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?

Living Now - - Personal Development - By Dar­ren Weiss­man

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.

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