Our inner critic’s are the voices in our head that say, you’re not good enough, strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough, fill in the blank with your personal top “your not good enough” message. They tell us: Why didn’t you? You’re foolish! You should have! Be careful or you’ll get hurt! Pull yourself together man! Etc..
We all have inner critics with differing messages both in frequency and intensity. They are the drivers of our limiting beliefs and enjoy wreaking havoc in our hearts and minds – robbing us of our ability to be unique and creative. They restrain us from stretching ourselves, trying new things, from growing and becoming stronger and more resilient.
“There is nether either good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare
We have become so accustom to these critics – most of the time we don’t even recognize their influence on us. They have been around since our early years and now live in the shadows whispering in our ear and influencing and guiding our actions and behavior. So how do we silence our inner critics? How do we in the words of Donald Trump tell them “YOU’RE FIRED!!!”?
The first step is to take time to identify them. As you are moving through your day and suddenly you feel your energy being zapped, you start questioning yourself, or you feel stuck – these are signs that a critic is at play. Because they are buried in our habits, thoughts, and feelings we need to slow down and listen for them. Who are they? How do they influence us? What is happening at the time we hear their voice? What is their underlying message?
Awareness is key to acknowledging our inner critics. Take an inventory of your critics by objectively looking at yourself. Allow yourself the time to dig deep and uncover the vulnerable emotions that surface when they appear. Identification allows us to see when their shadowed voices appear and cause us to question ourselves. As you identify them, name them. Most likely these are people from our past – our parents, siblings, teachers, and old friends; sometimes we realize they are individuals currently in our lives.
“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” – Lisa Hayes
We need to stop the tsunami of negative messages that we’ve been telling ourselves throughout our entire lives. Tell that parental/teacher/sibling voice in our heads that the messages aren’t true. These inner critics are no longer useful – they are limiting our potential! We cannot allow the critics to keep us hostage in our past! It’s time to take away their power and regain our own.
Here’s some thoughts on how: Tell yourself that you do belong – old childhood memories of hurt or feeling dismissed when we were trying to be included or fit in need to be extinguished. Remind yourself that you are strong – firing the critics won’t allow them to nit pick and over analyze your weaknesses any more. Take a mirror to your fears. Are they founded in the truths of today? Or were they developed when you were a kid and didn’t have the knowledge and resources in how to manage life’s challenges? I believe that the majority of our fears are unfounded and deeply rooted in the experiences of our youth.
This won’t be an easy process. It will take time, focus, awareness and work. We need to believe that we are capable, worthy, and deserving of the changes we wish to make in our lives.
It is time to tell our inner critic’s YOU’RE FIRED!!