Are you friends with your inner critic?
We spend so much time in our own heads. Listening to that voice that is trying to keep us safe but also stopping us from moving forward.
It’s that inner critic that is neither good nor bad but not necessarily helpful either. My inner voice is called Vera. She’s a sweet little old lady who does her best to keep me safe. Trying to stop me from making a mistake, making a fool of myself or getting hurt.
The problem with Vera is she focuses on the negative. All the bad things that could happen. Which would be great if we were still living in caves and my focus was on basic survival. However, that is not life for me today.
The great thing is, we have the power to either turn up our inner critic’s volume or put them on mute.
I know that there are times that without realising it my inner critic, Vera, is literally shouting at me and I feel powerless. It’s usually when I’m tired, because my kids have kept me awake at night, or when something hasn’t gone according to plan and I’m feeling a little vulnerable.
It’s in those moments, that I need to make a choice. I can choose to just listen and accept the consequences of a negative spin, triggered by Vera. Or I can choose to do something about it by taking control.
I choose the latter.
I can now apply a number of different techniques, like distraction and journalling, to take back control and decide what my next best move is.
You see, we have thousands of thoughts popping into our heads regularly throughout our day. Some of which are helpful. Some of which are not. But which ones do we notice?
Do you find you pay more attention to the ones that encourage you to go explore life? Or, does your attention focus on the ones that help you to remain small and hidden?
The thing is, we do have the power to decide. We can choose to focus on what will help us or what will hold us back. So, do you want to turn up the volume of your inner cheerleader or your inner critic? It’s up to you.
Either way, it’s about becoming self-aware, which is a daily practice for me.
I invite you to become aware of how much time you spend in your own head. Give yourself the opportunity to understand what is really going on for you and how it is holding you back rather than helping you to live life.
Let me help you get started.
Name that voice
I named my inner critic Vera so that I could see more easily when my brain was trying to hijack me. It helps me to differentiate between the thoughts that are helpful and the ones that are not.
It’s then about being aware of that inner dialogue and the thoughts that pop into your head. This can be so powerful. Once you are aware of when it is happening and what it is saying you can then do something about it.
I invite you to get curious. Don’t ignore what is going on but try to understand why. Where is it coming from? What has triggered it? Why has it been triggered?
Know what’s real
Just because you’ve thought it doesn’t make it true. You know what is real and what is made up. Be honest with yourself.
Change the story
Then you can start to make a change. With practice, and over time, you can start to change those thoughts. You will become quicker at catching when you’re giving your inner critic too much attention.
What you think is very powerful. It can propel you forward or hold you back. It’s up to you which route you take. You can choose to play safe and stay within the comforts of what you know. Or, you can be brave and go for it.
Are you ready to make friends with your inner critic?
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