18 Nov Inner Critic Voice
Inner Critic Voice.
Please just turn the noise down – just a bit?!
That inner critic voice unfortunately doesn’t have a ”mute” button or at least a “standby” mode that works automatically when we want it to! It’s simply not enough to say “thanks, but I’ve got to go now – see you later (…much, much later)”
The inner critic voice is a nagger, seemingly hiding and eager, ruminating, being judgemental and critical. I don’t know what you think, but it drives me nuts, makes me crazy, at times anxious and can make me feel a tad worthless – you get the message, I’m sure.
By all accounts, although none of this seems very helpful, the GOOD news (if you can call it that) is that pretty much ALL of us have this “friendly” inner critic voice. I put “friendly” (in the lightest way possible), because essentially its primary job is to protect and keep us safe. Ironic, but true!!
Often the inner critic voice isn’t kind, supportive nor compassionate. I used the nagger before – “you could have done that better!”, “why did you say that?”, you always do the same thing over and over again, you’re an idiot”….. Not kind, not compassionate and for sure, does not in the vast majority of cases, actually reflect the reality of a given situation. I would even say that it gives a distorted perception of reality.
But too much of the repetitive “protective” noise from the inner critic voice can lead to low energy vibrations, negativity, worry, stress, esteem and confidence issues, fear, misery, suffering and so forth.
Job description of the inner critic voice – can we set some limits and boundaries?
If possible, the job description of the inner critic voice could become more defined, and dare I say it structured and better managed by us, individually. How the heck do (can) you do that, some may ask?
My first go to is self-awareness, observation, and sensory feelings. Knowing that’s its coming, making its way in my thinking patterns and feeling it in my body are strong clues. With caution, I am aware that it is not going to directly give me the answer(s) or solution(s) I need.
The inner critic voice has been formed and trained (subconsciously) to behave and react the way it does from our early childhoods and throughout our lives to protect us for survival, install coping mechanisms and on a few occasions act as a cheerleader!! Yep, cheerleader!!
“When you’re in your lane, there’s no traffic.”
So what’s the upside? What can be done that can help appease the inner critic voice?
Acknowledgment and/or befriending
- Its, going to show up! Accept it as a FACT of life!
- Find ways to acknowledge it, tame it, converse with it in a constructive way. We want to keep our minds, emotions, bodies moving forward with higher vibrations that will in turn support our wellbeing. So, I suggest talk to it. “Hi, I know you’re here again, what’s up this time?
- Treat the inner critic voice as a third party. Its not the “I” the “me”. Its an “it or “you”. Give it a name (maybe something humorous) and always refer to it with that identity.
- Thank it for its protection! But tell it that “I am learning, I hear the points you are making, and I am doing the best I can now. I’m working it out”. The inner critic voice doesn’t have to be on high alert constantly (nagging!)
- Change is inevitable – nothing is static, so be present. All is ok in this very moment. Look to the future—your desires and positive evolution with self-compassion, understanding and acceptance.
Other activities, interests (creativity, physical activity, social interaction)
- Do what brings you happiness and joy!! Dance crazily, listen to music, cook, draw, paint, read, write, photography, learn to play an instrument, do sports, learn something new, have the date nights…
- Get outside – breathe, walk, run, admire nature, see the awe around us, have a picnic in a park, volunteer in the community for a good cause…
- Connect with friends, loved ones, meet new friends…… listen well and attentively to others and find those folks that allow you to feel heard, can give you space, have curiosity in you and where you feel respected.
Ask yourself what’s truly important to you and your values?
- Look at your achievements and the challenges you’ve faced and overcome
- Feel proud of how far you’ve come
- Laugh at yourself (with all the cheekiness you can muster)
- Acknowledge who you’ve helped and the positive difference you’re making to others
- Take time to identify and embrace your values
- Have hope and trust in your journey
The lists can go on and on. And we are the cooks in our own kitchens! We have the ingredients and resources to make some wonderful recipes that our inner critic voices would enjoy – I’m sure!!
And the last thing I want to say now is: