I sure have. I’ll look in the mirror and wonder who that fellow is staring back at me with a slightly confused expression could be. I’ll go through the motions of my morning–shower, brush teeth, dress, eat some breakfast–in a disembodied way because, well, the show must go on and all that.
At some point during the day, I may pop back in to myself. But maybe not. It’s a crapshoot.
If you’ve ever experienced this (or any part of it), here are two questions you can ask yourself before leaving the house in the morning:
1. Is my self worth as strong as my self critic?
We all have a self critic. That little voice that chimes in to tell us we’re not good enough or that the presentation we just gave tanked or that that girl (or guy) would have liked us more if only [insert your self-criticism of choice]. It doesn’t matter how much super deep personal work you do, that voice doesn’t go away.
Instead of attempting to banish the critical voice, notice what happens if you focus attention on cultivating stronger self worth. For every self-criticism, see if you can find two things to bolster your worth. The internal conversation might look like this:
Notice that in the example above, I used the word ‘and’ instead of ‘but.’ This takes the sense of opposition or conflict out of the dynamic. The idea here is that, if you’re like most people, you’ve spent plenty of time cultivating the self-critic. We’re not seeking to silence it, we’re seeking to strengthen its opposite. It’s a matter of both/and.
If you ask yourself this question and find that your self-worth is as strong, or stronger, than your self-critic. . .proceed with your day.
If, on the other hand, you find that the opposite is true, take a moment to center, breathe, and see if you can bring a little balance to the equation. It may be as simple as asking the question and bringing awareness to the imbalance!
2. [Name], are you [name]?
This questions presents the opportunity to take a pause and check in with yourself before springing into the day. It’s simple. Just stand still for a moment and ask, for example, ‘Michael, are you Michael?’
The first time I used this question, I was shocked to find out the answer was ‘no.’ It had been a stressful few days and I’d lost track of myself. The question created the space necessary for me to reconnect with myself and return to center to enter the world with a bit more grounded intention.
Have fun playing with these questions. Let me know how it goes!