2019 Aspirations: Ignoring my Inner Critic and listening to my Inner Best Friend


2019 Aspirations: Ignoring my Inner Critic and listening to my Inner Best Friend


One of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow is @yoga_girl. You don’t have to practice yoga to love Rachel Brathen. She’s an incredible international entrepreneurial powerhouse that owns multiple businesses and charities, best-selling author, yoga teacher, podcast host, wife and mother. She’s also always vulnerable, honest, and real. She shares her struggles with making time for self-care, feeling like a failure, not asking for help and trying to do everything, meeting everyone else’s needs before her own, learning lessons on her mat, feeling like not enough, dealing with chronic pain, how hard it is to run a business, and motherhood. Besides for motherhood, I can identify with all of those struggles. Whenever I read one of her posts, I feel like she’s saying exactly what I need to hear.


She leads large groups of teacher trainings as well as retreats at her studio in Aruba. Several months ago, she was talking to group of women that were taking her yoga teacher training about her practice of trying to tune out her inner critic and instead listen to her inner best friend. Instead of listening to all of the negative thoughts in her head, she tries to think of what her best friend would say.

You would think that someone who has had as much success as she has had wouldn’t have to face inner critics but alas, everyone, despite the amount of success, lives with an inner critic in their mind. Rachel proved that when she asked all of the women taking her teacher training if they would speak on her podcast about this specific topic. There were 52 women interviewed on the podcast and every single one of them said that their inner critic says that they are not enough. They aren’t good enough, worthy enough, strong enough or smart enough.


Now think about that for a moment. What are the thoughts that normally show up in your head? Are they mostly negative? Now think of your best friend. How would they react if you told them some of those negative statements that you tell yourself? I’m assuming they would tell you that those thoughts aren’t true at all and give you multiple reasons why they are simply not true. One of the tendencies of the mind is to cling to the negative and doubt the positive. Wouldn’t life be so much easier and sweeter if we could doubt the negative and cling to the positive?

That’s where the inner best friend comes in. Once you become aware of this tendency of your mind you can start to notice when it’s happening and then start to change how you react to it. You can choose to ignore that inner critic and instead tell yourself what your best friend would say. All of the girls that Rachel interviewed did say that their inner best friend always reminds them that they are enough. You are always enough and I hope you remind yourself of that daily.


I’ve decided that listening to my inner best friend and ignoring my inner critic is the only resolution that I’m going to make for 2019. If I can do that, I will probably have more courage to take risks and face my fears. I will feel that I’m worthy to invest in self-care and not overwork myself. I will give myself more grace when I make mistakes and move forward. I know it won’t be easy but it’s worth doing.


Do you have any aspirations for the new year?


Images by Personal Branding Maven  Elise Kutt  at  Mod Bettie Portraits

Images by Personal Branding Maven Elise Kutt at Mod Bettie Portraits

My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.

I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.

My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.

Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Travel Designer