Yes, revisiting that old topic of the inner critic, that nagging voice inside that tells you all the bad things about you, all the irreparable damage you’ve caused in the lives of everyone you know, and don’t know, I mean, the whole entire world probably, and how stupid your career choices were and oh ya, your hair looks funny…
The inner critic stands as judge, jury, executioner. The inner critic speaks with authority. And we just listen.
Now previously, when I’ve confronted my inner critic, I usually treat it as if I’m going into battle. And honestly, if you look at much of the literature out there on the inner critic, you see phrases like like taming your inner critic or silencing your inner critic, but that never seemed to work for me.
It seemed so…harsh. And I didn’t like the idea of going to battle with myself. Because I don’t think any part of me is bad…misguided maybe, in pain maybe, immature, but not bad.
So, what if the inner critic is just an uneducated part of us that is actually trying to protect us? What if our inner critic remembers how we suffered when we were little, and simply wants to protect us from shame and abandonment and hurt?
So, maybe it worked when we were 5 or 15. Maybe it was good to play small so that we weren’t abused or didn’t stress out anxious parents.
But now—hopefully you are safe and don’t need the protection of the inner critic. Hopefully, now you can reply on positive, rather than negative reinforcement. Hopefully, now you can flood yourself with positive affirmations and self-love and lots of self-care.
But we can’t forget the inner critic…she needs love too. She needs to be thanked for all the work she did to keep you safe. Because look—you’re here. You’re a miracle!
So, if the inner critic comes back for a little visit, throw your arms around her, hug her, thank her, invite her in for tea and cookies, and tell her she can go on vacation; you’ve got it now…