I’m beginning to think I need serious help!
I may have taken the ‘name your thoughts and story’ tool in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) a little too far. (You can learn more about ACT here if you wish.)
My fatigue is known as a frustrating little gremlin named ‘Stripe’ and today my inner-critic ‘Mr Les Muppet’ is having some air time.
Read on and see what you reckon…
I have so many thoughts jostling around in my think tank, so many stories I want to get down for you to read, but when I sit to write them they seem lame, or sound like I’m whinging, or I can’t remember how the dialogue went when I was writing it in my head in the shower.
Sometimes the doubt monster gets in my head and starts laughing at me scoffing…
“You write something someone else would be interested in reading?”
“Ha ha! Stop making me laugh!”
He’s sort of a cross between Barrie Humphries character Sir Les Patterson
and a purple fluffy Muppet from Sesame Street.
Mr Les Muppet is a queer looking mutant character who sits on one of those old club lounges inside my head with an old fashioned 70’s coffee table in front him housing half eaten packets of chips and empty cans of coke, overflowing ashtrays a TV remote and scattered shaggy TV Week magazines.
His purple fluffiness may be described as a dreadlock tragedy matted together with tasty morsels of previous culinary delights peppering his, would you believe, well *ahem* nurtured groomed physique?…mmmaybe not!
I despise my once diet coke and potato chip habit as much as I despise my inner-critic so some-how I’ve morphed them together into a chip spitting, coke dribbling heckler and made him a tiny bit more tolerable by colouring him my favourite colour purple (well it’s actually mauve) balanced with my love of all things Muppet-y!
Yes I hear you… Thank you so much for that thought… I’m already aware that I have serious issues!
Moving right along…
He’s had years of experience and knows just how to get my attention.
“You’re too short to be taken seriously!”
“You’re not pretty enough!”
“You say stupid things people will laugh at!”
“You’re not articulate enough!”
“You’re too serious!”
“You’ll offend someone!”
“You’re too afraid!”
And my personal shell hiding inducing favourites…
“ Ha ha, all they’ll notice is how flat chested you are my dear and let’s not forget that impressive mono-brow!”
Now if I had crawled back in my shell every time he’d been screeching out put-downs echoing from the middle of my head I’d have never spoken a word to a soul; never had spoken to Doug; never been married or had my kids; never studied later in life and wouldn’t be at this point in my life I’m at now… so I’ll keep trying to turn him down and continue on.
Once upon a time I used to listen to him ALL the time and I stayed in my shell too frightened to stick my neck out and experience the undulating landscape of life.
Then one day I made the conscious decision that I didn’t want to stay in there anymore.
I wanted to be that girl up there dancing
on the table.
I wanted to be that girl talking and having fun.
I wanted to be that girl voicing my opinion.
I wanted to be that girl helping people.
I didn’t want to be afraid anymore.
Sometimes I lay awake at night thinking “What on earth did I say that for?” or “What on earth did I do that for?” But I’m still too far out of that shell now to ever want to go back in, no matter how many head holding moments I have and no matter how red faced ‘Mr Les Muppet’ becomes while dribbling and spitting chips during uncontainable laughter and finger pointing ridicule.
There’s a quote I came across recently…
“Miracles start to happen when you give as much thought and energy to your dreams as you do your fears”.
I don’t know that I can claim any miraculous events happening in my life since I put energy into venturing out from the safety of my shell, but at least most of the time I’m in the driver’s seat of my life bus and characters like ‘Mr Les Muppet’ don’t get the chance to drive much anymore… well maybe occasionally… but mostly they’re along for the ride vying for my attention by causing a raucus ruckus and making one hell of a mess up the back seat.
I love many of the ACT metaphors like the ‘life bus’ metaphor. I find they resonate with me and my situations in life. They have helped me ponder many a life experience because they are so simple to connect with yet thought provoking.
Please don’t think I am trying to convert you to a mindful way of thinking. I just like sharing what works for me and you may take away from it what you will.
If you haven’t heard of the ‘life bus metaphor’ before I’ll be sharing Robert.D.Zettle’s version here on Friday.
Okay so I think we have already established I need serious therapy if I have these characters inhabiting my grey matter, so I won’t go with the “What do you reckon?” lead in to the post.
Instead I’ll ask if you are game enough to name the voices in your head???
Would they look like purple Muppets?
Linking up with the Laugh Link crew. Check ’em out!
Majella Laws says
Well firstly, I have to say I’ll pay to see you dancing on the table top! Secondly, my critic better remain nameless (to protect the innocent), thirdly you have a gang happening there between this guy and Stripe. Eviction notices in order? 🙂
Ha ha, table top dancing! The thing you do when there is no room left on the dance floor… or you are dared… either way I’m cool with it 🙂
I don’t think I’ll issue any inviction notices Majella! Never a dull moment on my life bus 😉
Jo McKenzie says
Well Well Well, I don’t thing you loose those words that are running around in your head, because what ends up on paper is funny and insightful. You always have something to say that you can relate to and take on board. If you feel that you are loosing those words that are running around in your head, (Like I do), then get yourself a recorder and record it then play it back when you have time to write it down. This way I find I don’t loose the essence of what came to me first.
I am the girl up there dancing on the table.
I am the girl talking and having fun.
I am the girl voicing my opinion.
I am the girl helping people.
I am in control now.
Change the words and you will change with it.
Thanks for your wonderful suggestions Jo! Always giving me more good stuff to think about 🙂 Xxx
Don’t go changing…. I think you are perfect just the way you are…
In the words of the immortal Robin Williams, “We only get a little spark of crazy, lose it… and you’ve got nothin”
Oh thank you Sarah, that’s lovely!
The great Robin Williams – Isn’t that just the best quote ever? Not too long ago I lost all my sparks and I did indeed have “nothing”. Not going back there anytime soon… it’s too silent.
Life’s more interesting with the life bus gang around… I think 😉
Sonia Life Love Hiccups says
Oh man hun – I wouldnt be able to name all the voice in my head as there are far too many of them I wouldnt be able to think of enough names or remember them for that matter. I say keep doing what wrks for you – although I do want to stick my middle finger up at Stripe and tell him to eff off! xx
Yeah, that Stripe! He’s a pest that’s for sure… he’d probably spit tobacco at you! Thanks for stopping bye Son Xx
I hadn’t heard of the life-bus metaphor so look forward to hearing more.
My inner critic’s name is Myra. (Named after a whinging great-aunt I had!)
Oh you have a moaning Myra?
It’s actually ‘The Passengers on the Bus’ metaphor but I like my name better 😉
Thanks for your comment Deb! Xx
Yes, I definitely have a horrible, purple muppet in my head. She’s EVIL. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy sounds very interesting and like something I need. I loved reading what you wrote. xo
Thank you so much Ness!
Damn mutant purple muppets… why do we feed them with our energy and let them grow more powerful? 🙂 Xx
Robyna @theMummyandtheMinx says
Self doubt and inner critics – what a team huh? I suffer from the same doubts, but then I tell myself, you know what? I am just as valuable as everyone else, my opinion is as a valid and my voice has as much right to be heard. And I hear wine is very useful in getting up dancing on table courage.
On my good days I tell myself those things too and Mr Les Muppet sits sulking and pouting, occasionally breaking into song chorusing “What about me, it isn’t fair…” 🙂
I’ve also heard Kahlua is quite useful for dancing on table courage… so I’ve heard!!! Xx
Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me says
My inner critic is probably more hung up on my bad posture, and I have never looked a certain facial feature of mine and it’s something I have worried about my whole life, my role now is to just accept it! So my Muppet character would be Gonzo – fitting really considering what I’m worried about! Thanks for linking and sorry for late reply I’m in NZ xx
Just LOVE this post, Sandra! So entertaining but – at the heart – such a powerful message and such a wonderful way to think about that inner critic. Love it!
Yeah… I always think we are our worst enemy to ourselves. Surely it’s all about fear, anger or whatever that is negative! I don’t know what works for me. A good glass of red wine will shut my inner voices down! haha xx cathy
Ahhhh wine!!! Thanks for stopping by Cathy 🙂 Xx
Lydia C. Lee says
I love this!! And your quote about fear is perfect for a friend of mine this morning – so double thanks!
Pleased this has resonated with you in some way Lydia! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 Xx
Raychael aka Mystery Case says
Love this post and the fact you’ve named your gremlins, so to speak. I think I NEED to do the same thing. I’m at a crossroads at the moment full of doubt and over thinking my every move. I sometimes wondering if blogging isn’t my therapy.
I think writing has an unexpected valuable surprise factor of clearing the fog and gaining clarity. Thanks so much for stopping by Raychael. 🙂 Xx