I started to write this for you based on all that I know and have read and have said to clients over the years and the craziest thing happened.
I went down the “rabbit hole.”
All because of Google, heaven help me. And my Inner Critic started in.
I started to look at all that had been written on the topic, and there’s so much and (most of it) is quite good and then She was right there beside me. Today I’m naming her Ursula (the Sea Witch of Little Mermaid fame) because she’s seductive in that manipulative sort of evil smiling way and wears a lot of black.
She masquerades as me and said, “Just a thought here…I can’t do this. Other people have already written so well about this topic. I should just copy and paste the links and people can read the articles themselves because I have nothing to say of any value; it’s all been said before, and for sure better than you can say it so why bother. (Ursula tends to speak in run on sentences.)
And I can’t put an image of her here because she reminded me that would be a copyright violation and Disney might sue me, and on and on and on…
Tidbits of wisdom and practical tools
So I took my own advice – and wrote down the thoughts above and shared them with you (“Are you sure? Super-vulnerable”, she adds) because here’s what I DO know.
Acknowledging, writing, naming, humor and (sometimes) sharing helps.
As in, “Oh hi again, Ursula. I know what you’re doing here, you slippery, wily, mean girl. Have your say, bring it, I can handle it.”
Understand the Inner Critic has a valuable job – to keep you safe and secure
Even though this wacky negativity doesn’t seem at all related to safety and security…we are wired this way and it isn’t our fault.
Growth, change and leaving our comfort zones – it’s scary stuff. What if….? Worst case Scenarios. Anxiety is distressing. So we avoid it, courtesy of our Inner Critic, who generally discourages risk-taking.
1) Acknowledge your Inner Critic, and name her/him if you wish
2) Thank her for her service, express appreciation and ask if she can be a bit more balanced in her feedback or at least not mean, condescending or rude. In fact, sometimes she even tells lies.
3) Write or share with a trusted person the thoughts. They are easier to evaluate on paper than when they dance in your mind. A friend will help you explore the Truth and be an appropriate Encourager.
4) Remember. There have been times you took a risk to grow, however small, and the feeling of success was glorious and inspiring and worth it.
Please share your thoughts, feedback or successes with me in the comments below. How do YOU manage your inner critical voice?