We all have an inner critic, often we have more than one. Each one may say something different, but it’s the negative self talk and limiting beliefs that you use to define yourself. Who you are and who you’re not. It’s the voice that tells you, you’re not good enough. It tells you, you need to keep working harder and harder, but you’ll never see any recognition or success from your hard work. Do you see it’s the same scenario that plays itself out over and over again? It’s the same play, just new actors playing the roles in a new scene, but it’s all the same. Without understanding it as a voice outside yourself, you buckle down even more only to have it come up again… and again. It’s exhausting, yet you don’t know what to do.
First, know that the voice telling you these negative thoughts are not you at your core.
You are more than the negative self talk. Think of the child inside. The joyful child that spun around like an airplane on the front yard… not concerned if someone was going to think you were autistic; ate snow… without a care of how dirty it could be; drank from a cup your friend just sipped out of… who thinks of germs at that age? That’s it! Who thinks of these things at that age? We are given “baggage” to hold along the way that was never ours to begin with. Often it’s done with our best interest at heart, even to keep us safe and free from harm, but it’s just one bag being passed on from one to another.
What did you want to be as a child? Is that who you are now? Were you given the support and tools to become who you wanted, or who others wanted you to be? Our current education system is an antiquated model serving an old paradigm that valued the creation of an obedient labor force. It continues in its attempt to mold minds within a standardized format, limiting both teachers and students creativity.
Side note: I see a future in education where individual interests and talents are observed and cultivated, where creativity is valued above all else.
In the meantime, we all have these bags we were handed. They were given to us 30, 40, 50 years ago and have become a part of us for so long that we can barely uncover what’s beneath all the baggage. Without a conscious effort to make a change, most people haven’t upgraded their definition of who they are… unless there is some sort of catastrophic event- an illness, an accident, the death of a close friend or relative. Life says to you, “we can do this the easy way or the hard way… you decide.” But do you really want to wait for a catastrophic event to happen in order to live your life?
So, what do you do with all those bags? Do you silence the inner critic or do you embrace it? Where do I start? First, as I said before, realize that the negative self talk is a voice outside of you. I invite you to embrace the voice and confront her head on, giving her a name and personality. The steps in this article are straightforward and help you dig deep into who you are and who you are meant to be. To paraphrase:
- Understand the Role of the Inner Critic – What is the purpose of the negative self talk?
- Recognize the Voice of the Inner Critic – Learn to distinguish who is talking to you.
- Evaluate the Word of the Inner Critic – Is what the inner critic telling me true?
- Counter the Inner Critic – Challenge what the inner critic is telling you with a new perspective.
- Silence the Inner Critic – Limit the strong hold the inner critic has on you by taking it outside of you. Use positive affirmations you design for yourself to replace the old ones that were given to you.
Another important step is quieting the mind to allow you to separate from all the should have, could have, would haves that go through your mind. A good friend and mentor, Rachel Horton White has a guided meditation that works to get at the core of limiting beliefs the inner critic is telling you.
Need more help to recognize the inner critic? This video by Rachel Horton White expands upon this concept. I would also recommend reaching out to her personally!
Wishing you love on your own journey,