I’ve always struggled by comparing myself to others. As a little girl, I noticed which girls did better cartwheels. Later, I thought it was unfair that boys seemed interested in other girls but not me. As an adult, it was not much different. Who can stretch farther in yoga poses or has a great income as a solopreneur?

I call this inner character, Connie Compare, and she became a constant but cruel companion. When I listened to Connie, I heard a lot of noise. Each comparison fed the flames of my not-good-enough fire, making me feel bad about myself over and over until I believed Connie the nasty naysayer.

A few years ago my Dad, who never remembered much about my childhood said to me, “I was always surprised how much you compared yourself to others.”

I began to study ways to gain more self-trust and rely less on Connie’s opinion. I saw how these beliefs create habits of tension in the body, and I learned how to recognize and release them. Now I can listen to Connie without letting her voice diminish me and my sense of worth. She is still a loyal companion, but she has turned into a personal coach who reminds me to step up to excellence, live my values and find more joy by being grateful for what I already have. I appreciate her now, if not a bit begrudgingly sometimes.

Maybe you struggle, too, with your version of a demanding voice. Maybe you have physical holding that makes it hard to let go of your naysayer.

When we give our inner character a name or persona they have less power over us. Perhaps your fearful voice is Roberta Rabbit or Fred Fear. That part of us gets to be be heard and over time can become less demanding.

Share with us a name you give one of your personas and why.