“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!” —Stuart Smalley
In 1992 Al Franken created Stuart Smalley, a comical character who peddled self-help slogans. Although this was a Saturday Night Live skit, it's important to consider how we talk to ourselves.
Too many people have a fierce inner critic that keeps them small or limits their joy.
I have an inner voice that is like a harsh coach that pushes me to do more. This energy makes it difficult to rest. It always notices things that could be better and urges me to keep going. If I'm not careful, I can push too hard and not get enough rest.
I have another internal voice that is like an over-protective parent. This energy wants to keep me safe. This is the voice that has kept me muted. It tells me, "if you don't share your work then you won't get criticized."
It's important to cultivate compassionate inner voices. There is ample research that shows the positive effect of self-compassion. However, we can tell from our own experience that life is more pleasant for us and for others when we listen to positive inner voices.
It's not possible or even wise to eradicate our inner critic. If you try to silence the negative voices, you just give them more fuel. Try this instead:
1. Notice when you have critical inner voices
2. Try to figure out how the inner voices are trying to serve you or help you.
3. Thank them for their input.
4. Ask yourself, "What would an affirming teacher or friend say to me at this moment?"
5. Choose to amplify the positive internal messages.
If you live from this place, you'll experience more joy and help others uncover compassion for themselves.
When in doubt, hear these words and smile: "You are good enough, you are smart enough, and gosh darn it, people you!"