#11: The Inner Critic & You
Today’s podcast episode will resonate deeply with the high-achieving, passionate, goal-oriented entrepreneurs around here. I’m talking about the inner critic, the internal voice in your mind constantly telling you that you’re not enough or not doing enough, and that is currently stumping you in your road to the success and impact you desire.
In this episode, I’m diving deep into who the inner critic is, why you struggle in your relationship with it, and how you can transform your interactions with it to find more peace, space and confidence in your live and business.
WHAT IS THE INNER CRITIC?
The inner critic is a part of your ego that’s constantly giving you the message that you’re not enough, that you’re doomed to fail, and that you don’t deserve whatever it is your craving. It feeds you a constant stream of critique about what you’re creating (or not creating), doing (or not doing), and saying (or not saying).
The inner critic can be very mean, harsh, and abrasive, and it’s a voice that every high-achieving women I’ve ever met struggles with. It sometimes pushes you forward and helps you achieve things as an attempt to make up for your lack, but most of all it creates a huge divisiveness within you and your sense of deep, inner trust.
The voice of the inner critic tends to drown your intuition because it triggers massive emotional responses within you. The inner critic creates so much pain that you start deflecting whatever signals and messages come from your internal world. More than that, by always asserting that you’re not enough, it keeps you in a constant hustle to do more and create more external results in an effort to somehow feel worthy.
The role of the inner critic
The inner critic has its roots in past experiences that have been painful. It has expanded with each and every one of these events in an attempt to protect you from further rejection and pain. Even when it sounds harsh and mean, it’s actually acting from a place of misguided self-preservation.
That’s why it’s so key to stop fighting the inner critic, as most of us try to do in our day-to-day lives. The inner critic isn’t going anywhere because it’s a mechanism of the conscious mind to keep you safe and comfortable. What you can do instead is practice identifying for what it for what it truly is: an expression of your ego and of your past experiences.
When you’re able to call the inner critic for what it is, this voice that comes into the picture when there’s a fear of failure, you can finally shift your relationship with it and leverage its messages to uncover parts of yourself and of your potential.
Learning from your inner critic
Embodied leadership means leading from your intuition, while using your mind in the process. That’s one of the main reasons why learning to be and thrive in the presence of the inner critic is so important.
When it comes to shifting your relationship with the inner critic, you need to be able to acknowledge when it comes into your awareness and start building a connection to it that isn’t based on a power struggle. Meet it where it’s at, listening to what it has to say, and become curious about it. Cultivating this intimate, and fearless relationship with your inner critic is how you’re able to find the sweet spot between intuition and mind in how you lead and grow your business.
The inner critic is the entry way to being in deeper relationship with yourself, and in full acceptance of all parts of yourself – even those that have been long neglected or rejected as a result of your human instinct for safety. Working with and learning from the inner critic is an exercise in reclaiming your voice and standing in your truth, all of it.
4 steps to change your relationship with the inner critic
I really encourage you to take a deeper look at where you’re seeing the inner critic, and how it’s affecting your life and your business. Here are four steps you can start practicing to shift how you relate to it:
Step 1. Recognize that the inner critic is there. Call it for what it is the moment it comes into your awareness.
Step 2. Sit down with your inner critic, either in meditation or through a journaling exercise, and open yourself to be curious about it. Why is it speaking up? What does it need? How is it trying to support and protect me?
Step 3. Practice meeting the needs of your inner critic. Because of all the years you’ve been fighting the inner critic, it often doesn’t feel very heard or seen. When you start acknowledging its needs, you’ll notice how it holds space within you differently.
Step 4. Take action from a soul-aligned, intuitive space. By creating more spaciousness in your relationship with your inner critic, you’ll be able to access and choose your intuitive voice more easily.
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