Over 50 & Thriving Series

Thriving Requires Letting Go of the Lies

September 13, 2018
Thriving Requires Letting Go of the Lies

I’ve written before about the Mean Girl, our inner critic, inside our head that whispers negativity and drags us down.  After a while we start to believer her and some of us just give up and never realise our dreams because we continue to believe the lies.

My guest this week, is Molly Totoro and I was delighted to receive her thoughts for the Over 50 & Thriving Series.  I haven’t known Molly for very long, but I look forward each week to her posts and in particular the journey she has been taking as she works through the Julia Cameron book, The Artist’s Way Series, It’s Never Too Late to Begin.  In fact, it was because of Molly that I purchased the book and have found it invaluable.

Molly writes today about her ‘Delilah’ and the lies she has been told so many times that she started to believe them.  As Molly has worked through this she has realised that unless we let go of the lies we will never thrive.  I’m sure this post will resonate with many of you and please connect with Molly through her links at the end of the post.

Thriving Requires Letting Go of the Lies

I learned how to live by watching my mother die.

This has been my mantra for the past decade.

The final years of Mom’s life were difficult. Her husband of 55 years unexpectedly passed away. She not only suffered from unexpressed grief, but her heart health required constant tweaking of medication. She grew weary of hospital stays and loneliness. Eventually, she gave up and chose to merely exist.

While I did not judge her choices — she did what she felt was best for her at the time — I knew it was not the right decision for me. See, I not only wanted to live, I wanted to thrive.

The problem, however, was I operated on autopilot. The demands of the sandwich generation meant the concerns of children and parents eclipsed my own. Between teaching, grading, running children to after-school activities, and making frequent visits to see Mom, I lost sight of me. So in 2011, when I became an orphaned empty-nester, I had no idea who I was a part these roles.

It was also at this time that my inner critic (I’ve named her Delilah) took control of my thought-life.

Thriving Requires Letting Go of the Lies

My vision of my ‘Delilah’

She constantly reminded me that I was not good enough. She knew I was not a certified teacher and she called into question my vocation. She knew I was shy and reserved and convinced me I was better off alone. She knew I loved to write but feared rejection, so she made fun of my author dreams.

I thought Delilah spoke truth.

I thought Delilah wanted the best for me.

I trusted her.

But how can I thrive when I’m a hermit in my nook? 

How can I live an abundant life without dreams?

The truth is – I can’t.


Following Delilah’s advice to play it safe was lulling me into mere existence. I could either find the strength to stand up to her lies or I could give up.

My mantra saved me.

I knew the battleground was my mind. It was time to trade out lies for truth. It was time to reclaim my life.

First, I made a list of all the lies I believe. I knew claiming the lie was the first step. Next, I replaced the lie with what I know to be truth. I’m now working on replacing that voice that keeps me small with a fresh new voice that allows me to grow. This does not happen overnight, however. Old tapes are particularly stubborn.

But I refuse to give up. This is a battle worth fighting.

The Lie: Practice makes perfect.

Truth: Practice makes progress.

The Lie: Play is for children.

Truth: Play connects us to our inner child.

The Lie: My value is based on my accomplishments.

Truth: My value comes from simply being me.

The Lie: Remaining silent avoids conflict.

Truth: Remaining silent makes me invisible.

The Lie: Self-love is selfish.

Truth: Self-love is necessary to love others.

The Lie: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Truth: It’s never too late to begin again.

The Lie: Comfort Zones are comfortable.

Truth: Comfort Zones are prisons.

The Lie: Multi-tasking is the key to productivity.

Truth: Mindfulness allows you to find joy in the moment.

The Lie: Confidence is arrogance and conceit.

Truth: Confidence is accepting who were created to be.

The Lie: You can please all the people if you simply try hard enough.

Truth: Simply be yourself and you will find your tribe.

These are the lies I hear on a daily basis. You may hear others. But I encourage you to stop listening long enough to discern the voice. Is it one of love and acceptance? If so, you are on the right track.

Keep nurturing that voice and press on to a life of abundance.

If, however, it is a voice of harsh criticism accompanied by the wagging finger of shame… it is time to kick that free-loader out of your head and find a kinder roommate.

Do you have a ‘Delilah’, ready to tear you down?  What are some ways you combat the lies that your inner critic whispers to you?


Meet Molly

Thriving Requires Letting Go of the LiesMolly Totoro began blogging at My Cozy Book Nook in 2009. At that time she taught high school English at a small private school. Writing book reviews seemed a logical foray into the blogging world.She is now semi-retired and while she still enjoys reading, she also loves travel, photography, and writing.Molly is a self-published author of three books, Journaling Toward Wholeness: A 28-Day Plan to Develop a Journaling Practice – Italian Family Christmas: Recipes and Traditions Surrounding the Feast of Seven Fishes – and Ellie’s Paris Adventure, the first book in the Travel through Art series for Middle-Grade readers. She is currently working on a second journaling book as well as the next art adventure novel.

Molly also enjoys blogging about her transition into midlife at Molly’s Cozy Book Nook She loves connecting with others in this online community and sharing ways to navigate this new season of life.

Connect with Molly





Let’s Keep Sizzling!


If you are Over 50 and would like to contribute to the Over 50 & Thriving Series, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email at sue@womenlivingwellafter50.com.au and I can provide more details.
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  • Reply Debbie September 13, 2018 at 19:59

    Thanks Sue and Molly for sharing this fantastic post with great insight and wisdom. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have never thought of giving my inner voice a name!

    • Reply Molly September 14, 2018 at 21:28

      Once I gave the voice a name, Debbie, I somehow found it easier to stand up to her. She can still overpower me at times, but I’m making progress 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 15, 2018 at 04:59

      Hi Deb, I hadn’t thought about naming my inner voice either, although I had read a book earlier this year about the ‘Mean Girl’ in our head. I loved Molly’s post and it really reflected how I feel at times. x

  • Reply Kim September 13, 2018 at 21:48

    OMG-I could cry right now! Yes, I have my own version of Delilah and I’m not very fond of her. I’m working on putting her to the curb but every once in awhile she lets me know she’s still around and fills my head with self-doubt. It’s ridiculous, and I’m working on it! Thanks Sue & Molly-AWESOME post. 🙂

    • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 01:16

      Kim… I’m glad my post resonates. Sometimes Delilah tells me I am all alone – no one else feels this way – don’t share these thoughts because you will look the fool. Combatting our Delilah’s is an ongoing battle, but SO worth the effort!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 15, 2018 at 05:00

      Hi Kim, we all have our own version of Delilah and she has made too many appearances in my life. I was encouraged to know I’m not the only one and thoroughly enjoyed Molly’s thoughts. I’m so pleased you did too! xx

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb September 13, 2018 at 23:17

    Molly – what a great post. Love that you named your inner critic – Delilah! Thank you for sharing your inner-work and how far you’ve come!

    • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 01:18

      Thank you SO much, Janet – for your ongoing support and encouragement!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 15, 2018 at 05:01

      Hi Janet, I loved that Molly named her inner critic. I think giving her a name can help to put her back in the box and it personalises it much more. I was encouraged by Molly’s thoughts and wisdom. 🙂

  • Reply Donna September 14, 2018 at 09:10

    Hi, Molly – Thank you for sharing this inspiring post.
    Fighting our Delilahs is definitely a battle worth fighting. I am glad that you refused to give up. I always look forward to reading more from you.

    • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 01:20

      Thank you, Donna! I must admit, Delilah often wears me down. But putting a name to that voice somehow gives me the strength to persevere. I’ve reached the point where I’m more tired of her holding me back than I am of fighting against her lies 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 15, 2018 at 05:03

      Hi Donna, I enjoy Molly’s thoughts each week and I’ve learned much from her. I know we all have our Delilahs to fight but I do believe, like all bullies, if we fight back and stand firm, Delilah will be diminished. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au September 14, 2018 at 19:09

    Molly this really resonated with me – I’m in the middle of a post atm where I’m sorting through similar thoughts. We are so often our own worst critic and judge and we do keep ourselves and our lives small by not being brave enough to look those criticisms in the face and stare them down. I’m busy figuring out my strengths at the moment – then I’ll start naming and claiming them whenever I get the chance.

    • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 01:25

      Oh Leanne… my first glimpse at the true Delilah was when I realized the things she said to me, I would never dream of uttering to my worst enemy. She is jealous and spiteful and manipulative and controlling… well, you get the idea 🙂 I’m not sure why I was so willing to sit back and take it. And I must admit, I still have lapses when I believe her lies as truth. But I know I don’t want her controlling this chapter of my life. I won’t allow her to steal my joy any longer.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 15, 2018 at 05:05

      Good for you Leanne we need to ‘name and claim'(love that) our strengths because too often we focus on our weaknesses rather than acknowledging our strength. I know you have so many strengths and can’t wait to read your post. x

  • Reply Candi Randolph September 14, 2018 at 21:40

    Love this post, Molly, especially when you take the Lies and replace them with Truths. Very powerful insights. Thank you for sharing with us. Another wonderful guest post, Sue.

    • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 01:27

      Yes, Candi… I knew recognizing the lies was only half the battle. The other half is to transform my thinking and replace those lies with powerful truth – and then repeat it over and over again until I finally believe it 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 15, 2018 at 05:08

      Thanks Candi, another guest who has taught me something. I’m thinking of a name for my inner critic so we can have a serious conversation! Have a lovely weekend, Candi. Enjoy! xx

  • Reply Jo September 14, 2018 at 22:41

    Loved this post and I think so very pertinent for our tribe. We live in changed skins, with harsh inner critics s in a world that’s changing so rapidly. We need to cast out our Delilahs and take stock.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 15, 2018 at 05:09

      We certainly do Jo, but from reading the comments I think that many of us are starting to gain control of our Delilahs and having the courage to put her back in her place. xx

  • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 01:31

    I LOVE this idea, JO. That I am a part of a tribe. How grateful I am to have found Sue and this online community! We do live in changed skins (my next battle is to stop looking in the mirror expecting to see a 20-year-old toned body) … but while each change represents new challenges, it also represents new blessings and opportunities.

  • Reply Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond September 15, 2018 at 05:11

    Thank you Molly for being my guest and sharing what many of us experience. I can see all of us finding names for our Delilah and having the courage to have a serious conversation with her to put her back in her box. All thanks to you! Have a beautiful weekend and once again thank you for your inspiring post.

    • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 23:06

      Sue… I am honored you asked me to contribute. And I am blessed to find this supportive community you created for all of us to share our struggles (and successes) and find encouragement from others who truly understand.

      • Reply Sue Loncaric September 17, 2018 at 07:02

        My pleasure, Molly and like you I am blessed to find such supportive women through blogging. Have a beautiful week xx

  • Reply Pat September 15, 2018 at 05:59

    Molly – I adore the lies to truth approach! I’m going to try that on. I’ve been contemplating what “fairy tales I believe.” Another approach that’s about identifying falsehoods I believe.

    A number of years ago I read a book by Martha Beck (Steering by Starlight) where she talks about naming that voice (or voices). I have 2 – Liz who tells me I’m not enough and loves to Compare & Despair, and Annie who tells me everything that will go wrong (not could, will!). Yeah, old tapes are stubborn!

  • Reply Michele September 15, 2018 at 07:34

    Molly, I love that you have named your inner critic Delilah! I think I will think of a name for my own inner negative voice. I see it more of a gremlin than a beautiful woman!
    Your struggles with figuring our who you are very typical and I think many of us can relate. It is easy to lose yourself when you are in the midst of caring for everyone else. I think the joy of this stage of life is figuring out who were were meant to be and then acting on it! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 23:16

      Michele… Delilah is definitely a gremlin now! However, Delilah was born at a time when high school friends betrayed me, and I thought this voice of “reason” and “warning” was my friend. She protected me from getting hurt again. Now she has usurped far too much power and it went to her head 🙂

      I absolutely agree with you… I am blessed to have these midlife years to finally figure out who I am and then take those baby steps toward becoming that woman.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 17, 2018 at 06:59

      I see a gremlin more than a beautiful woman too Michele. I learned so much from Molly’s post now I need to find a suitable name for my ‘Delilah’! Have a beautiful week. xx

  • Reply Kerry September 15, 2018 at 17:22

    Hello synchronicity! I’ve spent the past couple of days in the doldrums because I realised that I too have a MASSIVE ‘Delilah’ sitting fair and square on my shoulders and wondering what I can do about that horrible voice….now I know. Thank you so much for the lies and truths – they could have been written by me – but weren’t, so I’d love to borrow and add to them and keep them on my desk so that I can drum it into my head that I’m OK just the way I know I am and not the way I’m expected to be. Thank you for the amazing and inspiring insights.

    • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 23:19

      Kerry… I’m so glad you find these lies helpful to discover your truth. I actually plan to add to the list as well (Delilah is quite thorough and did not stop with just ten). Yes, we are ALL enough. We are ALL okay just the way we are (sounds like a Billy Joel song). It is time to start a personal revolution and take back our lives from these unwelcomed dictators 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 17, 2018 at 06:58

      Hi Kerry, we all feel that Delilah has too much power, don’t we? I’m so pleased Molly’s post helped and that you can feel that you aren’t the only one feeling this way. Have a beautiful week. xx

  • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 23:11

    Pat … I LOVE this! First, the fact that you are using fairy tales to discover truth (and lies) in life. I am fascinated by fairy tale retellings – and have even thought of telling Delilah’s story through fairy tale. We need to talk 🙂

    Secondly, I find it so interesting that you have two distinct voices. I wonder if I have two and they just merge into one? Or perhaps my Delilah is just that mean. When I was in preschool I had two imaginary friends: Jimmy and Deke (why boys?? And where did Deke come from??) They were the proverbial angel on one shoulder and devil on the other. If anything wrong took place (like spilled milk, for example) Deke is the one who did it. I wonder if Delilah is Deke in disguise?

    • Reply Molly September 15, 2018 at 23:20

      Sorry for the skip in my reply, Pat. There was a hiccough in my internet connection…

  • Reply Miriam September 18, 2018 at 10:34

    Absolutely fabulous post Sue, so many “lies” here that I’ve had to battle over the years myself. No name for my inner critic but yes, I could definitely resonate with much of this. Thanks for introducing us to Molly. Off to check out her blog now. xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2018 at 09:19

      I’m like you Miriam, so many things I’ve pushed down deep inside without really confronting them. Molly is a wonderful writer and I always enjoy her posts, I’m sure you will too. xx

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