Hi all,

How’s your week going? We’re both sitting at our desks today, present in body but our minds are back in bed!

Despite our self-inflicted exhaustion, at the top of today’s To Do list is this, our weekly blog. We always receive so much lovely feedback about our weekly broadcasts, which is why, despite everything else that’s going on, connecting with you in this email will always be at the heart of what we do.

So what’s on the agenda today?! Well, we want to talk about your negative self-talk.

You know, the voice inside your head. The one that probably tells you that aren’t thin/clever/successful enough; the one that puts your needs at the bottom of the pile and negatively pits you against all the other women out there. Sound familiar?

Yup, we have those voices: the Alice and Phan Devils definitely sit comfortably inside our minds too. And you know what? There’s one sure fire why to get them chattering: when we spend too much time on Instagram. And we don’t even mean on our Step Up account; in the grand scheme of life, emotionally speaking, that’s actually relatively manageable.

We made a decision a year or so ago that we wouldn’t share too much of our personal lives on Insta. Mainly because our kids and our weekending didn’t feel hugely relevant to the overall Step Up message. Plus the more you give away, the more you emotionally connect to the platform, and frankly we’re just a bit scared of committing too much on that front.

But when we scroll, and we see, we inevitably covet and compare. And that’s when our negative self talk starts chattering too loudly. This is not exactly a groundbreaking reveal. Everyone knows that Insta has the power to render any woman to a mental shit show. And yet we still scroll, and we still put ourselves through that cycle of doom. Or maybe you don’t scroll. Maybe your negative chatter is triggered elsewhere; at work perhaps, or across the room in your weekly spin session?

The point remains the same though. And it’s this: we are comparing ourselves to a construct. We are imagining what is going on in another person’s life; we are assuming, because her hair and her business look equally glossy that she’s basically living the dream. And yet, we know nothing about that woman and her own inner demons – about her own negative mental chatter.

The reason we’ve been talking about this, is because we both woke to the news of Kate Spade’s tragic suicide. That’s where this whole newsletter has stemmed from to be honest. It is impossible to know what drove her to suicide. And we are absolutely not experts in this field.

As two women who constantly and unconsciously look at other women though, it feels important to remind ourselves (and you too) that Kate Spade was suffering in silence. Yes she seemed to have been living a gloriously charmed and colourful life, the truth we now know was much darker.

Maybe she wasn’t the woman that she seemed. Or maybe she sometimes was that happy, vivid success story, but at others, she was suffering very deeply.

We suppose that we’re telling you our thoughts on Kate Spade, as a way of reminding us all to not revere the construct of others. It isn’t easy to tame our negative self talk, but that voice does not have to rule. It especially doesn’t need to put you down in light of others’ apparent ease and happiness.

If nothing else, we hope you take this simple fact away from today’s newsletter.

To help you along your way, here are three ways to start turning the volume down on your devil straight away:

  1. Accept and acknowledge (repeatedly if you need to) that the woman over there, the one with the perfect life, has her own issues. We all do.
  2. Stick to your own path. Your life, it’s yours. It isn’t someone else’s anyway. Yes it might not look or feel happy or successful all the time, but it’s yours and that makes it special.
  3. If you’re an Insta scroller, make sure you have plenty of time offline. And if you ever feel that negative voice grow uncomfortably loud, switch off altogether for a while. And take it all with a pinch of salt. Insta ain’t real life.

Honestly, the simple act of retraining that voice from the devil to something gentler – to an internal kind aunt – will release you of so much angst. When we live our own lives, at their own paces, we can then also feel happy for other women. Other women who have glossy hair are no longer a threat or a comparison against which we need to measure ourselves. Rather, they are just other women. And that’s fine.

Yes, it’s all got a bit heavy today. But we’re big (HUGE) believers in learning to retrain that voice. Because what we believe about ourselves is ultimately governed by what we tell ourselves. And if we tell ourselves lots of not very nice stuff about ourselves, then we’ll never ride that unicorn.

Here’s to your Wednesday. However it looks.

Until next time,

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