got rough and then I started to focus on my health and it improved. 

In my books, exercise will always be the number one form of self-care, but I also know that for some exercise might be a challenge so here are some self-care practices that I try to do at least once a week in order to refill my cup. 

  1. Journaling. This has been an instrumental piece of of maintaining and improving my mental health and the easiest form of self-care that I can practice whenever I'm feeling lost in the moment. I started to journal regularly this year as another onset of depression hit me just a few weeks ago. If you're unsure what to write about you can start with my favorite thing which is to list down 5 things you are grateful for. 
  2. 10 minutes of mindful breathing and meditation. I used to think that meditation was for yogis and just for yogis. Some days my mind feels like its a super highway, thoughts and ideas just whiz by. The perception I had about meditation was that you had to control those thoughts, until I discovered Headspace. 
  3. A bath and candles...ALONE! This one is very rare in my house to do because typically the bathroom door opens and I have someone saying "Mommy..." before I can roll my eyes to the idea that private moments is no longer a thing in my house. So when I can spend 15-20 minutes alone in a bath to simply relax from my day, unplug from my emails, phone, and studying it becomes pure bliss and the absolute best form of self-care.

A few other things I like do for self-care are: monthly massages, recovery time in the hot tub or sauna, a face mask, and even just laying in bed quietly while listening to music and diffusing essential oils in the air. A self-care practice is vital for your health. It's one that we take for granted these days especially while we're so busy juggling all of life's demands. Make sure to make time for it and remember its called a practice for a reason. You have to make time for it just like you make time for others in life. 

Just like exercise and eating healthy or living balanced, a self-care practice is just as unique as the individual practicing it. Your self-care routine will look different from your girlfriends and what you choose to practice, how you practice, and when you practice is entirely up to you. I hope I was able to provide you some inspiration to build your own. 

This article is written in Collaboration with some of my favorite women! Every 2nd Tuesday of each month we'll be sharing our thoughts on topics that tug on our heart strings, so make sure to check back in March to see what we've got lined up for you.

Check out their thoughts on Self-Care today too:

The Refined Woman // The Refined Collective Self-Care

Lauren Scruggs Kennedy // Self Care

Chelsey Korus // Self Care

Tutti del Monte Photography // Self Care Practices

10 Ways to Dress Yourself in Self Love

10 Ways to Dress Yourself in Self Love

Self-love seems to be a really popular term these days especially when it comes to social media. #Selflove and #SelfCareTime seems to be the number one thing, besides balance in life, that people are striving to find these days. According to the dictionary, self love is regard to one’s own well-being and happiness. Sometimes, it’s confused with being narcissistic or loving yourself above all else without the regard for others. I believe that self-love is one of the most important things we can practice and its often the one that is most neglected. We all deserved to be loved, not only by others around you, but most importantly — YOU.