We all knew a mean girl in high school. The one who made it her mission to make your life miserable. The one who criticized you every chance she could, knocked over your Diet Coke for her own entertainment, and told you your outfit didn’t match on your birthday (even when you carefully picked out every detail down to the accessories the night before). Obviously, I am referring to my own personal horror story, but I’m happy to say I haven’t thought about “spilling” a Diet Coke on that particular girl’s head for at least a few years now.
Yet, as mean as the mean girl was in high school, she probably doesn’t compare to our own inner mean girl—our ego, the ruthless critic inside all of us that stops us from taking risks, the negative voice that makes us feel unworthy.
Melissa Ambrosini’s new book, Mastering Your Mean Girl, sheds light on how to handle your inner mean girl. Whether it’s about body image, relationships, or career, Melissa provides valuable insight and helps readers reframe their perspective to become more positive and embrace what makes them unique.
Here are my favorite excerpts from the book on choosing love over fear:
In every moment you have one of two choices: you can choose either love or fear—your truth or your Mean Girl. This simple choice underpins every decision you make throughout the day, from what you choose to put in your mouth, to how you respond to the person who cuts you off at the traffic lights. From how you move your body, to the people you surround yourself with. From what you do with your time, to how you treat yourself. It all comes down to choice . . . your choice.
I can relate to this as a perfectionist, spending many years caring way too much about what people think—in school, sports, and the list goes on. It was exhausting spending so much time overanalyzing and dwelling on things that ultimately didn’t matter.
Mastering Your Mean Girl also speaks to a culture of fear versus love:
The thing is, we’re never taught how to think with anything but a fear-based mentality. At school we’re never shown how to master our mind and make peace with our Mean Girl. Our parents weren’t taught it, nor were our grandparents, nor the leaders and trailblazers we admire. In fact, fear-based thinking has become hardwired into the operating system of modern society. But what if we could turn it all around? Imagine a class at school on self-love, meditation, nourishing your body, caring for the planet, conscious movement, mindful eating, creative expression, earthing, entrepreneurship, compassion, grounding, authenticity, respecting Mother Nature, and practicing gratitude. How amazing would that be?
Throughout life, there’s always pressure—the pressure to get straight A’s, the pressure to make friends, the pressure to get a job and the worries never end. Instead of enjoying our achievements along the way, we spend more time thinking about the next challenge to overcome.
Personally, I think the easiest way to go from fear to love is gratitude. When I started to look at what was going right in my life rather than focusing on what’s missing, I became happier, more confident and better able to manage fear. My inner Mean Girl still makes an appearance once in awhile, but she’s not a threat anymore.
Excerpted with permission from MASTERING YOUR MEAN GIRL by Melissa Ambrosini, published March 22, 2016 by TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright 2016, Melissa Ambrosini.