Updated: Dec 9, 2019
“I think most of us aren’t even aware that we get to question every single thought we have about ourselves and throw it away if we don’t like it.” –Gala Darling
If you were to ask me who the biggest bully at my school was, and I were to answer honestly, I would have to admit that it was my own self.
No one put anyone through more hell or more torment than my inner voice that constantly blew every nothing-incident, no matter how minuscule, into a f*cking "See,-you’re-not-good-enough-and-no-one-could-ever-really-like-or-accept-you" full-on ticker-tape-and-brass-band parade.
An inner anti-holiday butchering that could last for days as I systematically dismantled any reasons I might have to esteem myself at all.
It never dawned on me to even question this inner "evil twin". It was as normal as eating breakfast and going to school. Maybe even more normal because I was usually running late and had to skip the breakfast part.
I don’t think I have to go on and on about this. You’re here because you know all too well the emotionally ham-fisted brain-based bully that is the amalgamation of every well-intentioned caution and cruel-hearted criticism you ever received.
As a child, you are very vulnerable, and everything is very new. It’s not like you have experience or options to base a frame of reference off of.
So, especially if you are a sensitive child, like I was, you internalize everything in vivid detail, and from there, your mind creates its own computer-like programming…
If you were fed a constant diet of shame, guilt, nagging, disappointment, condemnation, and fear-mongering, what you will eventually get is basically Lisa from Weird Science in reverse... an ugly old hag afraid of the world who produces nothing of value (like peace or joy or fulfillment) but instead hangs around to make you second-guess your every move in a virtual cage of misery, fed on the worst limiting beliefs those around you have to offer, perpetuating a sense of hopelessness and inferiority. And also unlike Lisa, this bitter old hag never knows when to make a graceful exit.
A ”gift” that keeps on giving, the nasty inner wretched shame-and-fear-based-waking-nightmare doesn’t morph into something healthy just because you experience life and grow older.
No, oftentimes the frame of reference we acquire becomes accordingly skewed, and if anything, our Nag Hag gets worse.
Like any path to recovery, admitting you have a problem and wanting to change is the first step.
If you know something is wrong, you are empowered to make it right.
Here is the secret:
Instead of letting the Nag Bag shut you down—shut her down!
It really is that simple.
It is simply breaking a bad habit through awareness and replacement.
Ctrl + X it out.
I love that opening quote by Gala Darling because awareness is so so so important.
Without awareness, we will stay powerless.
I became aware through getting exhausted by my own misery and by making a friend who showed me this behavior was not normal.
A friend who built me up and affirmed me, instead of feeding my inner troll. Who showed me a wider world and re-defined "normal".
If you can, get out of the environment that gave you all the inputs that brought the Nag Hag into being.
I moved several states away and basically cut everyone negative in my life off for 5 months.
They were angry, but it completely changed our dynamics. It was clear I was no longer under their control. It was clear I was growing and strong and courageous and independent and capable.
Whether you can get away or can’t physically get away yet, it is important to replace the programming. And the first step to that is to stop the old broken record, the bad feelings and the negative self-talk, in its tracks.
One really simple but powerful way of doing this comes from Jai, wife of the late great Professor Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture. While she watched her beloved husband dying of cancer, she had to find a way to cope and get through the day so that she could be there emotionally, physically, and spiritually for Randy, their children, and the rest of their family, friends, and supporters. When dark thoughts would creep in and everything seemed impossibly hard, she would stop them with two simple words:
How powerful! How effective! What an easy explanation to that desperate old nagging hag, that Debbie Downer, that soul-sucking cynic!
It’s all there:
I don’t have the time for this.
I don’t have the energy for this.
This is only going to wear me down.
This doesn’t serve me.
I have things I must do.
And when you have indeed shut down the Nag Hag, you can re-boot. You can feed yourself new programming. This is actually something I think most, if not, all people have to do. This is why affirmations are so popular.
Things that we repeatedly Affirm to ourselves:
My priority is to feel good.
I am moving constantly towards better things that make me feel happier and more fulfilled.
Love, money, happiness, is an easy choice that surrounds me and flows freely to me.
My words have life. I speak my destiny into existence.
I am so happy that I choose (insert your goals + hopes + dreams + things you are grateful for here).
They feel good! And since two thoughts can’t occupy the same brainspace, they crowd out the garbage.
Haul out the garbage!
Drown those bad thoughts out!
Suffocate those suffocating thoughts!
Affirmations really work best in conjunction with gratitude and celebration of victories.
When you approach life from a sense of abundance, you can let go of the stress associated with feeling desperation. Nothing creates difficulties, impossibilities really, in life quite like approaching things from a deep-seated sense of desperation, resentment, and lack.
Gratitude reminds you of all the powerful, good things you have in your life that can serve you in your quests, your goals, your greater purpose. Gratitude begets joy, peace, and MORE abundance!
Celebrating victories reminds you how powerful you truly are. It builds a sense of confidence, trust, and value with yourself. Not as a stopping point, but as a new, more advanced starting point! Get a daily dose of doing this with the Accompliments course!
“Remember when you wanted the things that you have now?” What a powerful reminder of how far you have come!
· Write down/draw/record the things that you wanted, no matter how big or small, from an ice cream cone to the place you live. Celebrate them!
· Create a portfolio of your work, hobbies, or personal projects for you to admire. You can make a physical copy and/or a digital one.
· Write a resume of yourself for just you. Put down every accomplishment where you really shined in your own heart. Did you look radiant at prom? Did you go on a trip that scared you but is one of your best memories? What kind things have you done that you are most proud of? Took in stray animals? Bought something to support an artist or small business? Worked on something you loved so you could get out of a situation you hated? Cleaned a monumental mess?
Put stars around the things that make you feel most proud. That make you feel glorious and strong and free and good. Things that, once begun, feel as natural as breathing. Things that make hard work feel like play. Things that quicken you.
Set out to do more of those types of things.
Doing more of the things that make you feel your most resplendent on the inside will help you find your true self, and grow into the person that you want to be.
It's the ULTIMATE Never-Ending Journey.
The ULTIMATE Never-Ending Journey to be undertaken by a hero who is a strong, amazing, valuable, beautiful, worthy, accomplished Child of Glory.
Which you already are!
Time for your Journey, Child of Glory.
We’re all in this together :)
All My Love,