After years of personal development work, coaching and being coached…I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit this.
I am amazed at how hard I can be on myself. Still.
I’m struck by how loud, negative and menacing the inner critic’s voice is. Devilish.
Some inner critics are stronger than others. But they all do damage, particularly when it comes to believing positive things about ourselves and experiencing our joy.
This is what I notice about the inner critic and how it manifests in me.
- The words can’t, should, need, never and always come up more often in my thinking and in my speech.
- Making comparisons and coming up short.
- Being speedy, distracted and making poor choices.
- Over analyzing.
- Feeling undeserving, fearful or guilty.
I trust these thoughts and feelings, yet I know they’re not real.
This is the devious trap the inner critic sets and we all get caught.
For those who wrestle with the Inner Critic here are a few things that I have found valuable for myself and for those I have worked with.
- Get to know your inner critic by simply noticing it…”Oh there you are again.” Don’t engage. Pay more attention to how the inner critic presents not on why. This will begin to loosen its hold.
- Instead of resisting the inner critic embrace it. When we push, it becomes more forceful and persistent. The inner critic is a trickster.
- In the midst of wrestling with my inner critic I often cannot tell how hard I am being on myself. My husband, a trusted friend or my coach reminds me.
- Don’t keep the inner critic hidden or it takes hold. Talk to someone you trust. Sharing it lessons its grip and helps separate you from your inner critic.
- Isolate the negative inner critical thoughts before they add another layer to your story and identity.
- Develop an intimacy with the inner critic. It’s an opportunity to experience compassion for yourself and others.
- Pay more attention to your desires than to your inner critic’s voice even if it feels uncomfortable.
- Remember, the inner critics job is to make us feel bad and stuck in negativity. This is not who we are! Focus on what is good and positive. The inner critic cannot survive in a positive environment.
One of my favourite and most useful books is a little gem by Richard D. Carson called Taming your Gremlin. It’s a short read, full of advice and methods on recognizing and dealing with the negative voices that stop us from enjoying ourselves.
Women often talk to me about having a lack of self-confidence, comparing themselves to others and feeling not good enough, all of which can be the workings of the inner critic.
You CAN tame the inner critic.
Are you wrestling with your inner critic? If you are and would like to find a way to quite that voice and start enjoying yourself more, fill out my contact form to set up your Ideas & Insights Session.