You know that voice in your head?  The one that is always doubting you?  The one that becomes loudest at your most quiet times?  My friend Allison is a mindfullness based stress reduction instructor at From Within Wellness. Allison’s advice to help halt this negative self-dialog is “name it to tame it.”  I think she says that because it rhymes, unlike “name it to tell it to eff off.”

Striving Sally

So, I’ve named my negative inner voice Striving Sally.  The good news is that Striving Sally is not a perfectionist.  Even the voice in my head does not expect me to be Martha Stewart.  But, Striving Sally is a jerk nonetheless.

She says things like,

“Oh, your blog only has 23 followers?  And you know that most of them are related to you right?” 

Also, “You served hot dog buns for breakfast?  What kind of person serves hot dog buns for breakfast?  And now you’re going to go into work and pretend to be a professional- does anyone actually fall for that?”

And, “You still haven’t finished the standard operating procedures booklet for your office?  You know you’ve been an employer well over a year now, right?” 

Striving Sally, you’ll notice, is awful.  And unfortunately, I have allowed her to take over my life. Success never comes fast enough for her, and she never takes the time to appreciate the huge strides I have made.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that if I were to ever speak to my own employees the way I allow Sally to speak to me, they would quit on the spot.

Instead, I'm telling Striving Sally she's fired.

I’m taking as much time each day to reflect on progress as I am to plan for success.  I’m reminding myself to Find Joy in the Journey, to Be Happy with What I Have while Working for What I Want, and a bunch of other inspirational quotes I added to my Pinterest boards and then quickly forgot.

I’m allowing myself moments or even days to be tired, overwhelmed and unsure of the future.  Accepting that unbalanced may be my default setting. Then, I’m getting a good night’s sleep, slapping peanut butter on hot dog buns, calling it a complete breakfast and heading back into the world to kick some butt.

Essay excerpt from the book Beer & Junk, Adventures in Parenting, by Kelly Higgins Bay.

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