By: Brianna Valleskey
We all have one. A little voice inside our head that loves to tell us how we're not good enough, not strong enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, on and on until we essentially feel worthless. It totally sucks. But Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine has so aptly named this voice the "Little Hater." Here's how he describes the Little Hater in popular Youtube video:
"When I'm in the groove of getting work done, and I feel like I'm making a connection with you guys out there and my ideas are resonating with you, it feels natural to keep showing up and maintaining that connection. But if I go too long without putting work in and it feels like that connection is broken, there's a little voice inside my head that starts playing tricks on me and trying to convince me that the connection was never really there. And I think this is true for all creative people: We each have a little hater that lives inside our heads and tries to set up traps for us. And the first trap he sets up for me is always perfectionism.
"Whenever I go a few days without making a video, I starting thinking to myself that I need to do something extra special to justify that time away. And then the little hater starts telling me that none of my ideas are good enough to meet that standard. Then I don't want to work, and I fall into the second trap, which is procrastination. Procrastination is what they call it when you confuse being busy with being productive. And that's a trap that's really hard to avoid when when the work that you're doing involves the Internet.
"Somehow, that little hater always manages to convince me that those 25 browser windows I have open are making me productive, and I don't catch on to the trick until about 48 hours have gone by and then I realize I haven't done a video in five days ... Do you see how this works? It's a conspiracy, all those little haters."
Needless to say, Jay knows what he's talking about here. My Little Hater chimes in a lot, and I used to listen to him. Here are some of the things he says to me ...
My Little Hater is so ruthless that he loves to hate on me about personal stuff, too, with shit like ...
With a lot of practice (and a lot of therapy), I've come up with a strategy to beat the Little Hater that's been pretty successful for me. I can't guarantee it will work for anyone else, but maybe it can at least be a start.
3 Ways to Defeat the Little Hater
1. Call the Little Hater out
The first step in defeating the Little Hater is to recognize him (or her). To quote Sun Tzu, "Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories." The Little Hater is your enemy, because he will make up lies and conspiracy theories to keep you away from being your greatest, truest self. And you will fight thousands of battles with him. But every victory makes you stronger and more adept at defeating this deadly foe.
You are awesome. Authentically. Innately. There's no question about it. And crushing the little hater starts with loving yourself (which is the most important thing you will do in your life). Recognize those thoughts that come from the Little Hater. Flag them immediately. He digs deep, and thrives on insecurity, deception and fear. But he loses power the moment you call him out on his bullshit. And you can back up your claims when you ...
2. Sort fact from fiction
The Little Hater draws on your innermost fears, so the shit he says can feel really true at times. But it's not. Here's a quick way to check yourself when he starts going off in your head: What evidence do I have for this?
Don't case build. What physical proof is there to back up the Little Hater's claims? (There's probably little to none). Here's how I would check the statements I mentioned above.
3. Divide and conquer your fear
For every fear that the Little Hater brings forth, counter it with a confident truth. Sometimes, that means stating the exact opposite of what the Little Hater said. Others, it's about finding what's true for you and saying it your way.
Here's how I do that with some of the statements that I have above:
The world is full of haters, and the last thing we need is to hate on ourselves. Easier said then done - I know. But start small.
Get really good at recognizing the Little Hater, then slowly start to call out his lies. Once you feel confident doing those two things, try replacing each Little Hater statement with your own: a statement that is powerful, authentic and uplifting.
You got it? Good. Now go out there and conquer the world.
Fearless Thoughts are my insights on marketing, entrepreneurship, growth, mindfulness, creativity and whatever else comes to mind on any given day. Writing is how I make sense of the world.