Do you hear how you speak to yourself? It’s not always nice, is it?
I remember when I first started speaking publicly.
The voice in my head kept reminding me that I had no business sharing my experience – “who wants to hear this stuff anyway?”.
Then, when I did get up to speak and it didn’t go exactly as I’d planned, that voice would confirm, “See, you messed it up, you might as well stop.”
This went on for a while (and still does, at times), a sparring match between my desire to spread this positive message and my inner critic.
We all have this inner critic, and it gets especially noisy when we push into bold, new frontiers in life.
Like pursuing your passion full time. Like trying a new sport. Like going over to that beautiful someone and saying, “Hi, I’m Adam, what’s your name?”
But the inner critic doesn’t have to rule your life, preventing you from doing the things you dream. Here’s 5 ways you can identify that critical speak, and then zap it!
- Source your self-talk. When that “Negative Nelly” starts to act up, know that it is not true – it’s not you. This will help you separate these voices from the authentic you, which is healthy and whole, despite what the inner critic might say.
- Recognize inner critic speak. “You ought to, “you should have,” and “you can’t,” are usually tip-offs that you’re hearing the inner critic, especially when these phrases are accompanied by tight muscles and shallow breathing.
- Notice the noise. By just observing what the inner critic is saying without fighting it or believing its chatter, you become and “observer” who is separate from, and thus less affected by, the critic.
- Beat the critic at its own game. Once you’re clear about the limiting notion your critic is advancing, play it up in an exaggerated way. If you’re hearing that you are too timid, then tremble, scrunch up your body, make your reaction so extreme that your healthy inner self realizes how absurd the concept is.
- Repeat. This is a process. We learned this inner self-talk from years of practice. It takes a bit of time to change it.
When we’re no longer at war with ourselves, life becomes much easier. And then it becomes fun to see that when the inner critic begins to get really noisy, it might actually be a beautiful opportunity to become someone we’ve always wanted to be.
Have a great week!
Stress Release Tip
Today, see if you can bite off just as much as you can chew. Instead of overloading your to-do list with so many tasks that you have no choice but to feel overwhelmed, take on just the right amount. Give yourself a break. And if you don’t get to everything, smile knowing you did the best you could today.
Today I hear the birds chirping as I woke up. I stepped out on the front step and felt the cool rush of the morning breeze. What did you see, feel, hear when you stirred this morning, when you stepped outside? On your next break, take a moment to ground yourself in the experience of now. Leave the thoughts behind.
Quote From Adam
“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise Hay
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