Most of us don’t talk about the worst things our inner critic says. Because of that, we don’t hear rebuttals or learn that other people – people we admire because they seem so confident – hear the same cruel and demanding voice in their heads, too.
The inner critic wants to protect us from embarrassment, failure, rejection, or pain, but its methods are counterproductive and irrational.
“You’ll never be as (smart, beautiful, talented, etc.) as so-and-so.” “Remember what you did last week? (Last year? Ten years ago?)” “Nobody will miss you if you’re gone.” “They’re all going to think you’re (insert worst fear here).”
While the inner critic believes it’s in your corner, it also creates insecurity. When this emotion shows up, so does blame. Something outside needs to change – my boss, my spouse, my kids, my co-workers, myself…
I’m feeling badly…something is wrong and needs to change.
But insecurity (catabolic emotion) isn’t wrong and doesn’t have to be changed, and confidence (anabolic emotion) comes and goes.
We’ve been taught to resist catabolic emotion. Of course – we don’t enjoy the way it feels! But the more we listen to the critic to push harder and strive more to get over it, the worse it gets.
said, “An NFL kicker told me some of his best kicks happened when he felt the least confident.”
Thought ebbs and flows. Energy ebbs and flows. Feel the emotion. Just kick.
When we see the inner critic for what it is – a demanding voice that just wants us to be safe – we can opt out and plug into inherent inner wisdom.
Wisdom brings peace and calm. It shows a simpler, easier, and more authentic way to move forward.
Listen, the inner critic will likely never go away, but neither will inner wisdom.
Saying, “Thank you,” to the critic and accepting it’s in your corner makes it easier to follow-up with, “But no thank you. Today I want to hear wisdom.”
Reflect: Where have you been listening to your inner critic? What does your inner wisdom have to say in the matter?