Do you know what it takes to get to where you want to go? 

Do you understand what’s at stake? 

Do you truly get what you need to give up if you’re going to make your dreams come true—dreams that are too impossibly big you’re too embarrassed to even admit to yourself what they are? 

Have you ever gotten to the point where you realized you have to leave behind a lot of things if you want to lighten your load and move forward faster? 

And, once you get past that point, have you realized in hindsight that you actually didn’t have to give up much at all? 

You just had to give up all of the things, people, and ideas that take you further away from the truth of who you are? 

It’s the easiest of things to shed away everything that isn’t you. And yet, it can also be the hardest of things, especially when you’re constantly reminded about what you’re missing out on according to marketers and advertisers, how much far behind you are compared to everybody else on social media, and all the extraneous little stuff you need to pay attention to because someone said you need to pay attention to them.

It’s not just the external noise. You’re full of your own internal noise yourself. In many ways, all that racket you stir up from within is so much worse than the noise you’re trying to shut out from the outside. 

It’s the noise coming from your little critical self, the self that takes pride in itself for being a perfectionist, yet also the self who can’t get her ass moving because she’s paralyzed by fear and indecision. 

She just loves to tease and taunt you, doesn’t she? And even when you succeed to shut her up for a few glorious moments, she’ll come back happily and smugly bounding along to remind you she was right all this time once you make a teeny-tiny little mistake or hit a roadblock that sets you back for a bit. 

She’s the Gollum to your Smeagol. She’s lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce back at every opportunity—any opportunity—to tell you that you’re not really a good person, you’re actually not that smart, and you don’t actually believe you can achieve such a big dream, do you? Smirk, roll eye, shake head. No, precious, of course you don’t.

How do you tell that mean little person inside your head that you’ve had enough of her? How do you get her to stop telling you things that make you feel bad about yourself? 

Simple. You realize that nothing she says is valid. None of it is true, so she doesn’t get to have a voice. In the council of voices inside your head, the mean little bully has no right to speak at all. And if she ever tries to rebel, you have all the more reason to not give her the time of day at all. 

You don’t have to worry about her staging a full-blown rebellion. In the grand scheme of things, your little bully voice doesn’t matter. She doesn’t have any power at all, except for that which you can freely give and take away from her. 

You don’t even have to care for her. You don’t have to sit down and have a woman-to-woman conversation with her. You don’t have to ask her what she wants. 

Others will tell you all this mean voice wants is to be loved, acknowledged, seen—whatever that means. Don’t believe them. It’s just another ploy for your perpetually scared human self to convince you to stop taking more risks and sit on the sidelines again for a little while so you can feel safe and relieved of responsibility once more. 

What responsibility? Well, duh, the responsibility to keep going deeper into who you are. You owe it to yourself and to the whole damn world to keep finding out more of your true self. It’s the most important thing of all—even Socrates himself said so. 

It’s not the easiest thing to do. Your true self, unlike the mean voice inside your head, has a quiet voice. She doesn’t rant or rave. She doesn’t demand attention to herself. She’s simply always there, waiting for you to recognize her presence. 

So it takes time to get to know her. Most times, you have to go through chaos before you can even think about looking for her. When you finally get tired of driving yourself to your wit’s end with all your bullshit, all your doubtful self-talk, all the promises you make to yourself but can’t keep, and all the physical manifestations of the crap you stir inside, then you might think about listening to her. 

So listen to her. And every day that passes by, make time for her. Set aside a minute for her in the morning. Find a way to incorporate her into your day. When you’re in the shower or at work or feeding the baby, zone out of the physical world and listen to what she has got to say. And give her a nod before you nod off to sleep at night.

Acknowledge her presence. The more of this you do, the more the mean little voice recedes into the background of nothingness. The more you realize she really doesn’t have any power at all. You get to give her up with ease and flow and not a single regret. Because there’s no way for you to feel regretful of giving up who you thought you were but never really was.