Resentment is one of the most toxic emotions a person can carry. If that resentment is left unchecked, it will decay and turn into rumination. You don’t need to take that along with you on your journey. How do you get rid of your resentment and start embracing forgiveness? It all goes back to that little critic inside your head: ego.
Join Tracey Pontarelli as she shares how resentment and rumination are hindering your success and the most effective way to address it. Learn how to identify your inner critic today, put it to work, and uncover a better version of yourself!
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How Resentment And Rumination Are Limiting Your Success
And Stealing Your Joy
This is the Ego Series part two. We’ll be back talking about the ego a lot, particularly as we jump into the Magnetic Marketing Academy, which I’m going to run you through so you’ll be able to go module by module with me on here. Ego plays into everything. It is the thing that’s holding you back from your greatness. Once you get it in check, anything is possible. How’s that exciting?
Last time, we talked about the three things that the ego does that sabotage your business and your life. The three are this feeling of not being enough, this feeling of being afraid of what people think and this idea of not wanting to change. We are going to talk about resentment and rumination. We’ll talk about resentment first because it’s so important to see when you’re in resentment. It’s one of the most toxic emotions you can carry. Resentment often turns into rumination because it’s a recurring feeling. You’re holding onto something and taking it with you. Rumination is when you get caught in a tight loop on it.
What Is Resentment?
Let’s start with resentment. Resentment is a reoccurring negative feeling. It is a feeling of anger, sometimes a pattern of behavior in a relationship or a singular instance that you come to resent someone for. I want to talk a little bit about how negative it is for us and how it is interfering with our physical health and then we can back into it. Resentment reads in the body like stress. Every time you feel resentment towards someone, in the body, you have a reoccurring shot of stress hormones.
When stress hormones get shot out into the body, it does a couple of things to the body. It shuts down our reproductive hormones and our digestion. These are two simple things that happen right away. If you want to mess with your hormones and your weight, stay resentful. That will do it. It is so bad for us. Any type of negative emotion releases negative hormones in the body. In acute instances, those are helpful because they help get us focused and have to deal with what’s happening. When our brains are replaying old shit that happened that we’re still mad about, it’s so bad for us. That’s the problem with resentment in general. It is this replaying of an old story.Any type of negative emotion releases negative hormones in the body. Click To Tweet
Let’s talk about why this happens. We’re going to go back to the ego a little bit and then we’ll talk about rumination, which is that contracted. Our egos are sensitive. We talked about egos. Our egos are usually negative thought loops that are happening inside our bodies. We hold on to things until we purposely decide to let them go. Our brains, like a dog with a bone, will hold onto something until we do the work to let it go.
If you flip the script on them, your resentments are like signals in a car that something needs attention. When you start to relive an old story that makes you feel bad, that is a signal that that’s a piece of you that needs some healing. I’m going to do a caveat here. I’m not a therapist. Some of us have some serious stuff that needs some professional help when we walk through that stuff.
I want to say I see you and I acknowledge you. You’re amazing for even looking at that stuff and saying, “Maybe I’ll try to deal with it.” I can tell you that some stuff happened to me in my college years that I buried in a box in a corner of my mind. It’s amazing how I put that away for a while and didn’t think about it. When my oldest daughter started to look at colleges, it all came flooding back. It was like it wouldn’t leave me alone until I dealt with it.
The resentment can show up in several ways. It can show up as self-shame and being ashamed of something. It can show if it’s being angry at someone else. It can show up as that feeling of resentment that you feel a sense of spite towards someone. None of it’s good for you. None of it serves you. You may say, “I have a right to be resentful.” Sure, you may. I get it. I had a right to be resentful. Just because you’re right doesn’t mean it’s going to make you happy. I say this all the time, “Do you want to be happy or right?” Your ego is the thing that wants to be right because it’s done.
The thing to do is to heal. When you heal, you grow. This shows up in our business. When you feel resentful for maybe not getting acknowledged for the work that you’ve done, typically, that’s a lot of it. Not getting the acknowledgment for the work you’ve done. I know sometimes I have felt like I do a lot and then when I don’t feel like I get the appropriate level of thank you, I can feel a little like, “That’s my ego. Let me put it back in check. Thanks for telling me that you’re coming around, ego.” That’s resentment.
What Is Rumination?
Let’s talk about rumination because this one’s wild. This one can be little or big. One time, I did something and it wasn’t a big deal but I tend to move fast and I’m a little forgetful. I have some ADD. My team jokes all the time and I’m sure some of them will listen to it and laugh. I often stream our calls into the wrong Facebook group. We’ve got two big Facebook groups. One is for our team and one is for my wellness coach as a whole wellness community. I often accidentally send my team calls to the other group and then I have to delete it and do all this stuff.
It’s become a standing joke with the team. I streamed a workout for the Clean Play Club into a group that I don’t even know which one it was. I can’t even find it. I’ve learned to laugh at myself. I used to beat myself up but every once in a while, I’ll do things where my hands are moving faster than my brain and I’ll do something a little stupid. I did something a little stupid. I was mad at myself and it wasn’t that big of a deal but I was afraid that the person whom I made a mistake with would be disappointed in me. That goes back to my people-pleasing desires that I think people may be disappointed in me. I get anxious and I was embarrassed. There goes rumination.
It’s like a loop. I could see myself doing it because I do this work on myself. Still, it took me a couple of hours to let it go. It was good exercise for me. My rational self was saying to me, “Tracey, it’s not that big of a deal.” It was like two voices. My rational self’s like, “It’s not that big of a deal.” The other one was like, “This is so embarrassing. I can’t believe you did that.” Around and around in the loop, I went.
I hope that you can see these happening because rumination is super destructive. It hijacks your brain. How am I going to get anything good done when my brain is gnawing away at this thing? I want to tell you what I did. I’m hoping this will be helpful for you because this was the technique that worked for me. I’d done some work with a group called 40 Years of Zen, where we’ve done a bunch of brain work. During that time, I did a lot of work visiting old traumas and letting them go. That is hard work but well worth it.Rumination is super destructive because it hijacks your brain. Click To Tweet
I practice some of the tools whenever I can and whenever I find myself out of alignment with my soul, I try to take some time to figure out what’s going on. Sometimes it’s something that I honestly need to forgive myself for or forgive someone else for. Usually, it’s forgiving myself for it. Let’s talk about this negative thought loop. Let me give you my four-step process to help do this.
Identifying Your Inner Critic
Number one is you’ve got to notice that your inner critic hijacked the plane. The inner critic is our ego and she’s very opinionated. I’ve named her. She is ready to pounce to talk about what I’ve done wrong and what other people have done wrong. Typically, the inner critic is the loudest. If I’m already worn down, tired and not super present, the inner critic is ready to pounce and take over. Noticing her is the first step. This is the key. I’m going to say this again and again. You got to meditate because you’ve got to start to notice that there’s a voice in your head that is not the real you.
She’s judgey, short-tempered, scared and built up these stories over all of the years that you’ve been on this planet. She’s got them all in her back pocket waiting for something to happen so that she can pull out and be like, “See, I told you.” She’ll come up with all sorts of stories. You’ve got to be able to notice her. The minute you start to notice her, your whole life changes. You can then start to say, “It’s part of being human.”
Observing The Inner Critic
We all have this inner critic and these voices that are left over from memories, things that have happened before. Until we decide to start to let go and loosen the grip of the ego, she’s going to get stronger and stronger. She’s going to run your whole life. Got to take some time. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you want this to happen. Number one is identifying your inner critic. Once you see her, the goal is to not judge but observe and get curious.
As soon as I can get in a good space, I do this. This is the work I do. When I get out of alignment with anything, I try to get myself into a place where I can be less judgmental. I say, “What’s going on with the old Tracey that’s holding onto things, that little ego of Tracey, the little Tracey that’s in there that’s got her feelings hurt about something?” That’s when I’ll try to figure out what is happening.
In this instance, it was me, my people pleaser and my desire to be liked. There are many different ways. Go to therapy if you can. There are many different reasons why I am a people pleaser. There are many reasons she’s there. I’ll notice that that’s the part of me that’s come out on this. She’s scared. My people pleaser herself is scared. That’s number two. I get curious about what’s going on. If you’re in resentment, you might find yourself where you feel like you weren’t acknowledged, you were ignored, you weren’t appreciated and noticed, “I feel neglected. I don’t feel appreciated. I feel insulted.”
Notice that it’s your ego that’s insulted. It’s not you. It’s your ego. Most of the things, they’re not that big of a deal. There’s a five by five rule. If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes thinking about it. Most of the things that we get upset about won’t matter in five years. We can let it eat up some of our time. I couldn’t let this go for five minutes. Number two is to say, “What’s that about?”If something won't matter in five years, don't spend more than five minutes thinking about it. Click To Tweet
What’s The Lesson?
Number three is where you sit and do some work. What’s the lesson? What I’m going to remind you to do is the lesson is always about you. The minute you take 100% responsibility for how you feel and realize how you feel, the power you give something is your responsibility. When you look at what the lesson is, it’s not this person’s, “I’m not going to spend time around them.” The lesson is, “I’m going to start to make sure that I love myself enough to spend time with people that care about me.” What’s the lesson for me here is people pleasing.
The lesson for me is I’m a good person and like every other human, I make mistakes. I’m not as perfect as I’d like to be and I have to forgive myself for being human. That is a lesson for me. I constantly have to forgive myself for being a human. Tracey, you too are human. You made a mistake. It’s not that big of a deal. The lesson for me is I still have parts of me that are people-pleasing that need some work.
Forgiveness & Letting Go
The fourth piece is to do that rewriting exercise and work on forgiveness and letting go. That’s a piece that if you keep coming back to think about it over and over again, you’re still ruminating. You haven’t forgiven. That’s a clue for you to keep going back and trying to work unforgiving. There’s a difference in reconciling something. For example, let’s say you’re mad at someone because they did something rude. “He’s an asshole. I’m going to forget about it.” That’s not the same as forgiving.
Forgiving is, “Everyone’s human. We all make mistakes. My ego’s getting offended. I appreciate the lesson. I understand that none of us are perfect and I’m going to let this go.” You may do an eye roll on me on this one but when you do the work of letting things go, you start to heal yourself. The analogy I’m going to give you is to imagine one of those balls of elastic that people gather and make into an elastic ball. Every time you let something go and forgive it, notice your ego. Give your ego some love and spend some time trying to settle it. Let it go, release it and snip away one of those elastics.
My last piece on this is one of these great lessons. I listened to a podcast by Mel Robbins. She interviewed someone who deals with a lot of childhood trauma stuff. She said, “Yesterday’s traumas are today’s triggers.” That feels very true to me. If I’m not holding on to past resentments, ruminating or my ego isn’t holding onto old stories, I got nothing to be triggered by. The only reason I’m getting triggered is something happened that created a little emotional wound that I’m still walking around in.Yesterday's traumas are today's triggers. Click To Tweet
Our goal is to try to let go of those so that we can live our lives as we would if we were a bright-eyed three-year-old seeing the world for the first time, ready to go out and get anything. That’s the goal. The work is doing this inner work, letting go of those resentments and ruminations so that we can dream big again. Speaking of dreaming big, the next episode is my Word of the Year Workshop. I’m going to run you through it. I’ve got a great workbook. It’s so cute. I can’t wait for you to see it. It guides you in picking your word and words in 2023.
This is great exercise. My friend Riley, whom I love, sent me a quote that said, “Dreams are planning.” Dreams are a version of planning for the future. Dream big. I love you to pieces. I’ll see you back here the next time. I can’t wait to know your thoughts on this. Message me. Let me know how you’re feeling about what you read and what resonated or maybe what triggered you because that’s an opportunity for growth. I’ll see you back here next time.