Becoming aware of my Inner Critics

I have recently become aware that I have three ghosts in my life…

One, is floating near the corner of my head. She is constantly whispering in my ear to watch out for judgments… warning me from the scrutinisation I am going to receive for my decisions or actions… cautioning me that whatever choice I am about to make or words that I am thinking of saying will sound stupid or silly and that I will end up looking like a fool. She tends to focus my attention with the faultfinding eyes in the crowd and the critics around me and critics to be, both to scare me off and keep me in check…

The second, is standing further away, way in the back of the auditorium. This one echoes the voices of my worst enemy, telling me; who the fuck do you think you are… don’t get too full of yourself… who told you that you matter. He stands up every time I feel a bit confident, yelling that whatever I am feeling is immaterial to everyone and so I should keep my emotions and thoughts to myself… He is the thought in my head that has been telling me that whatever abuse or judgment I am taking from the people around is exactly what I deserve and they are more knowledgeable and more experienced and hence I should just shut up and listen to them!

The third, is a complete asshole, who sits very calmly, speaking to me the cockiest of tones and persistently telling me that no matter how much I try to change or change the life around me, nothing will ever work and it’s just going to be worst and scarier. It is the voice of stubbornness that just wants me to stop anything I am about to do and listen to other two, they know better.

As precarious and destructive as these internal dialogues can be; they are only trying to protect me from getting hurt; they are my self-preservation and fucked-up sounding board. They are in their own way attempting to control my environment so that I do not fuck-up.

I guess it is understandable that when you have been criticized your entire life with destructive judgments, which have been passed on from one person to the other, these disparagements start coming from within and those real people transform to being your everyday inner ghosts. Sadly, I have become my own worst enemy, with inner critics, always making me focus on my weaknesses and not my strengths, my failures and not my accomplishments, my fears and not my skills, the worst case scenario and not the light at the end of the tunnel…

Nevertheless, if judgment is the weapon of mass destruction for any relationship, making the judged party feel that it’s not ok to be themselves, that they are not good enough, that whatever they do or maybe even feel is not acceptable, looking down at them… what does that mean when that judgment comes from within? How do I silence it? How do I convince my own self that these inner-thoughts are limiting my life? And most importantly, how do I distinguish between them being merely negative thoughts or irrational preservations made out of fear and between them being actually sound advice to myself?

According to a combination of articles I read, this is the way to start dealing with them voices; 

  1. Noticing the voices
  2. Challenging the thoughts and looking for evidence
  3. Embracing those critical thoughts and start learning to be critical of them

If you want to read more about the subject of Silencing your Inner Critic click here  and while you’re at it, check out what Maynard Webb wrote of forbes magazine wrote about Sound Judgment or watch a Whiteboard Video on The Critical Inner Voice.

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