Focus Day Training

How to deal with your self critical voice?

When we begin to work on ourselves in positive ways, like exercise, diet, or maybe even meditation, at some point we will be challenged. Not only from people and the environment around us but from our own inner critic. The self-critical voice loves to put you down and stop you from doing things, preventing change from happening and generally getting in the way. It loves to make you feel bad and encourages negative behavior. It would like nothing more than to help you to give up.

The good news is that you are not alone, we can all be self critical it seems to be a part of western human nature. Some are loud and some are very quiet, whispering in the background like an old radio. But they exist in our minds and play havoc with our confidence to do things. They can make us feel like we don't fit in or that we don't have the right skills or the ability to do things we would like to do. It is as if they hold us back in some kind of invisible bond.

We have to face this critic at some point as it will continue to sabotage our efforts. It is part of who we are and at some point, it became a separate entity in our minds. One way of dealing with it is integration. This means taking the time to communicate with this part and discovering what it is that it is trying to do for you. The funny thing is that when you do communicate with this critic you might discover that it was for a positive reason. For example, to keep you safe or to prevent you from emotional harm. So take the time to sit and be quiet and ask for this inner critic to show itself in your imagination or on a chair or nearby. Notice what you see, maybe a younger version of yourself, maybe something you don't like. It is ok, remain calm with kindness for this entity that you see.

Now you can ask what it is trying to do for you when it is being critical, how is it trying to help you. May you can reassure it that you appreciate it is trying to help but doing in the wrong way. Maybe it can think of more positive ways to support you. Watch and listen to what it is doing , another question might be, what is it that it wants and listen to understand its past behaviour. Next ask what it really needs, this is the most important part because you can give it what it needs. You can imagine that you are the thing it needs like love or safety and allow this to fill the body of the critic, sensing when it has had enough then you can invite it to integrate with yourself and allow space, love and kindness for this to happen. Just take your time and repeat this process when the self critic raises its voice again.

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