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My Inner Critic


Lately I’ve been noticing that my inner critic is being very vocal in the internal dialogue happening in my brain.

I’ve done a lot of self-coaching to help manage the volume control of her voice over the past few years so to hear it again so loud in my self-talk has been surprising.  And because I haven’t needed to actively manage it lately, I didn’t notice it incrementally creeping in sounding like heckling from the gallery.

I’m completing some further study to enhance my coaching skills and have the joy of being in rooms with brilliant coaches who inspire and delight me.  But it has also provided a feast of opportunities for my critic to use to compare and despair about my coaching abilities.

Notwithstanding that I signed up for this study to BECOME a master certified coach my inner critic expects me to BE one already and has been giving me a step-by-step overview about all my failings.

Unfortunately for my critic, her spotlight moment on centre stage has ended as once again I have begun consciously turning down her mike’s volume in my brain. 

I’m often asked by my clients how to stop judging themselves and I offer to them that judging is part of being human.  We don’t need to waste time trying to stop judging, but we can invest time ensuring that it doesn’t take over the show.

The first step which can be difficult initially is recognising its voice.  Often self-judgment sounds so convincing that we accept the comments as facts which makes it very hard to argue and debate.

I’ve spent time listening to my inner critic to get to know her rhetoric and I’ve noticed repeating patterns.  She’s not very creative and loves to fall back on the same old judgments such as you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not kind enough… whatever suits the situation, I’m not enough of.

This practice has helped me in recent years because now when I notice those patterns in my self-talk I know who’s got the microphone and that it’s time to change acts.

Try getting to know your inner critic and notice the common thread of judgments it offers you.  You could give your critic a name for fun and to help you detach from its meaning.  Mine has her own name together with a ridiculous voice so when I repeat those criticisms in my head, a lot of the impact is diluted and it works for me.



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