Let’s tell the truth. If you feel held back in any area of your life and have the sense that there must be something more, your inner critic is alive and well. There is nothing helpful about the way the inner critic guides you. Who finds it supportive to be incessantly doubted, devalued, and deflated?
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you learn to recognize the inner critic in all its disguises and commit to no longer letting this voice dominate you, you can return to wholeness. After all, you in all your awesome glory, are not limited, needy, scared, and small. You are vast and spacious, infinitely creative and endlessly at peace.
Study these facts about the inner critic, then apply them to your own experience – relentlessly. The thoughts may remain, but they will lose their power over you. After all, would you tolerate for one second someone else saying the things to you that you say to yourself? Don’t wait one more second to reclaim the life that is rightfully yours.
10 Life-Changing Facts
1. Self-critical thoughts mask the truth. Do you believe that you are incapable or unworthy? These beliefs hide your inherent wholeness, enthusiasm, and potential.
2. The past doesn’t predict the future. The root of self-critical thoughts is in our experiences in the past. News flash: The past is over. See yourself and the situations you are in with the innocent eyes of a child. You will realize that the conclusions you drew from the past no longer apply. Who are you now?
3. The inner critic is a habitual way of thinking. As with any habit, you need to study how it arises and plays out. What triggers it? What does it say? How does it make you feel in your body? What does it make you do or not do as a consequence? As you get to know it intimately, you see it for what it is – thoughts, feelings, physical sensations – and it begins to no longer define who you are.
4. The inner critical voice is learned. It is not naturally occurring or present at birth, which is very good news. It is a layer of conditioning that is absolutely possible to unwind. As it loosens its grip on you, the unconditioned you begins to shine through – light, joyful, alive, happy, open.
5 .Self-criticism may be at the root of unhealthy tendencies and addictions. When the inner critic goes unattended, it can lead to all sorts of trouble – making poor relationship choices, abusing substances, accepting “good enough” and giving up on your passions and interests, sustained unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Make it a priority to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. Learn what subtle patterns underlie your discontent, and address them. This is the path that will set you free.
6. Believing self-critical thoughts creates separation. Do you feel alone, abnormal, not a part of this world, unworthy? Then the inner critic is in control. You are believing thoughts without checking to see if they are actually true. Investigate them, and simply say, “No thank you,” to thoughts that don’t serve your happiness and well being.
7. Love heals. The inner critic is built on the illusion that you are damaged, lacking, or insufficient. Rather than continuing to live according to these false stories, welcome the hurt feelings into your tender, open heart. Receive them with kindness, and you will know firsthand that love heals.
8. Inattention and ignoring feed the inner critic. Instead, turn to face these challenging parts of yourself. With compassion, lean into the hardest places. Learn about them with open-hearted curiosity. They can’t help but surrender in the face of love and acceptance. Then they begin to lose their power over you.
9. The inner critic might be protecting you. These nagging and demeaning thoughts might be keeping you from realizing your inherent greatness. As the strength of these thoughts melts away, you may find that changes are inevitable – in the realms of work, relationships, how you spend your time. Even though you may be afraid, be exhilarated by realigning your life circumstances with the truth of who you really are, rather than with the fiction of the inner critic.
10. Funny as it sounds, the goal is not to do away with the inner critic. Don’t resist it in any way. Make the radical choice to turn to meet it fully with love and understanding, like you would a hurt and lonely child. See it clearly with a laser focus. Even if the thoughts don’t disappear, you will have the objectivity to effortlessly let go of what doesn’t serve and cultivate what does.
The inner critic just might be a blessing in disguise. Don’t avoid it any longer or let it define your reality. Know it, embrace it, love it, let it melt into the whole of you. Then go forth and enjoy!
Does your inner critic control you? Have you discovered freedom from it? I’d love to hear…