Your inner critic and playing small…
Your Inner Critic
Who do you think you are to start that business, create that product, showcase that skill?
What will people think when they see you?
What if someone challenges your talent, ability, expertise?
After all… you don’t really know what you are doing, do you?
Everyone else does it so much better.
We all got one. It’s that voice in our brain that is constantly chattering away about how we will never measure up and so, we might as well give up. It is that nagging voice that raises doubt and says “What if?” every time we venture out into new territory. She carefully records all our failures but seems to conveniently forget our successes. She wears us down rather than builds us up.
The question is…what do you do about her?
Do you talk back?
Do you try to reason with her?
Or is she so much a part of you that you don’t even notice that you’ve given her the keys and she’s driving the bus…
Taking Back Control
Your inner critic needs a lot of structure and boundaries. Sure, she can make some good points and keep you out of dangerous situations on occasion. But she’s just as likely to lock you in a closet and hide the key. Like any good parent, you’ve got to stop letting her run the show and take back control. Here’s how:
- Be Aware–The first step is to recognize her for what she is, a voice– not a statement of facts. When we not only listen to her but believe her to be the truth, then we can be easily paralyzed by her opinions.
- Be Active–The second step is to make friends with her cousin, an alternative, positive voice. Just as the inner critic tracks our deficits, this positive voice must regularly track our accomplishments and achievements. We need to care for and nurture this important part of our psyche, so that it can fend off attacks by its opposite and keep us on track with our dreams.
- Be Connected–Single parenting can be a lonely task. Develop a support system that will challenge the inner critic and help you recognize when you are giving up control. It’s tough to go it alone.
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