And get this: even though this process leads women into deep, transformative work that brings them face-to-face with their own self-loathing and sabotage, women actually LOVE doing the work. That is the magic of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School™ method. It gives women access to their dark sides and to the emotions, feelings, and stories that can be tremendously difficult to be with, all by using a powerful mix of play, humor, creativity, and self-inquiry.
And because this process is specifically designed just for women, as women see the experiences of other women they learn they aren’t the only ones with negative thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. As a result, their emotions of shame, fear, anxiety, judgment, anger, and sadness transform; the walls of isolation come down; and women begin to heal wounds that have been running them into unhealthy situations, choices, habits, and relationships for years. Women are profoundly affected by this work in ways that other modalities alone haven’t been able to get to.
We’ve tested the Inner Mean Girl Reform School process with women of all ages, from college students to women well into their 60s, and it continues to work. We’ve tested this approach with girls as young as 8, and have counseled mothers on how, as they reform their Inner Mean Girls, they can help their daughters deal with theirs (or even give their daughters preventative care so the Inner Mean Girl voice never develops into more than a mere whisper!).
We’ve even tested parts of this program within a women’s prison system and found that giving women access to the Inner Mean Girl work stopped violence among the inmates. If this approach can stop violence among women in prison, imagine how it could affect the inner violence that occurs silently inside the minds and hearts of women around the world. And, ultimately, how it could lessen or eradicate altogether the competition, disconnection, and spite among women overall.
Throughout the step-by-step process for reforming your Inner Mean Girl, women mine deep into themselves to come to terms with their destructive, self-sabotaging behavior. But what’s distinctive about our approach and this book is our lighthearted approach to deep soul-level work that speaks specifically to the female experience. We intentionally created a playful method because we take women to such a place of depth to uncover the true motivations of each of their Inner Mean Girl’s actions and the source of the negative thoughts, self-sabotage, and self-abuse. Through our good-humored approach, we’ve attracted women who would normally steer clear of daunting shadow or inner critic work, opening up this vital, life-changing work to the mainstream.
Until a woman identifies the inner abusive, fear-driven voice as a separate entity—her Inner Mean Girl—she has no choice but to be a victim to its self-sabotaging advice. This is why she keeps repeating self-sabotaging patterns and stays stuck in the continuous loop of feeling inadequate, unhappy, and overwhelmed, no matter what she does. But through our 9-step process, which starts by exposing, identifying, and getting to know one’s Inner Mean Girl—based on 13 archetypes of common Inner Mean Girls and their toxic habits, such as comparison, setting unrealistic expectations, perfectionism, judgment, gossip, over-responsibility, etc.—women begin to see the source of their negative thoughts, feelings, and habitual patterns as something they actually can control and change.
And we don’t stop with just the Inner Mean Girl. Our students and readers also gain access to a much more powerful, wise, and compassionate inner voice that also lives inside them: their Inner Wisdom. A woman’s Inner Wisdom is the ultimate source of her truth. It’s like her own North Star, an internal guidance system that always knows the right path to take. And like a best friend, she will tell you the truth even when the truth is hard to hear, because she loves you and believes in you. The problem is that most women’s Inner Mean Girl’s voice has become strong and loud, so women haven’t learned how to distinguish between the voice of their inner critic and their Inner Wisdom. This is why we teach women how to strengthen their Inner Wisdom voice, discern which voice is speaking, and ultimately begin to trust the guidance of their Inner Wisdom over the rants of their Inner Mean Girl.
When women learn to tune into their Inner Wisdom and then cultivate the courage to act on her divine guidance, over the fear-based chatter of their Inner Mean Girl, they make choices that create more happiness, peace, love, and success for themselves.
Their health improves, their stress levels plummet, their sense of wonder returns. They believe in themselves more. They gain a stronger sense of self and an ability to weather the ups and downs of life with more grace and less frustration. Simultaneously, the Inner Mean Girl loosens her grip, and can then be re-deployed to take a new job that supports a woman instead of makes her suffer.
Inspirational catalyst, MBA, bestselling author, spiritual activist & founder of the international self-love movement
Christine Arylo is a transformational teacher, internationally recognized speaker, and best-selling author of the official self-love guidebook, Madly in Love with ME: The Daring Adventure to Becoming Your Own Best Friend.
After earning her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and climbing the corporate ladder for fifteen years, working for companies like Gap, PepsiCo, and Kraft, she chose to devote her life to creating a new reality for adults and children, one based on self-love and true feminine power instead of the relentless pursuit of having to do, be, and have it all.
Christine is the founder of the international self-love movement and Self-Love Day on February 13; the author of the go-to bestselling book on love and relationships, Choosing ME Before WE; the cofounder with Amy Ahlers of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School, the virtual self-love school for women; and the creator of a series of forty-day self-love practices. She also acts as a self-worth advocate and specialist for organizations that serve women and children, and a spiritual mentor for emerging and established women leaders. Her dedication earned her the affectionate title “The Queen of Self-Love.”
Christine has been featured on CBS, ABC, FOX, WGN, E!, in the Huffington Post, and on radio shows, spas, conferences, conference rooms, classrooms, and stages around the world, including TEDx. She normally lives in California with her soul partner, Noah, but is known for her love of travel, and spiritual adventure and exploration. And so can often be found leading transformational conversations and sacred retreats around the world.
The Wake-Up Call Coach and bestselling author of Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves
Amy Ahlers, the Wake-Up Call Coach and bestselling author, is on a mission to stop women from being so darn hard on themselves. Since 2000, she has been an International Certified Success Coach, the CEO of Wake-Up Call Coaching and co-founder of Inner Mean Girl Reform School with Christine Arylo, Visionary Ignition Switch with Lissa Rankin and Find Your Calling with Lissa Rankin and Martha Beck. Her newest passion is supporting moms to embrace the whole truth of motherhood, messiness and magic with the Mama Truth Circle.
Amy has been a featured expert on lots of TV & radio shows, and for media outlets like ABC, FOX, The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. She loves lighting up the stage at events where she wakes people up to the voice of their Inner Wisdom and helps them cultivate the courage to act on it. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, inspiring women to find the everyday sacred.
Her first book, Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar (New World Library, 2011), shot up to #1 in several categories on Amazon, including Self-Help, Happiness and Self-Esteem. Her next book, Reform Your Inner Mean Girl: 7 Steps to Stop Bullying Yourself and Start Loving Yourself, she co-wrote with Christine Arylo, and is based on the internationally acclaimed program that has helped over 30,000 around the world love their inner critics to death.
A 2010 recipient of the Women Who Dare Award from Girls Inc., she holds a BA from the University of California, earned the CPCC designation from The Coaches Training Institute and is a Master Coach Equivalent. Amy is known best for her unconditional love, relentless enthusiasm, and kick ass truth telling. You can often find Amy in the San Francisco Bay Area holding hands with her husband, Rob, as they run after their firecracker daughters, Annabella and Evie Rose.
In 2009, Christine was on her first book tour, traveling around the country and appearing on TV shows to promote her self-love message. During that time, she hired an assistant to help her find speaking engagements. Through a Google search, her assistant stumbled up Amy, who had just created The Women Masters teleseminar series and was interviewing luminaries such as Marianne Williamson, Lisa Nichols, and SARK. The assistant sent Christine an email telling her she thought she might want to know about this woman. Christine’s Inner Mean Girl began to flare up as she looked at the email highlighting all of Amy’s online success, as Christine too wanted to launch a teleseries.
Fortunately, Christine had reformed her Comparison Queen, “Mean Patty,” who used to make her feel oh so small when looking at other women’s accomplishments (she even had the gall to compare Christine to women like Oprah and Barbara Walters—talk about never measuring up!). Luckily, Mean Patty had been made over and given the new job of being Christine’s Talent Scout.
So when the email arrived talking about Amy Ahlers, Christine reminded her Comparison Queen that she was now her Talent Scout whose job was to find fabulous women doing fabulous things in the world. She thanked her for bringing Amy to her attention and asked her Inner Wisdom to compose a soulful email to send Amy. Smart move!
Amy remembers what a busy time that was in her life. Her email inbox was constantly overflowing with newfound fan mail and requests from women around the world wanting to be featured on the The Women Masters series. But when she received Christine’s email it vibrated off the screen. The subject line read, “Kindred spirits connecting.” Hmm … Amy opened the email and there was Christine. Fortunately, Amy had also done some Inner Mean Girl reforming. Instead of feeling “less than” because she was not yet a published author or on TV like Christine, Amy leaned in to inspiration and invited Christine to coffee.
Lo and behold, Amy and Christine soon realized they lived less than 5 minutes from each other in San Francisco Bay Area (not a common feat!). They were astonished at the proximity and the resonance with each other’s work. They vowed to form a mastermind of sorts, where Amy taught Christine more about the online world and Christine taught Amy more about the PR and book publishing world.
Then one destiny-made day as they hiked through the woods talking about Amy’s PR pitch, and about what Christine had been speaking to women around the world about, Christine uttered the words “Inner Mean Girl” and a brand, school, and revolution was born. The rest, as they say, is herstory.