Have you got to know your inner critic?
Most of us are under attack – from part of ourselves often known as the inner critic. The old adage ‘you are your own worst enemy‘ really is true. If you find yourself saying any of these things to yourself – your critic is in action:
- I can’t believe you made such a stupid comment.
- You’d better not let that happen again.
- You are so fat no one will ever be interested in you.
- You will never be a success, so forget it.
- I told you you didn’t have a chance.
- What makes you think anyone cares about you at all?
- No one will ever take you seriously.
As we become more aware of the part of us that acts as judge and jury it really can be unpleasant – we wouldn’t accept friends or family talking to us this way. What would you do if a friend regularly told you that you would never make it? Yet we believe these attacks are the unvarnished truth just because it comes from part of ourselves that we've not carefully looked at.
The critic can be hard to tune into at first and daily journalling can help. But once you get tuned in, you can hear the voice more readily and really hear the pretty awful things you tell yourself. The support of a coach and friends can be key here, giving you the confidence to move on through and to find new possibilities for thinking and acting.
For example, if your critic tells you 'no one will ever take you seriously' there is a strong possibility that you won't talk up in meetings. So, no one knows what you think about a subject, they never get the chance to value your contribution. When you start to share your thoughts with colleagues nine times out of 10 your contribution is valued - and you can start to undermine your own critic.
This is a lifetimes work - but worthwhile. What will you do today to start to undermine your inner critic?