Are You Tired of Your Inner Mean Girl?
Summer is almost over. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. That means it’s time to start working on my sweater-bod, right?
I’m pretty body positive, but like most women I have an inner mean girl that says the absolute worst things to me, about my body, my thoughts and my ideas. She’s such a bitch and I would NEVER think of saying those things to anyone else. Can you relate, Mama?
It can be a struggle to balance feeling good about myself and shutting up the mean girl. She tries to creep back in whenever I’m about to do anything new just to let me know that I am not enough: good enough, young enough, thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough or nice enough.
But even though she’s there, I’ve still managed to go from a broke, single mom on welfare to a happily married mom of 4 kids with a few professional designations and a fresh start-up business. That’s right- she’s still there, but the secret is that I don’t let her stand in my way anymore.
If you’re struggling to move ahead in any part of your life, you’re not alone! Your inner mean girl is a bully and she can paralyze you from having everything you’ve ever wanted. Over the years, I’ve learned some tricks to quiet that voice of doubt and truly take control of my life:
I can see the eye-roll from here, Mama. I’m not sure how I found the time to start using meditation with a couple of little kids running around, but I started my practice about 22 years ago. I was suffering from horrible headaches that were all stress-related. I found that the deep breathing and total relaxation helped a lot. I remember imagining myself breathing in the fresh air and releasing the pain. Meditation has been such a good friend to me during some of the worst times and I highly recommend that every mom should try it.
Observing my Thoughts
Ok, this one sounds so seriously woo woo…but I’m a very practical gal, and this is a true exercise. Do you know when you’re driving somewhere and you realize that you don’t remember getting there? (please tell me this happens to you too!) That’s an example of thinking too many thoughts. It feels SO GOOD when you stop thinking. I’m not kidding you. All I do is imagine myself standing at the corner of my mind asking, “I wonder what my next thought will be?” As soon as I have a thought pop up, I observe it and continue to “stand watch” over my mind. Even just writing this sounds a little nuts, but it truly works for me.
Realizing that Nobody is Getting Out Alive
None of us are going to live forever. I don’t want to be on my deathbed wishing I had been more in love with myself. Myself deserves love and so do you!
Fake it ‘til You Feel it!
I remember seeing Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in an interview years ago. The interviewer asked him where his confidence comes from. Now, if you’ve ever seen him perform you would understand that question- that guy literally OOZES sexual confidence. I was so surprised when he said, “I don’t always feel confident- I just fake it ‘til I make it.” Whoa.
You can literally just decide how you want to think and behave and that’s what will happen? Yup. When I was getting on my feet as a single mom, my parents let us move into their middle-class suburban home for a bit. I didn’t feel very middle-class when I first drove my kids to school in my 15 year old, beat-up Volvo. But I quickly made the decision to refuse to feel less-than any of the other moms dropping off in their brand new SUV’s. I faked it ‘til I felt it.
How often do you let that voice stop you from doing and being your best, Mama? How often does she tell you that you don’t deserve happiness or success? How often does she tell you that you’re a crappy mom or partner? Or that you shouldn’t wear a certain outfit or wear your hair a certain way?
Well, let me tell you something: she’s a huge liar.
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!