Charming the Inner Critic

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Most of us have an insidious little voice inside that likes to criticize and make judgments about the quality and outcome of what we do or don’t do. I like to call this voice the Inner Critic or the Inner Judge. Take your pick.

If you were to sit down with a piece of paper, yes! you can even do this now and draw a circle and imagine that circle was the dinner table of your psyche, who would be sitting down for the afternoon meal?

Hopefully, some of the attendee’s would include, wisdom, play, innocence, wonder, self-worth and delight and inevitably there would also be grief, disappointment, sadness and our trusty friend, the inner critic.

So what needs to happen to charm the inner critic so it does not have a hay day when your wonderful plans do not work out? When the relationship you put all the time and energy into falls apart? When you find yourself feeling exhausted and frustrated because of your energy level? When after all the work you’ve done, you continue to be disappointed and upset with the lack of connection in your family?

Is it possible to appease the inner critic that it might be a bit more satisfied with what is happening in your life, rather than being so opinionated that you are not enough?

Absolutely, here is a little thing that you can do. First notice when the critic comes on line. Next, and this is the most important part, when it begins their rant, engage the wise part of you. The inner voice that comes from your gut that knows that you are doing the best you can. Invite yourself to give more attention to your wise mind rather than to the inner critic.

The inner critic may complain and say, wait! What about me? If this is the case then it is an opportunity to tend to the inner critic as if this was a part of you that just needs some attention. The inner critic has been there to protect you, to keep you safe from experiences that may be risky for you. It is not a bad part, just a part that needs a little compassion. So give the inner critic some milk and cookies, tell them it is okay, be a good enough parent to that part of you that is afraid and not sure.

By doing this you not only charm the inner critic, you also begin to build the neural pathways that support the cultivation of self-compassion and acceptance. The voice of “you are enough,” gets louder and pretty soon, with time, the inner critic will find it’s peace.