I’m breaking up with you. It’s over. For good, this time.
It’s not me, it’s you. You used to make me feel safe, but now I realize you were actually holding me back. You just don’t make me feel good about myself, and I want to feel good about myself.
We want different things for my future, and I feel like you’ll never change. I used to think I couldn’t live without you, like I needed you to protect me.
But things have changed. Lately, I’ve started to feel less protected and more suffocated. I think it would be healthier for us to get a bit of space from each other so I can explore who I am outside our relationship.
You used to tell me I wasn’t good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, successful enough, educated enough, lovable enough and for a while, I believed you.
I let you tell me these untrue things. I thought you knew better. But now I see the truth: I AM enough and so much more. And I’m ready to spread my wings.
In short, Insecurity, I’ve outgrown you. I understand you always had the best intentions for me, and you’re just trying to keep me safe.
No hard feelings, k? I’ll always be grateful for the lessons you taught me and the experiences you gave me. But now I have to move forward with my life.
Farewell, Insecurity. I forgive you and I release you forever.
Love, Rhi xo
Penning this breakup letter to my Insecurities felt fucking amazing! Because I am SO DONE.
Have you ever been in a shitty relationship with someone forever?
You know that person isn't right, you know they’re holding you back, you know you would be SO MUCH BETTER OFF without them but you just keep going back or feel somehow addicted or bound to them?
And then one day ... lightning strikes and you realize you are 100% done with the bullshit! It’s not just because of any one thing, but rather a wash of clarity and wisdom, a truth bomb exploding in your soul.
“I. Am. Fucking. DONE!”
That’s the point I got to with Insecurity.
I didn’t want to be held back from being seen for who I am. I wanted to be okay with ALL of me: the squishy parts, the broke parts, the lazy parts, the chaotic parts, the bumpy parts, the wrinkly parts.
I got so finished with letting my fear of judgment limit me from shining. I was so done with self-sabotage, so sick and tired of not trying something new because I’d already pre-decided I was going to suck.
I couldn’t go another day without changing my story. I knew if I wanted to help other women transform their lives, if I wanted to be their biggest cheerleader and their brightest light, I had to be my own cheerleader and my own lighthouse.
Suddenly, my mission and my purpose and my heart mattered SO MUCH MORE than all the bullshit stories I told myself about why I wasn’t enough, how people would judge me, or I wasn’t worthy as I was.
So, I wrote this letter. I visualized myself boxing up my heart, and my mission, and my purpose, and leaving my Insecurity standing in an apartment we shared in my mind, confusedly holding my breakup letter, wondering where it all went so wrong.
Breaking up with your Inner Critic is just the first step on a long road, just like any long term break up. We all know that the hardest part of a long term break up is what comes after the break up itself. Breaking up with your Inner Critic is no different.
Here are my 10 best tips for making that process easier.
1. Be kind and gentle with yourself throughout the process
Breaking up with your Inner Critic is step one. It ain’t exactly all downhill from there. Breakups never are. Your Inner Critic will get louder, doing everything she can to win you back.
She’ll work even harder to “keep you safe” and “prove” her importance long after you’ve dumped her. Expect to have her challenge your every move for a while. Eventually she will get quieter, speak softer, and leave you alone for the most part.
Until then, practice self-kindness and self-compassion. There will be hard days, and days when Insecurity wins the round.
It’s okay. Everyone has times where their Inner Critic gets the best of them, even confident people. It’s human.
On hard days, accept where you are. You can’t have a setback unless you’ve made progress in the first place.
2. Honor the beauty of your vulnerability
It is immensely vulnerable to brave the unknown, act despite fear, and feel butt naked as you take wobbly first steps outside your comfort zone.
There is incredible beauty in embracing your vulnerability and humanity. Honor this process of rebirth and transformation within you.
Your rawness, your truth, your soft underbelly is your humanity and your light. When you embrace yours, you create a safe space for others to do the same. Your light is beautiful: and it inspires others to light up too.
3. Avoid people you tend to feel insecure around
Sometimes after a breakup you’ve got to go cold turkey, you know? You have to stop talking to their friends and dodge places you know they frequent. Savvy? It’s the same when you’re breaking up with your Inner Critic.
What do I mean by this?
For a while, you’ve got to stop hanging out with people you tend to feel insecure around:
People who are assholes to you (it's a good idea to avoid them anyway).
People who like to play a constant game of keeping up with the Joneses.
Anyone around whom you just don't feel good about yourself.
Give them a wide berth in those raw first weeks of building your self-confidence.
Same goes for the socials. If someone’s news feed has you feeling small rather than expanded, unfollow or block them. Just for a while.
When you become strong, you can always re-add these people, if you want to. However, you may find that as your vibe expands, you simply won’t attract (or be attracted to) people you feel insecure around.
4. Your insecurity is probably invisible to everyone but you
Storytime! For the first six months of doing Facebook Lives, I had mini panic attacks before each one. They terrified me!
After a Live, I would watch them through and cringe, convinced I looked like a nervous hot mess.
Then my friend commented that I always seemed so confident and calm on camera. She couldn’t tell I was nervous at all!
Remember that we ALL have insecurities. They’re a normal part of human life.
Some confident people have broken up with their Insecurity, so it doesn’t call the shots or hold them back anymore. But it’s still something they have to deal with from time to time.
In fact, most people are too worried about their own insecurities to even NOTICE the subtleties of yours. Most of the time your insecurity isn’t at all obvious (or even noticeable) to others, even when you’re sure others must be focused on it.
5. Take baby steps outside your comfort zone
The best way to overcome the Inner Critic’s barrage of “you can’t”, “you won’t” or “you aren’t” is to show it that you can, will, and are.
When you step outside your comfort zone, you disprove your Inner Critic’s argument that something isn’t possible, shattering the belief once and for all.
But this doesn’t mean you have to swallow the elephant in one bite! Sometimes baby steps outside your comfort zone can be better because they feel more sustainable and build momentum.
Try doing one thing every day that proves your Inner Critic wrong. In a year, that’s 365 steps outside your comfort zone.
6. Notice your body language
Motion creates EMOTION! It’s common knowledge that our emotions influence our body language – but did you know it works in reverse, too?
You can dramatically impact your emotions by shifting your body’s posture, position and gestures.
So, in situations where you might ordinarily feel insecure, pay attention to your body language. Are you hunched over, huddled inward, maybe hugging a protective arm across your body, backed into a corner, or fidgety?
How might a confident person stand, position themselves, and use their hands differently?
Next time you feel uncomfortable, walk into the room as if you're an Avenger. How would you stand, walk, carry your body?
Have a go at adopting those behaviors in uncomfortable situations and see how it changes your feelings and confidence levels.
7. Celebrate the wins
Our Inner Critic likes to downplay our wins, our successes, and our strengths. She keeps a Burn Book of our most embarrassing moments, biggest mistakes, and most terrifying anxieties, and trots them out any time she thinks we might listen.
By contrast, shunted under the bed in a dusty corner is a Brag Book of our biggest triumphs, most wonderful qualities, happiest times, and greatest strengths. Your Inner Critic likes to pretend that it doesn’t exist.
Now that you’ve broken up, it’s time to get the Brag Book out, dust it off and – hey, even better – transform a physical notebook into a Brag Book and write down the highlights from your day. This is one of my most powerful tools for an empowered mindset.
Write down the small wins, triumphs, progress, or happy thoughts for every day. You can write one thing or 30, but each day write at least one thing in your Brag Book. Read through it whenever you want to remind yourself of your capabilities, your strengths, and most wonderful qualities.
8. Challenge the insecure thoughts
I learned this technique when I was battling anxiety, and it is the single most important tool I used in my recovery.
The idea is to separate your identity from the thought you are thinking. From there you can break it down, challenge it, and replace it with a more empowering thought and behavior pattern. Here’s how.
(a) Separate yourself from the critical thought.
Write down every insecure thought you might think of yourself. For example:
I’m not good enough.
I’m too fat.
Nobody likes me.
Now dissociate yourself from the thought and rewrite it as if someone was saying it to you. For instance:
You’re not good enough.
You’re too fat.
·Nobody likes you.
This disentangles your identity from the thought and reminds you that you are not your thoughts. They do not define you or have any inherent power over you. They become disentangled from your Inner Voice.
(b) Read the second lot of sentences back to yourself.
Notice the emotions and memories that come up for you. Do they remind you of something that was said to you in childhood? Do they remind you of a painful situation or media message? Do you read any of those sentences in a particular person’s voice?
(c) Now it’s time to challenge these statements.
How would you defend a friend who had those things said to them? How would you disprove those statements if you were arguing against them in a court of law? What’s REALLY true, here? What would you say to your friend to reassure them?
(d) How do these statements affect different areas of your life?
How does the thought e.g. “you’re not good enough,” affect your finances, career, or love life? Notice where this thought crops up and the patterns of behavior it leads to. Do this for every thought you wrote down.
(e) The final step is to change the patterns those thoughts have caused you to run.
This shows your Inner Critic that it is wrong (we talked about this in Step 5 above). The more you can interrupt the pattern between thought and action, the more the thought weakens until it dissolves entirely. It can be particularly helpful to work with a coach or therapist for this step.
9. Loving affirmations
Affirmations, done correctly, are another powerful tool for breaking up with your Insecurity. They cement new thoughts and neural pathways into the brain.
I recommend starting with affirmations that feel realistic and empowering, rather than desperately trying to use affirmations that feel fake or ridiculous.
I’ve compiled a list of my favorite affirmations for dealing with insecurity as this week’s free download. All you have to do is subscribe to the Library to get it!
Putting a sock in your Inner Critic for good isn’t a quick fix overnight sensation. Rather, it’s a series of steps – a journey – that takes time, patience, and a whole lot of self-compassion.
Whilst your Insecurity won’t go away overnight, it will begin to slowly fade over time the more you stand up to it and show it how strong you are. You’ve got this. You can do this. And on the other side, you will be unstoppable.
Let’s start a movement! Write your breakup letter to your insecurity/Inner Critic in the comments below. We can do this together!
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