Do you have a harsh inner critic?
Well I’ve been doing more than a bit of work lately on “Calming the Harsh Inner Critic” and I’ve noticed something;
“How we talk to ourselves, mostly unconsciously, when we are busy, stressed and overwhelmed, is far, far worse, in my experience, than how we would talk to a friend or someone we love.”
Calming that harsh inner voice, the negative narrative, has and continues to be a journey for me and the beautiful people I coach – – but a critical JOURNEY if we are to live “THE FULL LIFE”.
How can you begin to do this? How can you calm the harsh inner critic?
This week I want to share with you a little practice I have; 2 little steps, that seems to calm the savage beast. (Rather listen live? Hop over to the podcast)
Here we go;
Step #1: Name it, call it out on the mat! Acknowledge the inner critic, own it.
Its quite eye opening to notice “WITH CURIOUSITY” what I say to myself AND HOW I say it. Even what I think — my inner dialogue– as I am sharing my beliefs, decisions and even my dreams with others. I can be sharing a new idea with a valued colleague WHILE critiquing their response in my head. “Oh, she didn’t seem to react to that as I thought, I knew this was a bad idea, why did I ever thing this would work” (ever done this??!!).
Step #1 is to notice your inner critic and acknowledge it – “Oh isn’t that interesting…I hear that harsh voice in my head critiquing me as I don’t make it to the gym today, as I am late for my apt, as I make, yet another, parenting mistake.
Step #2 : Rewrite the story; If a friend told you how they were shaming themselves over a situation, how would you reframe it for them? I like to actually write this out – writing has a way of bringing even greater clarity and focus to something; I can’t write something and not be totally present. “We can’t write one thought, and think another” is the idea here so grab a pen and some paper and start writing. Don’t fuss about grammar and spelling, just let the pen take off.
“Amanda, I know you’re having thoughts that this idea isn’t that great and that you may not be able to pull it off but why don’t you just try and see what you learn? What’s the worst thing that could happen? And besides, you are super-smart and most of the time things go to plan. Your mom was like that too – you know what she would say now? She would say, “honey, you can do this!”.”
Its in that moment of calming the harsh inner critic, of loving myself without judgement, fearlessly, that I spark Joy and happiness and the inner warmth and healing of SELF COMPASSION.
And so it is…
Step 1, Name it, notice the judging, shine a big spot light on it!
Step 2, Rewrite your story, as if you were holding a friend’s hand through it
because what we’re doing here, calming the harsh inner critic, at a much deeper level, we’re living what I call…The Full Life.