My inner critic can sound like my father, my scary sixth-grade teacher, or my “mean girl” Brownie troop. She lives to relentlessly berate me. Her purpose is to keep me safe from saber tooth tigers, which I think is a bit extreme. Call me crazy. Her words vary, but her core message has a theme: “You are not enough. Don’t venture out of this cave! You’ll die!” Somewhat dramatic, but you get the idea.
I have learned a few things over the years. The most important fact is that my inner critic lies. And so does yours. She will try to convince you of “her truth” but the fact of the matter is she is an incessant audiotape of all the fears, hurts and utter meanness you have experienced in life. She repeats those parents, teachers, employers, and frenemy taunts that you experienced when you were young and/or vulnerable.
You cannot silence your inner critic. She is a part of your history. But there are things you can do to make friends with this scared, little girl in your head.
Notice her words. Be curious, like a scientist. Pause and refuse to get hooked into her words or tone of voice. When you hear her, imagine smiling paternally and thanking her for her concern. I like to imagine patting her on the head and giving her a cookie; a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie. You can then let her message dissipate like a cloud or, personally, I like to play a little game.
Flip the Rant. I have discovered that my inner critic is usually incorrect with her statements. I write it down and then reverse her rant. For example, “You can’t run a business! What do you know? Are you crazy? Get back to your corporate job!” I notice this familiar diatribe from her and I flip it: “I can run a business. I have done it before, I know a lot of things and I am not crazy.” Pat, pat on her sweet, little curly head. She knows I am not going to get hooked so she heads back to her corner nibbling her chocolate chip cookie.
Let her be your Inner Coach. She can motivate you. Smile patronizingly at her and prove her words wrong. The more you play this little game with her, the easier it gets to use her information as the incentive to get you moving towards your dreams. You can take her vicious retorts, flip it, and get a victorious rush when you prove her wrong.
Embrace her. Trying to squash her down only leads to thick, dark depressive days. Become acquainted with her instead. Start with not hating her. Turtle steps, my friend. She is a library full of words you’ve heard or thought as a child. Learn from them. Don’t fight this information. You can use your powers for good.
“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~ Louise Hay
CALL TO ACTION: What has your Inner Critic been berating you about? Let me help you flip that message around. Schedule a 30-min complimentary Breakthrough Session here: https://karendarrin.acuityscheduling.com/ or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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