The Inner Critic, we all have one, it’s written about ad finitum. There are whole books, zillions of articles, oodles of podcasts on this topic.
Are you managing yours any better?
I sincerely hope so with all that information that is out there. But let me offer some myth busting with regards to our Inner Critic FM.
I don’t think it ever goes (really, I don’t)
I have been a coach and a therapist for almost thirty years, trust me when I say it’s here to stay. I often tell clients that I imagine mine on my death bed, wagging its trusty finger at me, snarling and telling me ‘You’re not even dying well’ …’you haven’t said good but to so and so and you didn’t sort out that last bit of finance admin, call yourself a good dead person!” and I imagine being able to say to it “c’mon your work is done, it’s time for us both to lie down and go back to HQ, thank you for trying to protect me for all of my human life, you must be tired, it’s time to rest”.
Does that sound crazy? Trust me it’s not. Learning to compassionately dialogue with your critic is critical to being able to live alongside it, noticing its extreme ways, appreciating the job it is trying to do, helping it to catch up with the reality of your life now.
There is so much to say on this subject but in these short articles let it be suffice to say learning to dialogue with your critic is one of the ways to release its grip on us.
This isn’t about positive thinking, it’s about balanced thinking. After all the critic loves a monologue. As we shift into dialogue, we become increasingly able to access more helpful parts of ourselves to balance the inner critic’s monologue.
This is just some of the work that we do in depth coaching, working with the real challenges that hold us back, working with cause as well as symptom.
Catherine Sandler describes this process as moving from ‘inner monologue’ to ‘inner dialogue’. We become increasingly able to access more helpful parts of ourselves to balance the inner critic’s monologue.
Undoing habits inadvertently honed over many years doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to nurture a kinder approach. But the practices above, applied regularly, can be transformative.