Who Is Criticizing Whom?

May 7, 2015 | Gabriel Colella

Have you ever started something new or set out to achieve a goal and then notice that little voice inside your head start to speak up? That little voice is usually not very nice and it can be downright mean. It likes to say things like: “You’ll never make enough money doing that!”, or “I don’t know if you can achieve that goal, look at all those obstacles in the way!”, or “If I only had more money, more knowledge, a better education or a better job, or lost 10+ pounds…then I could really live life!” That not so little voice is the inner critic and it likes to pass unfavorable judgments on most everything we do that stretches our comfort zone even just a little bit.

Inner Critic

Well, what can we do about these characters that use up our time and take space in our mind? One of the biggest things you can do once you get awareness around one of these voices that consistently shows up is to give it a creative name. It helps to make it funny! For example, I had this voice that liked to doubt everything I attempted to do. It sounded kind of meek and said, “Welllll, I don’t know…(if that’s such a good idea, if that is possible, if you have the money for that, if you look good enough, etc.)” before a lot of things. It would then start making a list of all the obstacles I would have to face before I could achieve a goal, some of them real and some of them distant possibilities, but nevertheless, they were added to the list until the list looked overwhelmingly in favor of the goal not being obtained. I decided to name this voice Danny Doubter.

Inner Critic 1

What does a silly little exercise like this do for you? One of the best things it can do for us is to help us begin to loosen their grip on us. When we can create a little space around these voices with our awareness and humor, what that then gives us, is the ability to relate to it rather than from it. This allows us the space to make clearer and more empowered choices, because we are not coming from such a fearful place anymore. It gives rise to our more authentic nature and allows us to be just a little more, free from our conditioned and unconscious behavior. Try this on for size and give a fun and creative name to one of those voices that you so often hear in your internal dialogue. Write or message me back and let me know how it went!

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