Everybody has one; that annoying voice inside your head that is constantly telling you how not enough you are. It’s the voice of your inner critic.
No one is immune from it. I have worked with men and women and both genders have one. Women, however, seem more prone to letting their inner critic run the show of their life. I think this is because women more easily get caught up playing the comparison game. Comparisonitis is fodder for the voice of your inner critic.
Since your inner critic is very much a part of your life, I thought I would share 5 things you should know about that voice.
(Please note that the inner critic’s voice can be male or female but for simplicity I’m going to use the feminine pronoun).
Your inner critic is not you
The first thing you need to know is that your inner critic is not you. She sounds like you but she is not you. She is a voice separate from you that is made up of a host of other people. Your parents, schoolteachers, college professors, former bosses, she is a compilation of all those voices.
When you are hearing her speak know that she is not you. Years of conditioning yourself to listen to her first may lead you to believe she is you but she is NOT you.
She is not your enemy
She feels like the enemy because her words can often feel so vicious and vitriolic but she is not your enemy. Instead she is just trying to keep you safe.
She’s trying to keep you from having to deal with any negative emotions – things like getting hurt, failing, criticism, disappointment or worse yet rejection. Who wants to feel any of those emotions anyway so your inner critic thinks she’s being helpful.
Her tactics are not the nicest but her intent is often coming from a good place. The problem is avoiding negative emotions keeps you too safely tucked into your comfort zone and all the magic in life happens outside your comfort zone.
Fear is her drug of choice
The number one tactic your inner voice uses to keep you inside your comfort zone is fear.
Fear of failing (or succeeding)
Fear of what other people are going to think
Fear of disappointing people close to you
Fear of not being in control
The list is virtually endless of the different types of fear your inner critic will throw at you. The key is recognizing this as a tactic aimed at trying to stop you and decide instead to dance with your fears.
Acknowledge they are there and then take your fears with you. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Self-doubt is her back up plan
If fear doesn’t work then self-doubt is her back up plan, though sometimes she’ll throw both grenades to you at the same time.
Typically, the doubts will show up as a litany of statements about how you are not good enough to do whatever it is that is in front of you. This is where the comparison game becomes fuel for your inner critic’s firestorm against you.
She’ll hold up “x” perfect woman against your long list of imperfections and you cower underneath the weight of how not enough you are. The thing is, often she is comparing your inside with someone else’s outside and that is like comparing apples to tennis balls. The shapes may be similar but the two things are completely different.
Truth is her nemesis
Your inner critic will take a little bit of truth and swallow it up with a whole bunch of lies. But there’s just enough truth in it for the whole thing to feel truthful. Your job is to separate the truth from the lies so you can deal with them.
Identifying what is true robs your inner critic of her power because you can acknowledge the truth for what it is. Once you see what’s really true you often discover things are not nearly as bad as she made it out to be. You are then able to let go of everything else that is a lie.
It’s up to you whether or not your inner critic wins. My hope is that understanding her more empowers you to choose not to let her stop you.
Here’s to you rising into your greatness.
From my heart to yours,
If you’re tired of your inner critic running the show in your life and you’re ready to do something about it, let’s talk. Schedule a complimentary call with me today where we can explore what it would be like for you to not be controlled by that annoying voice in your head.