1. It has a place in our lives.
2. It can’t really be gotten rid of.
3. There’s a better way.
Let me explain.
I’ve had a lot of experience with the Inner Critic, both personally (don’t we all?) and in dialoguing with other people’s Inner Critics as part of my voice dialogue and coaching practice.
The Inner Critic — or self-criticism as you may know it — is that discouraging internal voice that criticises you when you make a mistake, or not reaching a standard you set yourself, no matter how high or practically unreachable that standard may be.
We ALL have an Inner Critic in one shape or form because we all have some sort of rules set for ourselves. The Inner Critic is in charge of upholding those rules. For example if you have an image of yourself as always having to be there for people, each time you let someone down your Critic would snipe at you.
Some Inner Critics are louder than others and it depends on the type of environment you grew up in. Generally — the more critical people you were surrounded by, the stronger your Inner Critic developed.
Now the first instinct may be, once we become aware of this voice in our head, to get rid of it. It’s uncomfortable and often very destructive so WE-WANT-IT-OUT!
Harsh critical thoughts are strongly linked to anxiety and depression, which isn’t surprising based on how harsh the Critic often sounds, so it’s in our interest to do something about it.
And a quick search on the internet will yield many tips on how to “get rid of” your Inner Critic. It’s portrayed as this terrible character who is fundamentally evil and is only there to make our lives unbearable.
I won’t deny it, I felt this way when I first became aware that I had an Inner Critic, many years ago. I was furious at it and just wanted it gone.
And then in a voice dialogue session I could hear what my Inner Critic’s views and perspectives, and most of all concerns, were.
I realised that there’s much more to it than just being mean. And that fighting it is not the way.
A vicious sounding Critic may be just like an angry dog that looks like it’s come for you straight from hell, but if you think about it, it’s probably only grown aggressive because it’s been locked in a cage, or tied to a chain for way too long. …
Our mindset is not something we come born with, or something our parents install and we’re forever at the effect of.
Of course, our childhood experiences have an impact on our personality and that includes our mindset, but we now know through neuroscience that we’re always able to change and grow, it literally is up to us.
I like this definition of mindset — “a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations”.
Mindset is like a lens through which we choose to see the world and ourselves.
Consciously cultivating a positive mindset will help you interpret tough situations in your life in such a way that you will get through them in one piece, and dare I say even stronger than before. You’ll be able to see opportunities in every situation, and not dwell on what you can’t control.
We CAN grow through crises. Actually, I think we either grow or wither.
We must ask ourselves which would we rather?
I say ‘cultivate’ a mindset, because that’s what it takes — conscious effort and perseverance. Mindset is a set of mental habits, and each habit needs some time (and repetition) to get embedded.
A coaching client of mine recently shared in a session that when we first started working together, she didn’t think much of focusing on changing her self-talk and not believing every thought she had. And now, only a few months later, she’s down with it, because she’s experienced the impact.
Back when we started, all her negative thoughts seemed true to her. And she was getting the results in line with that.
But that’s only because she never questioned her thoughts before. Once she started to, with my help in our sessions and carrying on on her own, she noticed over time that questioning happened automatically. …
Courage is a prerequisite for personal growth.
I heard this quote by Paulo Coelho years ago, and it still rings just as true.
Personal growth can be scary and uncomfortable. It means examining your life — your circumstance, habits, tendencies and everyday reactions and asking — is this making me feel how I want to feel, is this what I want? Do I feel like I’m living my purpose? (If the answer you get is NO, this lets you know you need to do something differently.)
But it’s also the only way to live in alignment with our natural process….of always growing, expanding, progressing, and feel happy at every new stage of life. I believe we cannot be happy if we aren’t willing to grow. …
The Oxford dictionary defines emotional intelligence as:
“the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”
To be emotionally intelligent then is to know, understand and express your emotions, whilst not being at the affect of them (their victim), and apply that skill in your relationships.
It is widely believed that emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success, so a skill well worth mastering.
Below I outline a few principles that can help you with this.
1. EMOTIONS WANT TO BE FELT.
It’s important to understand this. Repressing emotions doesn’t work. If you’ve ever heard of “whatever you resist, persists” — I find it’s true. If you push them away without consideration, they will come back more distorted and damaging than if you dealt with them when they first appeared. …
Do you ever stand in your way, not moving forward, and not sure why this is so?
It seems like there’s an invisible wall holding you back, nothing you can quite put your finger on, but you just don’t get to do what you know you need to be doing?
There’s something resisting the forward movement. Some part of you believes that moving forward is dangerous, and it’s doing all it can to stop you in your tracks.
Of course there’s other parts of you that want you to move, progress, take action. They want new great things for you.
And there you have it….internal conflict. …