How to Work With The Critical Inner Voice

Does your critical inner voice make you want to take a holiday from yourself?

Did you grow up with critical parents? What were the comments that you heard? Did you get:

You look fat in that.

Nobody values you, why do you bother?

Nobody cares if you are here or not

You always make mistakes

You are so clumsy

You are just not very smart.

As children we internalise how our parents feel about themselves AND what we are told, or what is implied in their behaviour. It can feel like you have your mother or father walking around inside your head.

This critical voice sabotages, brings on negative moods, and holds you back.

My favourite question in this moment for myself is:

“If I was being gentle with myself, what would I do now?”

My brain has to do a full re-wire to answer this. The last thing the critical voice is, is gentle. It is harsh, pushy, aggressive and demeaning. When I ask this question, it pulls a DIFFERENT part of myself to the fore. A part of me that has the capacity to be gentle, a part that knows what ‘gentle’ is.

Here’s an example:

The guy you are dating hasn’t called you back yet. You find yourself spinning out, wondering what is going on, feeling insecure.

The critical voice says “Well, of course he is not that interested, you are overweight at the moment, and not that interesting. I’m sure he’s met someone else. And this is pathetic, sitting around waiting for him to call.”

You hear the voice. Ouch. That hurt!

You ask the question: “If I was being gentle with myself, what would I do now?”

A softer voice comes in to answer: “I get why I’m feeling insecure. If I was being gentle with myself, I would call my girlfriend and have a giggle, then take a bath.”

The whole scene shifts. When we make the choice to bring in gentleness, the whole energy changes.

So…if you were being gentle with yourself, what would you do right now?