In my practice, I work with clients looking to either up-level their corporate career OR make the transition into entrepreneurship.
But a specialty area for me is helping people overcome feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty so they can do the things they want from a place of ease and confidence.
So, quieting the inner critic is key to that.
The inner critic is that negative internal voice that accuses and demeans and says super nasty things to us.
And that keeps us playing small or shrinking back from our dreams because our inner critic has convinced us we’re not enough.
So, in this episode, I wanted to talk about where the inner critic comes from. And why it does what it does.
Because I believe we can learn to sooth our inner critic by first understanding why it’s doing the things it does. After all, it’s an inner critic. It’s not external. It’s PART of you.
So there has to be a good reason it keeps doing what it’s doing. Let’s work to understand it.
To learn why it flares up.
And what we can do about it.
Sound good? Let’s dive in.
Let’s start with what triggers our inner critic.
Usually, it’s triggered by an event or an interaction that our brain classifies as disappointing, painful, or threatening.
And that makes our brain serve up a thought about that event or interaction that basically blames YOU. It tries to convince you that this threatening thing is happening or about to happen because of some defect you have:
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of intelligence
- Lack of skills
- Lack of likeability
- And the list goes on.
It’s our biggest accuser.
Your inner critic might say things like:
“I can’t believe you did that.”
“You’re so stupid / irresponsible / fill in the blank.”
“You can’t do it.”
“You are SUCH a loser.”
“It’s all your fault.”
“You just didn’t try hard enough.”
Most of us are well acquainted with that voice.
I know I am. For sure.
So we know it’s triggered by a potentially disappointing or threatening situation.
Well, it’s kind of like those scary movies I used to love in junior high.
The enemy is coming from INSIDE the house.
Your inner critic isn’t coming from outside.
You can’t shut down contact.
You can’t label it as toxic and stay away.
It’s there inside your brain.
It’s ALWAYS there.
So, if it’s going to be your constant companion, best to try to understand it. Maybe even make friends with it. And most certainly, to learn how to soothe it.
So it can calm down. And stop trying to scare you to death.
But more on that later.
First, let’s look at WHY your inner critic does its thing. Because once you know that, you might actually start to feel a little compassion for it.
It comes down to three reasons.
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