The focus: Your inner critic is that little voice in your head that says that you're not good enough, you can't do it, and you should just stop trying.
The opportunity: Though it often seems like the loudest voice in your head, the inner critic can be silenced at last and understood as something less than your best and truest self.
The solution: Use these 4 tips to put this annoying little "helper" in place and become a more confident and capable you.
Tip 1.) Stop the War
Let's face it. Most of us treat ourselves worse than we would treat our enemies. But why, and more importantly, what can we do about it? A famous conversation between a group of western spiritual teachers and the Dalai Lama a few years ago revealed that not every culture in the world shares this problem. As the western teachers were talking about the concept of "self-loathing," the Dalai Lama became confused and had to ask his interpreters repeatedly for clarification. He couldn't understand what this "self-loathing" was, and why we would have such a destructive view of ourselves. When he finally got clear, his response was a deep sense of sorrow and compassion for people that could be so separated from themselves in these negative and isolating ways. That should be our response too. We have to stop the war inside ourselves if we want to live a better and more fulfilling life.
Tip 2.) Don't believe the hype
The inner critic is a complicated beast, but it's essentially that voice in your head that says things like:
"You're not good enough."
"Who do you think you are anyway?"
"You deserve to be unhappy."
"No one understands me."
"I am not ever going to get better."
"Same sh%t, different day."
We have to stop the war inside ourselves if we want to live a better and more fulfilling life.
If you're feeling down in the dumps after reading these statements, you're not alone (I'm right there with you at some level). It could be that these words simply resonate with the messages of your own inner critic. If that's the case, then welcome to the club! There are millions of people just like you, though your inner critic would love for you to believe otherwise. The good news is that your inner critic is really just old news, hype about who and what you are that comes from the past. Sometimes we inherit these messages from our parents, friends, co-workers, or we invent them ourselves. Wherever they come from, it's time to put the hype aside and turn the tables toward a better and more honest version of who and what you really are.
Tip 3.) Unleash your inner champion
Believe it or not, your inner critic is actually trying to help you, sort of. It's attempting to keep you safe, secure, and protected from possible threats of all kinds. Embarrassment, social sabotage, psychological damage, and even physical threats are all on its radar. But, things get toxic when these good intentions become judgmental and overinflated. We live in a highly critical society, and we judge each other harshly for mistakes and minor failures that are inevitable to being human. It happens everyday to good people we know and love (and everyone else too). Because we know this, we feel afraid of being judged or criticized ourselves, so we build a fortress of thoughts to fight these fears, hoping that we might stay safe and secure, hidden away from any possible threat to our true sense of self. Living this way is living small, and you deserve better - we all do.
The good news is that your inner critic is really just old news, hype about who and what you are that comes from the past.
After you stop the inner war and let go of the hype, then you're ready to tap into your inner champion. This is the you that you know you are, the one you left behind, the one you forgot about, the one you underestimated until now. Pick up your dreams, reconnect with what matters most to you, and play by a new set of rules. Challenge your old ideas about what is possible for you and take risks. Become unstoppable by listening only to the voice inside that wants you to succeed, to be happy, to be more of who you really are. And don't look back, except to help the next person behind you to do the same thing.
Tip 4.) Look for the Good
Your inner critic is looking for what's wrong, what's missing, what's impossible. Turn your world upside down and look for what's right, what's here now, what's possible in everyone and everything. Look for the good in yourself and others from the moment you get up in the morning to the moment your head hits the pillow. Don't settle for anything less. And if you can't do that, remember you're not alone. Avoid judging yourself when you fall short, because we all do sometimes. The important thing is to keep moving forward and never give up on who you are. You are worth it, but don't take my word for it. Just ask the person who's been worth waiting for all this time. You.
If you would like help in overcoming your own inner critic, CONTACT me to schedule a free 30 minute coaching session to see if coaching with me could be right for you.
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