Don’t Listen to the Obnoxious Voices in Your Head

I am excited to be attending the Women’s Entrepreneur Festival this week and will report what interesting things I learn. Arianna Huffington gave a beautifully warm, funny and motivating keynote speech last night. I don’t have time to share the highlights now but  parts of it were similar to the messages she gave at a panel I saw her at a year or so. Thought it was worth reprising.

November 3rd, 2010 – From Glamour Love Your Life Conference

Arianna talked about conquering the fears that get in the way of our passions. Everyone in the room related to her characterization of “the obnoxious roommate living in our head that puts us down”.  That voice that says “you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough”.  No matter what strides women make in the world, that voice seems to be a part of the wiring for many 0f us.  She wrote her book “On Becoming Fearless…in Love, Work and Life” as she saw her daughters reliving the same fears she had when she was younger.  The book aims to help women put a lid on those voices — replace it with your own voice.

So many of the 40-something women I talk to think 20-something women are more self-assured and body confident than they were at 20. But 20-somethings tell me that’s a bit of a façade.  One 28 year old said to me, “The level of scrutiny that women give themselves in their 20s has gotten to this insane level. So on the outside it probably does look like we are a lot more confident, but we’re not.”

So you are not alone 20-somethings, but really make an effort to tell those voices to “shut up”. Go ahead and be rude to that voice. Arianna spoke of learning to do this through humor and not being her own worse critic. We tend to focus on the 10% that is wrong with something we did rather than the 90% that was right. Switch the equation and give yourself energy rather than draining yourself of energy.

A few other words of wisdom from Arianna that may help you find your own voice in a stressful world:

“Bring gratitude into your life everyday.  Be grateful for what you love and then you can handle whatever goes wrong, because something will always go wrong, with a sense of grace”

“Get sleep. Lack of sleep is not a badge of honor. You are not doing yourself any favors. Your not letting yourself naturally recharge. Whatever you did or said with 4 hours sleep would probably be a lot more interesting if you got 5 hours sleep.

All great advice. Don’t get into bad habits of sleep in your 20s because they will follow you. You would think it would only get easier to sleep as you get older but for some reason it gets harder.


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