5 Ways to Shut Down Your Inner Critic
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
I love to create, whether that be videos of my clients, blog posts, or training programs. When I create I can be free and do the
things that I love. But it also does something else for me: It reveals to me how hard I can judge myself and be my own worst enemy. I come to realize how I truly feel about myself as I create, and it can often stop me from truly creating what I want.
I enthusiastically create workouts, dream up new programs, and simultaneously hear that pesky little voice in my head ( my inner-critic) begin to tear me down.
“Nobody does that in training.”
“You have so much to learn about programming workouts.”
“How long have you been doing this?”
My inner critic mocks me, tears me apart, teases me, and pushes me around. All of this happens between my two ears…
This critic is ridiculously unoriginal. As I describe the critic to you, you are thinking to yourself, MY CRITIC SOUNDS JUST LIKE THAT! The critic speaks to each of us in the same manner and tone, and the judgment brought upon us takes thousands of forms.
We should be honest about what this critic is, a thief. Robbing us of our worth, talents, goodness, abilities, and values. When the critic attacks we begin to believe these false thoughts, our soul unravels, and our mind becomes a battlefield.
In part one of this series we decided that step one is realizing the inner demons (critics) are speaking. If you’re working on something and all of a sudden you start questioning yourself, if you feel your energy decreasing, if you’re getting stuck in rut, bored, or tired, recognize the critic is at work in your mind.
You can listen, but don’t take these words to heart. See the critic so that it doesn’t hang out in a distant corner manipulating you from above. Once you see the critic, here are 5 immediate and easy ways to respond to your inner critic.
It’s so simple that it may seem unrealistic, but it works.
Memorize it and keep it close like a mantra.
STEP 2: Beat up your Inner CRITIC -- POW POW
When your inner critic acts out, say:
1. So what?
So what if you think that? That doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because something is thought out, that does not mean that it is a reality for you. Pick apart the statement, find its validity. Likely, there is no validity because these statements are empty and full of lies!
2. Who cares?
You think your judgments means something to me? They don’t! Just because your inner critic says something it does not mean that we need to accept it or let it affect our emotional state. Does anybody else see what the critic in your head is saying, NO, not unless you let yourself believe it. So shut it down, who cares what the critic thinks or believes, you sure shouldn’t!
3. Big deal!
Oh seriously, big deal! Really, big f’n deal! If we really think about it, these thoughts are often small and irrelevant. Most people don’t create that way? Who cares? Do I care what ‘everyone’ else is doing, NO, because they are not me! Oh, I am not perfect? BIG DEAL! It truly doesn’t matter.
4. Why not?
Why shouldn’t I do this? You’re telling me I can’t? I won’t? I’m not worthy of it? Why not? I’m going to continue doing this anyway, because I can! No matter what you say, I’m going to just keep diving in. What do we have to lose? Just keep digging your heels in, once you accomplish the very thing your critic says you cannot do, you win. You are one step ahead, and you can completely shut the critic out!
5. What if it doesn’t matter if I am __________________ or not?
Fill in the critic’s judgment here. For example, what if it doesn’t matter if it’s good enough or not? If it’s weird and people might find me strange? What if it doesn’t matter if it shows my talent and I will be recognized by others for it or not? And even, “What if it doesn’t matter if it’s beautiful or not, because I’m going to keep giving myself permission to keep on creating anyway no matter what you say!”
Feel how these questions empower you, and whatever you are doing, keep doing it anyway. Keep meeting the dream, attacking the WOD, expressing your creativity.
Keep going, forging ahead, building one block at a time.
The inner judge rarely goes away. As long as we have minds, he will continue to find ways to torture us. But we can identify him and say: “I see you, judge!”
When we identify the inner critic like this, we take away his power and regain our own, and that is truly worth it.