Inner Critic: The Most Common Mistake & How To Avoid It
By Emma Bradford - NLP Coach
I thought it was about time I wrote this.
Seeing it's something I've talked about a lot during workshops. It's also one of the most common 'diseases' out there. And yes I've suffered from it too.
'I can't do it'
'I'm ugly/stupid/fat etc'
'I'm not good enough'
Seriously... I don't know a single human being that hasn't thought one of these at some point in their life. Quite often when we do, we assume we're the only person. That somehow everyone else 'out there' is separate from us and we're stuck in a gloomy, lonely dark corner.
I'll let you into a secret... believe it or not, these limiting thoughts are not coming from you as a whole. You are simply the one listening and hearing these thoughts. You are something so much more if you dare to believe.
These are coming from what many call the 'Inner Critic'... that part that is scared, fearful, angry and hurt. The part that is holding onto limiting beliefs and fears by a way of protection and comfort however weird that may be. Though by continuing to believe and act according to these thoughts, will only take us so far.
Quite often when we believe we're not good enough, that we're flawed, we use it as an excuse as to why we can't have something, do something or why we can't enjoy the life we desire. We use it as an excuse to stay within our comfort zone. Believing we must be what we think society views 'perfect' in order to be worthy of something. Funny thing is, perfection is totally a matter of individual preference and perception!
To be worthy of a great job, body or partner does not mean you need to be perfect.
Yet often the negative voice within doesn't take notice of this... and you know one of the reasons why? Because we've been giving attention to what it says as if it's gospel and we haven't cleared away the limiting beliefs within.
Being a perfectionist can have it's drawbacks, especially if we choose to believe the Inner Critic. Good news is, it's not too late for change.
Thanks to many practical tips I've learnt from NLP, I discovered how to start detaching from my Inner Critic, transforming that voice into my Inner cheerleader whenever I notice it arising. Is it always easy and plain sailing? No. Though what I've learnt along the way has made it so much easier.
You see, this fearful part (the Inner Critic) contrary to popular belief is not something to be shunned, boxed or suppressed. You've probably heard the phrase 'what you resist, persists' right?
It's applicable to this too.
I've heard endless times to just 'reject' what the Inner Critic says... I certainly thought that at first too. Whilst this might be partly helpful, it's also a common mistake in how to effectively deal with the Inner Critic during the long term.
If we solely ignore what it says, certain negative thoughts & beliefs will simply continue to pop up if we don't deal with the root cause. Our Inner Critic is simply repeating fears and limiting beliefs that have been stored unconsciously from a young age. For example, if we learnt 'I'm stupid' when we were young, that may still pop up in the form of our Inner Critic if we don't address the root cause... the first event in which we decided that.
I've gathered a lot of information on this topic both from my professional work and personal life experiences over the years, no doubt it will become a book one day too. There's just too much to include in just this one blog post!
First of all, let me give you 3 simple steps that both my clients and I have found helpful when noticing negative thoughts from the Inner Critic within.
Pay Attention To The 3 L's
1) Listen and observe what the Inner Critic is saying - awareness is key, observe what is being brought to your attention. There is a huge difference between listening & learning compared to listening & believing the negative thoughts.
2) Learn from the Inner Critic - what is it teaching you about your fears? What limiting beliefs are being pointed out that can be let go of now? Where & when did you decide these beliefs originally? How can you view that past event differently now so to let go of the limiting beliefs?
For example... if you notice the Inner Critic often comments 'I'm lazy, I can never get anything done' dig a little deeper and uncover the root cause using the questions above. If you'd like an extra helping hand, book yourself a 1:1 Empowerment Session with a coach that works with the unconscious mind
3) Connect to what you Love, at a Soul level regardless of what the negative chatter says within - the Inner Critic is an expert at Finding Excuses And Reasons why you can't do something. Notice that by believing and acting on what it says, you simply keep yourself in a state of fear.
Finally know this... there may be good days and challenging days, and when we discover skills to gain insights and detach from the Inner Critic, life can become much easier.
It's like you suddenly have the handbook and phrases to speak another language if ever the need arises.
The Inner Critic is not something to reject or 'get rid of completely'. It's something to help us learn and embrace our shadow side, so we can step into an even greater wholehearted way of life layer by layer. And by doing that, notice how life can be so much more insightful and fulfilling. It's there for a reason.
The Inner Critic is one of our greatest teachers... it's simply up to us to recognise that, and utilise it.
Now its your turn... using the comment section below, what's your Inner Critic teaching you right now? I'd love to hear your shares and perhaps your share can help inspire others too.
About Emma Bradford:
Trained in NLP, Hypnotherapy, Natural Nutrition & Life Energetics, Emma Bradford uses her skills and expertise to support individuals boost their self-esteem, increase self-acceptance, resolve inner conflicts, remove limiting beliefs and create a more loving relationship with themselves and/or food. Her holistic upbringing, practical, creative nature and desire to support people in creating shifts from the inside out have driven her to create unique seminars. Helping to provide individuals with the life skills they desire to manage emotions and the negative voice within. She holds regular seminars in the heart of Barcelona, workshops both in Spain & UK and private 1:1 coaching sessions with clients worldwide. www.emmabradford.net
Interested to find out more about your inner critic? Join Emma Bradford in Menorca Spain, for a weekend retreat on Reclaiming Your Inner Strength 26 - 28 May 2017. More information click here