Hello there – Do you have an Inner Critic? I know I certainly do. Which of you has more fun?
A recent pattern I’ve noticed is that of helping my clients to release themselves from the fear of their inner critic (IC). Which has led me to do a ton of reading and research so that I can best help clients.
We all have an IC and we know how it feels to have one. Mostly we ‘try’ to ignore or battle it, wasting energy to try and either ignore it or push it away.
A Radical Thought
Here’s a What If? Instead of pushing or trying to ignore it, with all the wasted energy involved, as the IC is still going to have a field day with you, what if you switched your thinking and realised that your IC is actually trying to help you? Okay, maybe not in a helpful way just now, but the intention to help or support is present.
When we create a connection with our IC, we create our own pathway of hope; we enhance our self-trust; we grow in self-confidence. We manage our Selves better in the many areas of our lives. We begin to live with conscious awareness of our core values and strengths.
Simple Exercise (a very basic introduction)
Bring to mind a typical personal or professional situation where you are aware that your IC is having a real go at you. Perhaps it’s deciding whether to go for a promotion. Your IC let’s loose a torrent (or so it may feel) of criticism, the general tone of which is “YOU can’t do that job; who do you think YOU are to be even thinking of it…..”
Here’s what you can do:
- Leave aside your technology. Give yourself some quiet private time; take a couple of deep breaths. Allow yourself to notice where in your body you feel the fear and tension. Score it on a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being highest.
- Notice that the inner criticiser is trying to get your attention.
- This time, instead of battling with it, simply say ‘hello’. Create a connection so you can get to know each other.
- Let your IC know that you are aware it is concerned. Here’s the thing: your inner criticiser/ doubter is always worried. That’s its role – to protect you.
- Now, ask what it’s worried about. Simply listen to what comes. Allow your IC to tell you what ‘danger’ it is trying to protect you from. Even if you feel you’re making up the statement, that’s fine. The words are coming from you.
- Without judgement, listen to what your IC is telling you. Engage in an adult-to-adult conversation together. No yes-but games.
- When you’ve finished, and know what your IC is concerned about, you now have information that you didn’t have before.
In this example, what started off as “you couldn’t do that job” often turns into “I’m afraid you don’t have necessary skills”. Which are very different statements. You can do something about the skills, if necessary.
The key is to track down the worry instead of reacting to or fearing the attack – now do you see how this shift in the relationship creates more respect and equality between you.
By the way, I know this approach may feel weird. But trust me here – this is important work you’re doing. I’ve done this process with many clients, to wonderful success. And of course, your IC is not a separate entity from you – it’s simply a part of you that’s trying to protect you. I’d love your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the comments below.
I hosted a couple of workshops on this topic recently; here are some of the comments from the guests:
“That was a phenomenal workshop – life-affirming, positive, inspiring, safe, reassuring. Lots of new insights. Eye-opening. Have you any idea how brilliant you are??”
“It is a great opportunity to find out ways of dealing with the inner critic instead of wasting energy on fighting with it.”
This is only a very short intro to connecting with your IC. Come to one of my IC workshops – details over on www.trudyarthurs.com . I will also shortly be offering this workshop as an online programme – details on the way.
Thankyou! With love, T xx
© Dancing Leopards Ltd 2017