How tight is your Inner Critic's hold on you?
We all have one. Yours is uniquely designed just for you! It's your internal voice of authority. Your inner critic evaluates everything you do, say, feel, and think as well as the things you don't do, say, feel and think.
Your inner critic is the voice that begins sentences with "I should." And if you've ever said to yourself or someone else "I'm struggling with ____," you've been listening to your inner critic. The inner critic's role is to keep you in line with what your ego wants. Together, they ensure you show up in the world with a restricted presence and a false sense of self.
When you make choices, do you pay attention to the voice giving you advice? Are your actions authentic or are you attempting to maintain a certain image? Whether you're trying to attain perfection, greatness, admiration, mediocrity or worthiness, you're in the grip of your inner critic and ego. These are just a few examples of the many avenues traveled by the inner critic.
Through fear, apathy, resignation, anger, shame and guilt your inner critic and ego keep you chasing impossible dreams. These emotions surface because of comparison, judgment, evaluation, criticism, praise, labels and all-or-nothing thinking.
Who's voice do you hear when you're evaluating yourself and who created the rules you live by and expect of others? What are the criteria for the scale you're using and what value does it serve you now?
Here are the Big Questions:
What if you didn't live by the rules of your inner critic? Imagine what might happen if you did the opposite of the voice in your head. Do you sense panic at the mere thought of opposing your comfortable patterns? Fear? Are you rationalizing this as a stupid question?
If you're listening to your inner critic and doing as it says without question, your attention is always on you. Continually evaluating yourself leaves no room for connecting with others. Being self-absorbed is not a pleasant observation or noble trait, is it?
For just one day, do the opposite of your usual tendencies — Let someone else take credit. Look people in the eye during conversations. Live with uncertainty. Take action. Be silent and listen. Do something imperfectly on purpose. Take second place, or better yet, don't place. Sit still. Speak up. Give others your full attention.
Take a risk — override your inner critic and see what happens!
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