3 Ways To Kick Your Inner Critic To The Curb…
Gremlins + Bratz Dolls
Growing up, I never felt smart enough.
Next to my high achieving sisters everything for me was just that little bit harder…
(And of course being dyslexic didn’t exactly help.)
Later, as a young, ambitious freshman enrolled at Emerson College my confidence took another knock when my heavy Noo Yawk accent and I were laughed out of the studio: ‘you sound like a cartoon character!’
… And my hopes of being a Broadcast Journalist were squashed.
Now, all that ultimately led to my becoming a qualified therapist and coach—and my life infinitely changed for the better.
Every so often that feeling of inadequacy rears its ugly head—and I have moments of crippling self-doubt.
Maybe you can relate?
>> ‘You’re just not good enough…’
>> ‘Who are you kidding? At this stage of life?! You’re way too old…’
>> ‘No-one’s really interested in anything I have to say.’
Yup, I’ll bet that good ol’ Inner Critic just loves to whisper its sweet nothings in your ear—shaking your confidence and making you feel… irrelevant.
Stronger than those 4 other energy blocks (Outer Blocks, Limiting Beliefs, Disempowering Assumptions or False Interpretations) our Inner Critic is mighty hard to silence.
And it runs a helluva lot deeper than the others.
In fact, author and revolutionary thinker Lou Tice gave it a name—and put it far better than I ever could:
I am Fear
I am the menace that lurks in the paths of life, never visible
to the eye but sharply felt in the heart.
I am the father of despair, the brother of procrastination, the enemy of progress, the tool of tyranny.
Born of ignorance and nursed on misguided thought, I have
darkened more hopes, stifled more ambitions, shattered more ideals and prevented more accomplishments than history could record.
Like the changing chameleon, I assume many disguises.
I masquerade as caution
I am sometimes known as doubt or worry.
But whatever I’m called, I am still fear, the obstacle of achievement.
I know no master but one; its name is Understanding.
I have no power but what the human mind gives me, and I
vanish completely when the light of
Understanding reveals the facts as they are for I am
So, what can you do to deal with your Inner Critic (or banish your Gremlin, as Lou Tice called it) from your life, once and for all?
Well, the first thing to remember is: don’t try to suppress your Inner Critic. Ignoring it is not the same as dealing with it (and it just gives it permission to pop up at the most challenging moments in your life.)
Instead, you need to recognize it, learn from it, and leave your Inner Critic behind.
And here are 3 ways I help my clients do just that:
- Identify Your Inner Critic/Gremlin.
Give it a name (but don’t choose the name of someone you know). Then, draw, create, or find a representation of it.
And why does this work?
Well, once you can see your Inner Critic as separate to yourself, you’ll have an ability to disregard it—and not allow it to own you.
- Record Your Inner Critic In Real Time.
Try not to push it away. Instead, over a week or two, listen to it and ask yourself: ‘If your thoughts had words, what would they be saying?’
Identify those common words, or themes. Do any come up repeatedly? Do they sound like someone from your past who was critical of you?
- Face Up To Your Inner Critic.
And ask yourself…
‘How would your success be different if your Inner Critic was quietened?’ *
‘What will you do next time _____ shows up for you?’
* Remember, this is not the same as suppressing your Inner Critic! No, this asks how life would be different, if you could calmly recognize its voice—and had the control to leave it behind.
Now, you may find, these exercises are not easy to do on your own. For many of my clients, it takes weeks of soul searching and real deep inner-work to get a strong sense of who your Inner Critic is—before you can even think about outing it.
Because here’s the truth…
Many of us don’t even realize when our Inner Critic takes over—or how damaging it may be to live with this voice, that slowly picks us apart.
It’s become instinctual.
But, with time and care, the exercises above WILL help you break those destructive patterns of behavior…
Kick your Inner Critic to the curb….
And regain your control over your thoughts—and this next glorious stage of life.
P.S. Remember Rebecca? Yep, she’s my Inner Critic, my Gremlin. If you’d like to see how I deal with her—and dig even deeper into ‘outing’ your Inner Critic in the process—you can read about her here.