At the very least we all have ONE! That voice inside of us that speaks to us saying things like, "You're not smart enough, tall enough, pretty enough, you're a phony and everyone will know, you aren't going to succeed so why even try, what if you make waves, what if they don't like you when you speak your truth," the list could go on, ad infinitum.
Here's the secret, those voices in your head, the ones I like to call the "itty bitty shitty committee," THEY ARE NOT REAL
Their only job is to keep you stuck and paralyzed in fear. The problem is for most of us, we believe them and when we believe them, we play small!
“The only thing limiting your aspiration, is your imagination”
Stop playing small and read the keys to combatting those voices.
We cannot change something we are not aware of, period end of story. It doesn't take an expert to know this, it just is. So how do we become aware of our inner critic?
I want you to think of something you really want to do, something you think would be amazing, and maybe something you've been putting off for various reasons.
Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and when you are ready visualize this amazing thing you've been dying to do, repeat this "I am going to do............................" See yourself doing.................. Now become aware of the thoughts that appear immediately following your declaration.
Are they thoughts that support this vision and empower you? Or are they negative and self-limiting thoughts? Here's a hint.
The negative thoughts are your inner critic! They can be hidden in the "but it's not practical department of your brain" or in the “Past Parental negative messages area.” It's important to start tracking these thoughts and write them down whenever they occur. Once you start tracking them you may find a theme.
My theme goes something like this: "are you kidding me? You’re going to do what? You can't do that, you don't know what you are doing. You are not good enough! Sit back down and continue doing what you know how to do."
Pretty depressing isn't it? It can be, but it doesn't have to be, which leads me to step 2.
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
Imagine you are sitting in a cafe and someone approaches you, it may be a stranger or it may be someone you know. They immediately start to berate you and tell you awful things about yourself, "you're not good enough, you don't deserve to be happy, it's too hard, you'll never reach your goals, why bother, you know you're going to fail, etc.
What would you do? Would you sit there and take it? Or would you stand up and fight back and tell that person where to go?
I hope you wouldn't take it! I hope you would fight back! We are our own worst enemy and we wouldn't let people say things to us that we allow our own internal dialogue to say. It's all just "brain garbage!"
So once you are aware of how you’re speaking to yourself it's time to FIGHT BACK!
Challenge your inner critic by talking back. Here's some suggestions that are helpful:
YOU’RE POISON AND I'M NOT LISTENING ANYMORE!
F%@% OFF! (My personal favorite)
Really allow yourself to feel the anger and let that EMPOWER you to stop negative thinking in its tracks.
Always view yourself as your best friend and remember you wouldn't say those things to your best friend!
“Every thought we think, is creating our future”
3. Replace with supportive empowering thoughts
Now that you have become aware of your inner critic and the thoughts it breeds and have become empowered to fight back, it’s time to replace that inner critic with your own inner CHAMPION who uses thoughts that are supportive, empowering and will move your forward.
This may seem really unnatural at first as many of us really believe those negative thoughts, but this is a MUST if you want to break the pattern. There are a couple ways you can do this.
First, try turning the thought around. For example; if the thought is “I’m not good enough,” try turning it around to “I am a fully capable individual, smart and competent.” Do this for all the negative thoughts that come your way and watch for changes in the way you feel.
Another exercise is to ask those close to you, what positive attributes they see in you and how they view you. You’ll be surprised to know that the people around us, view us in a completely different light than we view ourselves. RECEIVE their words and don’t try to push them away with your inner critic.
People see me as capable, smart, funny, self-assured and inspiring. Guess what? I was the last person to find this out, really it was quite shocking and sometimes, it still can be!
However, basking in positive, supportive thoughts will ALWAYS be far more beneficial then sulking in negative ones.
"The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible."
Now it’s up to you! Ready to break free and play big? Ready to become aware of what’s holding you back and fight it head on? If so, then the CHOICE lies within you. Decide for yourself what you would rather think of yourself and what is the “payoff” for thinking a certain way? Does a thought raise you up or keep you down?
When we allow ourselves the power to choose our thoughts, we also invite in the power to choose the course of our lives, whether it be in relationships, health, or career. How wonderful is this news? I know when I first realized it, it was like a new door opened for me and I suddenly had different glasses on from which I could now view the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cured and there is never an end to the calculating, subtle, sneaky inner critic, but I have become more aware and have the skills to fight back and have felt the freedom from the bondage of self.
Everyone knows the old adage, you are what you think. So my friend, I ask you today, why would you ever allow your inner critic to dictate your thinking and your reality any longer?
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