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Episode 14: Melissa Urban. How I Bomb-Proofed my Self-Confidence

In this “Just Melissa” episode, Melissa (she/her) goes back nearly 20 years, sharing how her reliance on external validation to fill her up left her feeling empty and unworthy. With the help of her therapist and a tool she calls the “Self-Review,” she was finally able break out of this cycle, and feel confident in her own worth and value. Melissa outlines the specific “Self-Review” process her therapist taught her, shares how she uses the practice in her own life, and walks you through exactly how to stop living and dying by the opinions of others, and feel true self-confidence in every area of your life.

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THIS EPISODE’S GUEST

Melissa Urban

Whole30 Head Mistress, Co-Founder

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Loving What Is, Byron Katie

MU: 00:03
Hi, my name is Melissa Urban and you’re listening to Do the Thing, a podcast where we explore what’s been missing every time you’ve tried to make a change and make it stick.

MU: 00:20
Today I’m sharing the practice I’ve used to bomb-proof my self-confidence in every area of my life and giving you specific examples and my best strategies for starting this process in your own life. I’ve talked a lot about how I used to require a lot of validation from outside sources and that I no longer feed off of that validation. That I no longer feel like there’s this hole that I need other people to help me fill. I talked about this a little bit in Do the Thing 10 where I first introduced the topic of judgement, and I shared a story about a judgemental behavior that I used to exhibit and kind of touched on this idea that it came out of the need to seek validation from others, and how jealous I would get when I would watch other people get the same validation that I so desperately sought.

MU: 01:13
I also mentioned in that podcast that I don’t do this anymore. That I had figured out a way to bombproof my sense of self confidence and my self worth such that I no longer crave validation from other people. It no longer filled me up and I no longer needed it to tell me who I was. After I shared that episode I got a lot of comments and DMs from people who said specifically how did you do that. And there was just too much to share in an Instagram comment. This has been a long process that I undertook with my therapist and it took the better part of I would say a few years to really learn this technique and unpack it, but it’s been so valuable and it’s been so transformational for me that I wanted to share it here with you today. So here we go. I am going to talk about the Self-Review process and how it has changed my life and how it might be the missing factor in your pursuits of doing things. Enjoy.

MU: 02:10
I used to live and die by the opinions of other people. If people said nice things about me, I would fill up and float around the rest of my day completely buoyed by their praise. If people said less nice things about me, they would burst my balloon immediately and I would crumple to the ground completely deflated. This system worked fine as long as people were mostly saying nice things and the bad things weren’t that frequent or that bad. The problem is after living in this system for a while, the good things started to fill me up less and the bad things crushed me even more. Pretty soon it became really hard for me to believe the good things at all and the bad things became gospel truth. I completely attached to my worth and self esteem. The longer I spent in the system, the worst this cycle got, and this was before the time of social media where likes and comments and DMs were instant gratification …

MU: 03:12
balloon-fillers and trolls lurked everywhere just looking for an opportunity to cut you down for no reason whatsoever. If this story sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It feels really good to let other people fill you up and you tell yourself that it’s almost worth the flip side of that coin, that accepting other people’s praise as your truth means. You also have to accept their criticism as your truth, but the more you give up your power here, the more volatile, insecure and fragile you will feel and really it’s not worth it, but you’ve never known a different way. Happily with the help of my therapist, I figured out how to opt out of this cycle once and for all. I’m no longer living or dying by the opinions of others, which is good because I have a lot of books on Amazon and there are a lot of reviews out there.

MU: 04:08
My sense of self worth value and confidence is mostly on lockdown right now and any time self doubt creeps in or the trolls get especially active, I have the tools to handle it. My balloon now floats at a sustainable level dictated by me, not the rest of the world. So many of you in DMs or in comments have said to me, you seem so self-confident. How did you develop that sense? I’m going to tell you exactly how I got there. With the help of a very skilled psychologist, a willingness to be incredibly uncomfortable and a very clean mirror. I call this tool the Self-Review and it’s going to be one of the most powerful tools in your do the thing arsenal. So let me tell you a little bit of the background of this Self-Review. This all went down almost 20 years ago. It started during a therapy session when I was first out of Rehab.

MU: 05:10
At this point in my life we were digging really deep into my trauma, the sexual assault I experienced at age 16 and all the ways that the trauma impacted how I engaged with the world as an adult. Spoiler, It basically impacted everything I did as an adult. One thing my therapist noticed and he was always calling me out on cause that’s the kind of person that he was, which is part of why he was so good for me, as I needed someone to call me on my crap, was how much I needed other people and by other people he meant men to think I was attractive. Like to me probably because of the way my sexual abuse went down. I relied on the judgement of men to tell me I was attractive, which then told me that I was worthy and had value. And I had sought that kind of validation in so many unhealthy ways since my sexual assault in college and then through adulthood.

MU: 06:06
And it had led me down some really dark and dangerous paths, especially when you combine drug use with that. So in exploring that subject, he explained how I could stop feeling like I needed that validation to fill me up. And so I’m sitting there waiting for him to talk about this tool and he was really good. He had a ton of analogies that worked really well and a lot of really good practical application. I expected him to talk about things like positive affirmations here, like repeating in the mirror. I’m beautiful, I’m worthy. But he knew me better than that. Like that was not going to fly with my personality and how well entrenched some of these behaviors were. Instead, he described this process that I’m now calling the Self-Review and he gave me an example as it applies to him. So he started talking about how he feels in terms of his own attractiveness.

MU: 06:58
And I remember him saying, you know, I’ve taken some good hard looks in the mirror and I’ve decided I’m average looking. I’m not attractive. I wouldn’t call myself handsome, but I’m not like hideously ugly in terms of my own attractiveness, I’m average. And I was shocked when he said this, I’ve never heard anyone claim their averageness before. Like people so often inflate themselves to make themselves feel better. But he was doing the opposite. He was saying, I’ve given myself this Self-Review, I’ve figured out where I’ve landed. And I fully own that. And then he went onto explain how that worked in his life. So he had a girlfriend at the time and he would say to me, you know, I think I’m just average. And sometimes my girlfriend will say to me like, oh, you looks so handsome today. And I think that’s lovely.

MU: 07:49
I’m so happy that that’s how she sees me today. But that doesn’t define how attractive I am. I’m average. But if someone on the street were to come up to me and say, you are the most hideous troll I’ve ever seen, I could dismiss that criticism and say, well I don’t know what’s going on with that person and why they’re seeing me like this. But I’m pretty average looking. And I didn’t know what to think. I was like, this guy is some kind of next level. And then it got worse because then he said to me, okay, now I want you to go home and look in the mirror and spend some time thinking about your own attractiveness. And I want you to report back to me next week as to where you landed. How attractive do you think you are? And I was like, I’m sorry what?

MU: 08:33
Cause I did not want to do that. I have never been so uncomfortable with an assignment in my whole life. I hated this idea so much. First, I had no concept of how I looked outside of how other people told me. I looked. I had no idea whether I I was attractive or unattractive or gorgeous or average, like I didn’t know because I had never thought about it in terms of what I think. I only knew what other people thought. Like I was so firmly entrenched in other people’s opinions of me. And then the other piece of it that made me so uncomfortable is I didn’t want to look that closely. I had been hiding from myself for the better part of a decade following my abuse, like not looking at anything too closely. That was why I use drugs in the first place so I wouldn’t have to take a good hard look at basically anything in my life.

MU: 09:29
But he wanted me to go home and look at pictures of myself and look in a mirror and land on how attractive I thought I was outside of anyone else’s opinion, anyone else’s validation, just me. And I knew the cycle I was stuck in of needing men to find me attractive was really unhealthy and I knew it was really dangerous. It had put me in some really awful positions in the past and I was here to make change and I knew unless I made change, I wouldn’t be able to stay clean. So I dove into it and I went home and I did what he asked me to do and it was so painful. It was so awkward, like giving myself this feedback about myself and I cycled through all the words I thought I could use to describe someone’s attractiveness. Was I pretty, was I cute?

MU: 10:19
Was I gorgeous? Was I sexy? Was I ugly? Was I ordinary? Was I unsightly? Was I average? And after spending a good amount of time and cycling through a whole bunch of words, I landed on how attractive I thought I was. Now it doesn’t matter where I landed, I’m actually not even going to share that because it’s irrelevant to the story. And it’s deeply personal. This is still like, we have so many stories tied up in our own level of attractiveness. So it feels a little intimate, but it also won’t even matter to you because you are experiencing me through your own lens. So how I feel about myself and how you see me, are two totally different things, but the point is I went home, I did this exercise and I landed on where I was and I got really solid on it and I tested that solidity over the course of the next few months in therapy when people would give me compliments, when people would give me criticisms.

MU: 11:13
I looked at my own behaviors specifically around men to really figure out like did I actually land on it? Was I solid in this sense of self and what I observed was that over the course of a few months, the way I showed up in the world was different. I mean that the way I dressed was no longer dressing to specifically seek validation. I was instead dressing to make myself happy and make myself comfortable or make myself feel good about myself. I engaged with men in a very different way and that is a subject for a new podcast. I really noticed that everything changed. Once I did this and got through like all of the hard, difficult parts and landed on it, it didn’t happen instantaneously. It was really hard to stop seeking validation. I missed the compliments. I missed the way they used to fill me up, but what I didn’t miss was the constant searching, the yearning, the neediness I felt for this validation and then the emptiness I felt after getting what I thought I wanted.

MU: 12:24
The more I sought that validation and the more people validated me through whatever way I allowed them to. The emptier I felt inside and breaking out of that cycle was incredibly powerful. I grew more comfortable with my assessment. It let me dismiss criticism faster. It let me experience compliments in a totally different way. Instead of needing that compliment to fill a hole, I was able to experience like a really pure pleasure associated with the fact that someone else was choosing to experience me in a certain way and then I felt free. I went on to apply the Self-Review in so many different areas of my life, my personal life, my relationships, career, motherhood. Once I like found the power of this tool, I wanted to bombproof every area of my life. I have done this exercise in so many different areas such that I now know my strengths, I know my weaknesses and outside opinions about things like my clothes or my hair or my body or how well I write or how good this podcast is or how I show up on Instagram or how good a mom I am generally can’t sway me.

MU: 13:37
That is how I have built my sense of bomb proof, self confidence, not because I’ve talked myself up into pretending I’m this paragon of perfection in every area of my life, but because I’ve taken the time to do a really honest Self-Review, I’ve landed on it really concretely and I’ve accepted what is okay. So if you, now we’re going to talk about applying this in your own life. If you were going to implement this in your own life, I would not start with how attractive am I. That is an intensely personal conversation to have with yourself. And like I said, we have so many stories wrapped up in our appearance. Starting there is intense. Remember I did so after being in therapy for a very long time and with the benefit of a trained counselor guiding me through at once a week for like years to come.

MU: 14:25
So if you want to do this on your own and you can, and I have done it on my own, I encourage you to choose something else, something that feels a little less emotionally invested, give it a test run, see how it feels and reap the benefits. The better you get at this process of this Self-Review, the more willing and eager you’ll be as I was to apply it to every area of your life, including the really tough ones. How attractive am I? How good a parent am I? Oh, that was a fun one. How good a spouse or a partner am I how good a friend am I? Those are the ones that are the most difficult to work through. But with practice doing the Self-Review and other areas of your life, you’ll work up the confidence and the skill to dive into the hard ones and that’s where the money is getting solid on these things that you have such a strong emotional attachment to and being free from the opinions of others in these areas.

MU: 15:21
How game changing would that be? So I’m going to give you an example. Here’s one I’ve worked at pretty hard and this hopefully will help get you started. How good a writer am I? This is one I’ve explored in great detail, but not until after I wrote my first book. So it starts with food. I wrote it in 2011 it came out in 2012 I already had a pretty good idea of what success would look like to me. I did not, my goal was not to make the book in New York Times Bestseller. If anything that was like last on my list. My goal was to make sure that my current community found the book helpful. And that doesn’t mean every single person who read it said it was the most helpful book they ever read. But that in general people said this is fantastic. It’s what I was looking for.

MU: 16:05
It gives me like a great place to start. So I published the first book that came out on Amazon and I started to get reviews. And in the beginning I read every single review on Amazon. Let me tell you right now, if you have a podcast or you have a book, probably best not to read the reviews. I didn’t know that at the time. And I was really hungry for feedback. And I remember one of the earlier reviews, I am not quoting, and I probably could go back and find it, but it essentially said this book sounds like it was written by a fifth grader. And I thought A, harsh B, oh I need to do a Self-Review here. So I backpedaled I stopped reading my own reviews and I did a really solid Self-Review on how good a writer I am. And here’s where I landed with that.

MU: 16:55
I’m a really good writer. I’m not Hemingway, I’m not Tolkein, I’m not Stephen King, but like I’m a pretty good writer. I think I do a really good job with my content. So if someone said to me, this is the best book I’ve ever read, I have never read a book that spoke to me the way this one did, I would be able to look at that review and think, I am so happy that this is how you are choosing to experience my words. And it would feel really, really good. But it wouldn’t actually say anything about the way I think about my own writing. But when I went back and looked at the review that said, this reads like a fourth grader wrote it or fifth grader wrote it, I was able to look at that criticism and say, oof, you are choosing to experience this book in a very particular way.

MU: 17:40
And that is not my business. But also I’m not going to keep this as my own because I know how well I write and it is certainly not that of a fifth grader. So I think there’s something so powerful in being able to separate prospective feedback from actual criticism. This person was criticizing my actual writing and that’s something that I either get to keep and own as my own or I get to reject because I’ve done a Self-Review. If someone criticizes the book by saying, I found this chapter lacking in this material, or I wish you had expanded on this topic a little bit more, that’s not an attack on me personally. That’s feedback based on the content and I’m then free because I’m not taking this personally to be able to look at that criticism and say, can I find this? Is there something else I could have provided?

MU: 18:32
Could I provide additional resources? Now, is it something I can keep in mind for future projects and I can apply that in my integrity in a way that still doesn’t say anything about my writing. The third option is maybe this book just isn’t for that person because I’m not going to be all things to all people and that’s okay. And in that case, again, it’s not that my writing is really good or really bad. I know exactly what I think about my writing. It’s just my writing didn’t happen to be for them. In all instances. The Self-Review has been incredibly helpful in terms of me evaluating my success as a writer because I’m doing it on my own terms, not based on reviews left on Amazon, which is a really good thing because if I based my success on my Amazon reviews, I would essentially be the most successful and the least successful person in the whole wide world, about 17 times a day, every day.

MU: 19:28
Listen, don’t read your Amazon reviews. That’s not what this podcast is about but I like to be helpful where I can. Speaking of podcasts, I’ve also been able to apply the Self-Review practice to this podcast, which is why I’ve been able to respond to criticism about the podcast without any defensiveness whatsoever. And I’ll give you an example. I did the Self-Review on the podcast. Ooh, pretty early on. Um, after the first episode that I recorded, which we haven’t even aired yet by the way, because I, it was bad. I did a very bad job my first podcast, so we’re going to rerecord. It’s totally fine. I’m new. After like the third or fourth, I did a really thorough Self-Review and I landed on things I was doing well, things I could be doing better and what I needed to work on or what I wanted to work on for myself.

MU: 20:24
A few weeks ago in an Instagram comment or reader mentioned that while she loved the podcast, it still didn’t sound like me. It was a little stiff. That was a little scripted and she was having a hard time getting into it because she felt like it was just a little too, I’m like making robot arms with my arms right now, but you can’t see that. The criticism, sorry, I just choked on my own spit, the criticism was offered gently and politely, but I might have become defensive about that had I not done a Self-Review. But I had done a Self-Review. So I was able to jump on Instagram and I immediately replied, you’re right, I haven’t found my voice just yet and I really want them to be more free flowing and more authentic. Um, I’m, you know, in the process of working on that now.

MU: 21:11
So thank you so much for the feedback and thanks for sticking with me. I hope you’ll see a positive shift in this as I keep working on it now. The Self-Review around the podcast was pretty brutal and it’s not always easy to admit that like you’re not good at something. But it left me feeling so empowered. I knew what I was doing well, I had good topics, I had good passion. I’m obsessed with making sure that my community is feeling served. I’m connected to good people who are incredible guests. I also knew where I had areas of opportunity that I felt like it was really scripted that I felt like it had to be absolutely perfect for you to buy into it. I’m doing the robot arms again, but the Self-Review process left me feeling 100% comfortable with where I was in this particular area of my career.

MU: 21:56
Not that I’m settled here like Ooh, I don’t need to make anything better, but like I accept where I am and what I’m doing well and what I’m not doing well. So when someone says this is the best podcast I’ve ever listened to, I am thrilled that that is how you are choosing to experience it. But when I get criticism I can then decide whether it’s valid and worth acting on or whether you’re just choosing to experience it in such a way that like it’s no longer my business and I no longer have to pick that up. I’m telling you it is freedom. So now I’m going to tell you how do you employ your own Self-Review. Start with something that doesn’t have a huge emotional attachment, but it is an area where you receive both compliments and criticism. So I’m going to recommend you start with one aspect of your job performance, not your competency as an employee as a whole.

MU: 22:49
Cause that’s huge. If I tried to do a Self-Review on how good am I at leading Whole30 like that gets overwhelming really, really quick. Although I’ve done it, but I’m a pro by now. I would start with something that’s a little more granular. So maybe it’s the way you lead a meeting. Maybe it’s the way you public speak or the way you handle customer inquiries and then look at this area of your life from all angles. So like spend the night, get comfortable, light a candle and like really settle down with yourself. What are you doing really well? If anything, what are you lacking or what opportunities are out there, if any? Remember, this is not about artificially pumping yourself up. Get crystal clear on how you think you’re doing in this area of your life. If it helps you can do something like I did when I was um, trying to estimate my level of attractiveness.

MU: 23:43
Come up with a word cloud and select the ones that feel the most fitting. I also encourage you to think about it outside of any specific contexts, like your current role or your current audience. So when I got really clear on how good I am as a writer, it was just about my writing. It wasn’t about how I thought my writing was going to land with other people, was I writing clearly was the content is good as I could make it. Did I write things in a way that made it easy to understand? Did I provide as much value as possible? Did I insert as much of my personality as possible?

MU: 24:37
Did I make it approachable? I wasn’t thinking about it in terms of can I write something that x number of people are going to like because let me tell ya, even if I’m the best writer in the whole wide world, there’s still somebody out there who’s not going to like what I’ve written. So I’m not talking about my writing in terms of how people are gonna like it. I’m talking about my writing in terms of how I see it myself and that’s a critical difference. And listen, you can be as unscientific about this as you want.

MU: 25:27
Right? When I came up with my level of attractiveness, I settled on one specific word that kind of encompasses how I feel about it. When I thought about how well I wrote, I basically came up with this really kind of nondescript, but like it feels settled to me. I’m a good writer. Whatever my definition of good is, I understand it and I know what that means. When I was thinking about the podcast, I came up with a lot of criteria about things I was doing well and areas where I knew I could do better, so there were, it was a lot more involved. It was broader. It had a lot more scope to it. You can do this any way you want. The point is that you land on something that feels really concrete to you. Once you land on how good a speaker, a meeting leader or a customer service provider you are now is the opportunity for you to sit in it and test it out just like I did with my level of attractiveness.

MU: 26:20
As you’re going about your day to day interactions, does where you’ve landed still feel right? Does where you’ve landed make it easier to respond to criticism? Are you less defensive? Are you able to take what you can use from the criticism and leave the rest because it’s not yours to pick up? Are you able to see praise for what it is, the fact that someone is choosing to experience you in this manner, not that their praise is automatically attached to your worth or value does where you’ve landed feel like a relief because it should. It should feel incredibly empowering. You should feel very, very powerful knowing yourself this well if it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board and do another round of Self-Review or dive a little deeper into your Self-Review because you haven’t quite landed on it yet. And I’ll give you a hint,

MU: 27:11
You’re probably still being too aspirational. If you sit in it for a while and all of those things come to light if it feels right in your everyday interactions, if it makes it easier to respond to criticism, if it lets you see praise for what it is, does it feel like a relief? Is your self confidence just really, really level? If it feels like freedom, congratulations. That is a proper Self-Review. Now you can and should continue to work on areas of opportunity if you think it’s important and reassess from time to time. So in this podcast, an area that I wanted to work on is having it feel less scripted and more natural. So I’ve been playing around with ways to do that. So I’ve been editing last, I’ve been rerecording last, I’ve been using less of a script. I’ve been leaving stuff in like that part where I choked on my own spit a few minutes ago.

MU: 28:00
Like not going to edit that out, although it makes me a little bit uncomfortable and I want to go back to the robot arms but I’m not going to because I want this to be more natural and less scripted. And so in a few months I’m going to go back and do another Self-Review about the podcast and I’ll listen to my own words and I’ll think about how it feels. Does that feel more like me? Do I feel more at home? Does it feel more casual? Does it feel more empowering? And if it does success, that is my new Self-Review. In other cases. I will just say be careful what you chase. The Self-Review should not bring about a punishment mentality. The whole point of this Self-Review is to do a solid assessment as to your opinion about this area of your life and then gracefully accept what is.

MU: 28:47
If you want to make changes or see improvement, you certainly can do so but you should do so from a place of self love, not punishment so I have evaluated my level of attractiveness. I’ve settled on where I am, I’m now not going to take that self-assessment and punish myself for not being a Victoria’s secret supermodel by going on a crash weight loss diet. What I am going to do is say this is where I am in terms of my attractiveness. I’ve landed here. I feel really good about it. I’ve accepted what is, however, I know, I look and feel my best about myself when I’m getting a good night’s sleep, when I’m connected to people I love when I’m going to church and doing my meditation practices. So I’m going to cultivate those things from a place of self love and that’s only going to help me feel more confident and better about myself.

MU: 29:38
So the Self-Review should not invite punishment. The whole point is for you to land on where you are and gracefully accept what is. That is where your power lies. I’m also going to say this, a Self-Review will allow you to use criticism to your advantage. Criticism now has a very specific purpose and you can take things from it that are helpful and leave the rest behind. So if someone offers feedback on your next public speech, you can ask yourself just like I did with the podcast feedback, is this something I’ve already determined as valid in my own Self-Review? Are they giving me feedback that I already know? And then I can just acknowledge and say, thank you so much. I actually agree with you. It’s something I’m working on. If you have any tips, let me know or maybe you can look at it as an area of opportunity to further or deepen your Self-Review.

MU: 30:30
Ask Yourself, can I find it? Is this an area where I haven’t looked closely enough? Do I want to look closer? Could this be an area of opportunity for me in a way that feels really good for my integrity? This is especially important to do when the feedback you’re getting is from someone close to you or from someone of whom you have a high opinion and they’re specifically sharing something that is hurting them. The way that you’re behaving or your actions, the way you’re showing up in the world is having a negative impact. That’s a very different criticism than someone saying to me, your book is written like a fifth grader. You can’t use the Self-Review process to deflect all criticism. So if a friend says to me, Melissa, you’re being really selfish right now. You should ask yourself if you could find it and if you can find it, then it gives you an opportunity to both apologize and do better, but also to go back and use that information to deepen your Self-Review process. So I think there is a little bit of a learning curve in the beginning to figure out is this something that I need to examine and is it something that’s important? But I think that question can I find it as a really good one. Someone’s suggesting that I write like a fifth grader, can I find it? Well, you know, it doesn’t take me very long to realize that no I can’t, but someone saying to me, you’re being selfish. That would warrant a little bit more time and a little bit more energy. Can I find this? Can I see ways in which I am being selfish in this situation?

MU: 32:01
Are there areas in my own Self-Review process where I noticed I’m at risk of being a little bit selfish? Could I change this behavior right now to both improve my relationship and make me feel better about my own actions? Which would then allow me to do another self-review and land on maybe a more elevated um, opinion of myself and I think that’s a really good process to go through. But there will be times where this isn’t part of your Self-Review process, that doesn’t sound familiar and in your integrity as you’re looking into their criticism and asking yourself can I find it, you won’t be able to find it. And that’s okay too because again here is where the Self-Review comes in so incredibly handy. I will give you a story from my own experience. If someone were to leave a review about my podcast that went like this: It’s useless. The ads are annoying. I can hear the condescension in her voice and it’s worse than the pretentiousness on her Instagram.

MU: 33:05
That’s an actual review on this podcast. It’s a really bad one. And had I not done the Self-Review process, it probably would have left me devastated and questioning whether I had any business doing a podcast or Instagram apparently or maybe even anything in my whole wide life. However, I’ve done the Self-Review process. So I read this review and I think to myself, can I find it? Can I find condescension? Can I find pretentiousness? Can I find uselessness in this task? And the answer is no, I can’t. I can’t find condescension, I can’t find pretentiousness. I’m showing up here pretty authentically and I certainly can’t find uselessness. I do think there’s a lot of value in the things I’m sharing and the guests I’m bringing on and the topics we’re discussing. I’m really clear on how good I am at this podcast. And you’re obviously choosing to experience me in a way that oh is not particularly favorable, but that’s not my business.

MU: 34:04
I don’t know why you’re choosing to experience me like that. But what I can do with this review is say I’ve received it and now I’m sending it on back to you because it is not mine to carry. And I can go about my day continuing to do the podcast to the best of my ability, which in my own self assessment is pretty darn good, not perfect, certainly not perfect but certainly not useless either. And that is the power of this Self-Review and that specifically is how I have shored up my own self confidence in every area of my life. I’ve learned to handle criticism with grace and I have stopped letting other people fill me up or knock me down.

MU: 34:55
Maybe the Self-Review is what you’ve been missing in trying to get off that like hamster wheel of requiring external validation and feeling like you live and die by the opinions of others. But it feels like we could use a little bit of a wrap up here because this has been enough. A lot of information. So to go back to the beginning, the key to bomb proofing your self confidence is getting really crystal clear on what you think about yourself and you can apply this in every area of your life personally, professionally in relationships. Spend some time. Look in that really clean mirror, get very, very specific about how you see yourself outside of any external factors. Once you land in that, go out into the world and test it. See if it changes how you show up, how you respond to criticism, how you view praise.

MU: 35:45
If you feel a sense of relief, if it leaves you feeling empowered, if it does, congratulations, you’ve done a really solid Self-Review. Feel free to go back and revisit from time to time to see if anything has changed or if you’ve decided to make improvements based on self love and not punishment. If it doesn’t quite land, then go back to the drawing table and do a little bit of a deeper dive perhaps with the help of a trained therapist because some of this stuff is really hard, especially the stuff to which we have an emotional attachment. Once you’ve gone through a successful Self-Review and you’ve seen the benefit that it can bring, I really want to hear about it. You know, I love hearing about all of your light bulb moments that come as the result of this podcast and I think this one in particular, if my experience has any indication, you will find this so empowering and so helpful for every area of your life. So feel free to send me a DM or drop me a comment on Instagram and let me know how this Self-Review helped you do the thing.

MU: 36:54
Thanks for joining me today on do the thing. You can continue the conversation with me @melissa_hartwig on Instagram and whole30.com/podcast for today’s show notes and bonus content. If you have a question for Dear Melissa or a topic idea for the show, leave me a voicemail at (321) 209-1480. Do the thing is part of the onward project. A family of podcasts brought together by Gretchen Rubin all about how to make your life better. Check out the other onward project podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin Side Hustle School and Happier in Hollywood. Finally, before you leave, please subscribe, leave a review, and invite your friends to do the thing. See you next week.


Thanks for listening!

Continue the conversation with me @melissa_hartwig on Instagram. If you have a question for Dear Melissa or a topic idea for the show, leave me a voicemail at (321) 209-1480.

Do the Thing is part of ‘The Onward Project,’ a family of podcasts brought together by Gretchen Rubin—all about how to make your life better. Check out the other Onward Project podcasts– Happier with Gretchen RubinSide Hustle School, and Happier in Hollywood.