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Tame your inner critic

  • Posted by: claire

Hello beauties,

Yesterday, I woke up with my throat on fire. Up until now, I have been lucky to escape the “bug” that has gotten many of my friends sick this past Winter. Nursing a cayenne pepper/lemon/honey concoction all day, I hoped I had caught it in time.  You see, for the past month, I’ve been on “doula/friend” support for my friend Cass who was expecting their 3rd bundle of joy into this world. Of course, as the universe would have it, her labor text came in the late afternoon as I hit a wall, my energy waning.

I didn’t want to miss her birth. I told her I was going to be there for her. How could I if I could barely be there for myself? My brain struggled.

I felt guilty I let her down. I beat myself up for not being a good friend. I figured I had maybe 6 hours of energy in me, between the drive to the hospital and back. I finally called and left her a message, saying I could come, but I was sick.

Then I realized something. It was my ego doing all the talking. My ego was telling me I sucked, I wasn’t a good friend, I wasn’t there for her, unless I got in that car and drove. When I quieted that side of me,  a voice said, ENOUGH. Stop obsessing about what you THINK she is thinking. You’re sick. You don’t want to get her or the baby sick.

In that moment, I let go of the worrying, or the fear of letting her down. I was using being afraid to have some control over a situation I didn’t have control over.  Cass called moments later and the conversation was perfect. I was too sick to leave the house. She ended up having a C-section. Today, I offered to organize a meal wheel for her, so she can have support when she arrives home.  A win-win!

When we quiet our minds and drop down to our heart, we have an inner compass that shows us on a regular basis what is true or not.

Some call it intuition, our authentic self, etc. When we are in this place, we act without doubt or hesitation, and from a place that we are enough.
It is the “shoulds” that shakes us from our path. Below are some ways I got back on my path last night by asking myself the following questions:

 

  1. Who’s on first, your head or your heart? The heart always knows, vs. the ego:)
  2. What does your body say?
  3. Listen. Quietly listen to what the voice inside you is saying.
  4. What does your ego want you to do? Most of the time, when we are struggling with self-worth, negative self-talk, it is usually the ego or our inner critic saying the ‘not enoughs’, not good enough, not smart enough, etc.


What are some other ways you’ve worked with your inner critic? I’d love to hear from you below.

Author: claire

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21 Comments

  • Beautiful recognition Claire! I absolutely use all of the above techniques myself to get back on path!

    Another one I would add is to surround yourself with loving support (coach, friends, or otherwise) who can help you stay on track – I am so lucky to also have a man in my life who knows how to lovingly bring my awareness back when I get stuck in my ego voice.

    • Claire

      I do have a fab five posse that helps me stay on track, it’s just when the ego strikes, I tell myself it’s just a little thing, HA! and as I write that, I realize it’s just my ego at it again. Love that you have your man to support you. That is beautiful. And so are YOU! 🙂

  • Congrats to your friend Claire! This is awesome = “Who’s on first, your head or your heart?”
    Lately I’ve been using something I learned from Lauren Forest, to ask myself “Is this (freakout) relevant to what I’m doing now?” Honestly, most of the time it isn’t!

    • Claire

      THe universe is there to support us, I sometimes just have a hard time listening. Baby Ben was born at 10 that night (C-Section) and when we spoke, she said it was just as well I wasn’t able to go. Is Lauren Forest a b-school babe? I will have to try that. I find that most of the time, my “freakouts” are stemming from other stressors or underlying causes too. Thanks for visiting. xo

  • That is an unbelievably challenging situation and just perfect for beating yourself up! So impressed by how you overcame the temptation to do so. I have a tenuous relationship with my inner critic. In my weaker moments she goes to town. Usually life steps up, distracts me and I shut her down.

    • Claire

      My inner critic does too! I usually have a “throw down” with her at least once a day. Thank goodness for the skills we have right?

  • Often, the challenge of self-care vs. other’s needs can be a tricky area. I find my ego likes to have STORIES and be relentless. My heart is wise, honest and at peace. Wisdom from my heart is simple. It’s wonderful that you have all these tools that allow you to be self-aware and free you from your inner critic.

  • Listening to the inner critic is something I try my best to ‘manage’. Often there is an internal conflict with the ego and just letting go and following intuition. I’ve actually become aware recently when I tend to get uptight about a situation and just to relax and let it go. I used to have to get everything perfect before I would go forward with something but a brilliant coach who I’ve been seeing has really helped me to reframe my mind.

  • Love this post, a perfect story about the ‘inner critic’ and how it effects our thoughts. I also have been nursing same ‘cayenne pepper/lemon/honey concoction’ and that in itself effects our thoughts as well, knowing we’ve been physically weakened by some nebulous ‘bug’ which can really give force to the inner critic, knowing we’re not 100%.

    I can tell you this from experience, for new moms it is the going home and dealing with it all without that nursing staff and all the attention – THAT is hardest! Support the mom AFTER all the hooplah at the hospital, you did JUST that! ALL good. (my sons are now both around age 20, still I remember this VERY well).

  • i love this line: “Some call it intuition, our authentic self, etc. When we are in this place, we act without doubt or hesitation, and from a place that we are enough.” whatever it is termed, it is so important to recognize and listen to that “inner compass.” nicely expressed – thank you.

  • This is such a great article! I really needed to read this today! Thank you for helping me! 🙂

  • Yes!! so important to quite our minds and drop into our hearts! I have named my ego– so I tell her Lulu take a nap, I can handle this. And, when that doesn’t work I do EFT (Meridian Tapping).
    Loved this post!

  • Oh, I totally agree that it’s important to tame our inner critic. I teach a lot about changing your negative self talk. For me, I listen to my gut. That’s where I hear my intuition. I also use strategies like catching the negatives, writing positive affirmations, recording my successes and things I’m grateful for, etc.

  • I agree that listening to that quiet inner voice is the difficult part and the key. I try to hold a decision until it feels “right” in my body. I’ve learned even if it’s a difficult decision, it will feel right when it is.

  • Thanks so much. Always appreciate support for taming the inner critic. Loved this part: “When we quiet our minds and drop down to our heart, we have an inner compass that shows us on a regular basis what is true or not.”

  • Amber

    Great story and reminder about the ego. You are a good friend.

    • Claire

      🙂 thanks Amber, that sneaky ego is always up to something I tell ya. I checked in on Cass’s meal train I started for her and was so happy to find her peeps signing up. The beauty of the internet and being able to help from afar.