I’m doing some great coaching work with Beth Buelow, the Introvert Entrepreneur and one of my assignments is to write a “Dear John” letter to a critical voice that I carry. Have you ever done an exercise like this? If so, I encourage you to do so, as letting go of our inner critics can create feelings of freedom, space, and true enoughness. Here’s to saying goodbye to critical voices and self-sabotage!
Here is my letter:
Dear Mrs. Not-Good-Enough,
You stink. I mean it. You smell like rotten onions and I’m tired of wiping my eyes from the sulfuric acid you send my way from your chemically-induced not-good-enough stench. The tears you cause me don’t feel therapeutic. You know how a good cry can make everything feel better eventually? Well, Mrs. Not-Good-Enough, you cause me tears of rot and it’s truly time to say goodbye. I’m through with you.
You used to be Mrs. Good-Enough, a tender motherly voice. Encouraging. Inspiring. Supportive. Remember when you used to show up unannounced when I was a kid? Remember how you brought me bouquets of clearly-confident gardenia blossoms and full-of-talent tiger lilies? You told me I was beautiful, smart, capable of anything. You said you believed in me.
Then you turned bitter. Did Mr. Not-Good-Enough come along at some point? Is that when you decided to marry him, take his name — and his tune?
No matter, I’m done. You’ve made me question myself too many times, caused me to feel faulty, damaged, too sensitive, lacking. Instead of flowers, you brought me rotten onions.
I have decided to compost these onions, I’ll have you know, and when the soil is worm-filled and nutrient rich, I will add it to my garden. I will grow basil and sweet peas and chives with sweet purple-puff flowers. I will grow lavender and snap dragons and rosemary.
I do thank you, though, Mrs. Not-Good-Enough. You taught me that I have the power to compost anything in my life that doesn’t serve me, anything at all that damages my sense of good-enoughness, self-worth, and confidence, and yes, oh yes, I will transform this compost into sweet, sumptuous life.