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Posts Tagged ‘inner critic

Whether it’s a social event, mixer, a business meeting or a date, one thing often stands in the way: fear of connection. Now, of course we want to connect. But along with that comes fear of rejection. Fear of being judged. And a very awake inner critic that is perfectly happy to spend the entire time (and hours later) to tell us over and over how imperfect we are and can’t do anything right.

When I coach my clients and teach workshops, I emphasize a few things to help with this.

  1. Everyone wants you to be great. Truly. Even pessimistic people want to be inspired – they just need to have their faith reawakened.
  2. You don’t have to be perfect! Really. Perfection isn’t real, and those models in the magazine are airbrushed. They have warts too – it’s called being human.
  3. Not everyone needs to love you. Look for where there is connection and a spark of interest (on whatever level). Pursue it. And if it’s not there, just Move On to that next person who’s waiting – just for you.

Action: Today, try to connect more deeply with those around you.

Let’s look a little more at that inner critic. It might be viewed as the internalized Voice of Society. Or perhaps the Stater of Idealized Norms (how we Think everyone is supposed to be like). Or the If-I-Was-A-Good/Healthy/Functioning-Person-I’d-Be-That-Way Declarer. Or the Comparer (“That person is obviously doing much better than you are. Why don’t you do that?”). Or the Arbiter of What is Good and Proper (“and you obviously are not it”).

Phew.

We hold everything a little too tightly, don’t we? Here’s a way to give yourself more space and permission to be, well, human.

Action: Next time you find that you’re judging yourself…

  1. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and physically relax your body, especially your shoulders, chest and solar plexus (which is where we often store these feelings).
  2. Imagine that your body expands a few feet out, giving more room for these feelings.
  3. Let it keep expanding as much as necessary – to the size of the room… the building… the city… and so on, until you really have enough space and permission for all that you are. (Note: if it ever feels too big or spacey, just adjust it to be somewhat smaller again.)

Yes. You can give yourself that much Space and Permission to Be – All That You Are.


Try these exercises. And please – comment below and report what you find useful.

  1. Think back to when you were young(er). Remember how you handled a particular situation – perhaps conflict, or relationships. Then reflect on how you handle them now. Appreciate how you’ve grown.
  2. Close your eyes, and take deep breaths into the core of your body. Visualize breathing into the very core of your being. Still with your eyes closed, reach out and pat your feet. Keep patting all the way up to your head. Feel your solidity as if for the first time, while continuing to breathe into your body. Appreciate your solidity.
  3. Think of someone you recently helped or made smile. Imagine what might have happened if you weren’t there; reflect on when you’ve been positively impacting people.
  4. If someone else said something horribly mean to us, we’d likely get quite angry – but we talk to ourselves that way! When you do something that causes the irascible inner critic to surface, try telling her/him, “This is part of being human. I’m a human being, and this is part of learning and growing.”

These are just a few ideas to try; keep your eyes out for more here. However, they can’t just be done once. In order to cultivate greater love, they need to become regular practices that replace our negative patterns. So write them down or print this out – and keep doing them. And see what happens.

Now, this might be off-base, but I’m going to take a wild guess that you don’t love and appreciate yourself enough.

Signs that may indicate this:

  • you have an active inner critic
  • you sometimes feel shame or embarrassment
  • you’re concerned about getting others’ approval
  • you have fear with public speaking or maybe with what people might think of you in general

Does any of this feel familiar? It should – most people experience one, two, or all of these. So – if we’re all going through this? What does it mean?

That we all want to be loved. That we’re all afraid of rejection. And that we need help to feel solid and secure unto ourselves.

In the next posting, we’ll explore specific ideas on how to truly love and accept yourself even more.


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