How I Defeated My Worst Critic on an Island Far Away

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Who would think that a bustling city such as Hong Kong could provide solitude, motivation for life, and a pirates cave to explore?

When thinking of Hong Kong, you might picture tall buildings and LOTS of people.  You are right, but there is another side of this big city that you may not know!

Traveling again with our good friends and their 4 kids!!
Traveling again with our good friends and their 4 kids!!

Hong Kong is made of many beautiful islands and some of these islands have been preserved and nearly unchanged for centuries.  We stayed at Cheung Chau island in a quant guesthouse.  Cheung Chau is full of riches from idyllic nature to a bustling village with beautiful beaches, quiet walking trails around the entire island, and tasty fresh seafood.

Delicious dim sum!
Delicious dim sum!

We spent a few days here and explored the trails. Even walking to the favourite hideout of the pirate Cheung Po Tsai, who once commanded a private army of 4000 men. He surrendered to the Qing government in 1810, but his treasure is said to remain hidden in this cave! Well, no treasure here but that didn’t stop the kids from looking!

Trail to the pirate's cave.
Trail to the pirate’s cave.

It was in this quiet place following New Year’s Day, that I reflected on the year before.  I felt so tired as if a week of sleep wouldn’t take the weariness away.  I was in awe of the beauty but couldn’t find refreshment. “Why?!” I kept asking myself.  The answer came.  It was my worst critic who was giving me trouble.

Who is my worst critic? My worst critic is me!  It’s the voice we all listen to the most.  When things were going well, my self talk was positive but as circumstances changed my self talk became negative, and then more negative, and then. . . well you get the picture. Its a slippery path that can snowball quick.  A path that must change in order to accomplish our goals in life.  A path that can and will change if one is willing. That is what I decided on this New Years trip.  Here is what I learned and I hope that it helps you too!

I admitted that I have negative self talk.

I began to listen to what I was saying such as “I shouldn’t begin, I won’t be able to finish” or “what would that person think if I post this or say that.” This self talk was defeating and it drained my energy.  I came to hear what I was saying and how I felt when I said it.

I said out loud and even wrote down the negative phrases that I was thinking.

I began to takes notes.  When these thoughts came, I said it out loud and that was enough for me! I realized it wasn’t positive and it wasn’t even true.  Speaking of truth, this became the next step for me:

I compared the phrase to truth.

If you don’t know if the phrase is truth or not, ask a reliable loving friend to help you. Sometimes, I would actually say what I was thinking and my spouse helped me realize my negative self talk and combated it with truth!

Ok, so if you are thinking “thats me!” What do you do about it?! Now that you are aware, recognizing this allows you the opportunity to bring truth and well, go on! I found the following Youtube video to be very helpful in doing this myself: http://tinyurl.com/dxfp7ml. This video is posted by Joe Oliver and is based on ACT Acceptance & Commitment Therapy which has been helpful in overcoming anxiety and stress in our lives.

“The best way out is always through” ~Robert Frost

On this quiet island of Hong Kong, I had to ask myself, “Do I continue to live the life of risk or turn back?” I was not feeling confident in my abilities any more.  My faith in God was strong but not in myself.  I still had that inner voice trying to discourage me but I decided I would go on to make a difference in this world.  To help the poor even when it hurts.  Best decision ever!!

reflective-mom-with-malachi-on-hk

I know that you can too! If you are still reading, it means that you are willing to try (or your my mom:).  I know that you were created for incredible things and I don’t want your own critic to hold you back!  Email, comment, or chat with me.  I can help you prayerfully overcome yourself! If your waiting for a nonjudgemental response or a little encouragement, it is here.

Leave a comment, telling me where you are struggling or leave a response to help other readers who are struggling today!

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5 comments

  1. What a wonderful post filled with thought provoking insights. Yes, there are still lots of things I’m trying to figure out as I get older. Purpose, direction in life now that my kids are older. I feel as though I’m at a turning point and questioning so many things. Again, great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think questioning many things is a big part of my midlife years! More of a journey than I ever thought it would be. It is interesting how experiences of anxiety and depression for me have changed how I think and especially accept and love others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t agree more. It seems for me now I have more time than ever before which is sometimes not a good thing when we get a bit stuck in our minds. But yes, dealing with anxiety and depression definitely changes the way we relate to others.

        Like

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