HEALING THE INNER CRITIC
How do you get rid of the Inner Critic of Impossible Perfection and encourage your Inner Coach to come out and play? Even further how can you transform the pressure of perfect into a passion of practice?
Emerging into the new year it’s not hard imagining what most people’s inner voice is telling them. Did you really have to eat that third piece of pie? Do you realise how fat you’re getting? How could you have said that to _________ (fill in the blank – your boss, your Great Uncle Harry, husband, sister, child, dog et cetera) at the party? What were you thinking!? And are you ever going to get your desk straight? And what about that report you said you’d finish last month. And … Blah blah blah. We all have voices in our heads. And they’re usually not very complimentary. When was the last time your Inner Critic said something nice about you? Exactly. That’s why it’s called the Inner Critic and not your Inner Coach.
People ask me why it’s so much easier to get sucked into believing the negative self-talk of the Inner Critic than it is to believe the Inner Coach (if s/he can ever get a word in edgewise). And that’s a complex question with a multidimensional answer. The short version, however, can be boiled down into two parts: All the bad stuff we’ve been told about ourselves over the years hurt. Mum’s crack about your ‘big bottom’ or Dad’s remark about not being smart enough to get into a good university—whatever the comment was—created emotional pain.
Criticism comes with an emotional punch that, quite literally, sears the voice and words of whoever is dressing us down into our brains. It’s the emotion that does it. Pain and hurt feelings trigger a powerful cascade of biochemicals that courses through the body, making the words indelible.