Freedom From the Inner Critic
Freedom from the Inner Critic
Are you tortured by a voice in your head?
Manifestations of the inner critic include any and all the thoughts based in comparison, what you have done “wrong”, or could have done wrong, “should” statements, and labeling or generalizations about yourself.
The inner critic or our personal Gremlin, leads you to believe that everything is about you and your faults, especially when something doesn’t go according to plan, and there is an assumption that this is because of something you did. It might even berate you, perhaps call you a loser. It might play the role of negative motivator, by trying to make you achieve the impossible, to always do “better”, and feel no matter what, it’s never good enough.
The inner critic is a separate subpersonality living in your psyche that pretends it’s you: a concept similar to the Freudian “superego”.
This inner “Gremlin” can set off your defences, increase your stress, and often damage or even destroy your relationships. The inner critic often produces feelings of shame, deficiency, low self-esteem, and depression. It may also cause self-doubt and undermine self-confidence. But even in the mildest cases, it prevents us from feeling free, open, and in awe of life.
In the following audio presentation, I explain how the Inner Critic takes form in our psyche, and how to free yourself from the debilitating hold it has on you and your lifeg
There are three Key steps to quietening your gremlin:
1. Dis-identifying from it: recognizing that that voice is NOT you.
2. Dis-empowering it: taking back control of your life.
3. Keeping an ongoing vigilance: calling it out when it interferes or is harmful.
During your ongoing vigilance, at times you will treat the inner critic as an ally who you are trying to transform, but often it needs to be ignored or simply, politely but firmly dismissed.
The inner critic may have started out as a way to protect or guide you, but it does so in a covert, distorted, or maladaptive way. There are cultural scripts that may have taught you to punish yourself for certain behaviours or to stick to some arbitrary norms. But sometimes, we forget that these are human-made— and we treat them as “the only right way to do things.” It is our innate fear of being judged by others or ostracized in some way causes us to give power to these thoughts.
Transforming the Inner Critic
The transformative process can take the form of Gestalt style voice dialogue, but you can also work with it energetically – which is very powerful. That ball in your throat when you go to speak, or the knot in your stomach, are usually energy blockages in your body caused by the inner critic.
In this guided meditation, you will be brought through the process that can, over time, dissolve the power the inner critic has in your life.
The important takeaway is that you “see” it. You don’t need to do anything with it. Simply seeing it, just looking at it, or speaking to it enables you to dis-identify from it – and separate yourself from its grip. As you continue to say “I see you, Gremlin.” you will begin to feel lighter, freer, happier, more content, more alive and present. It is a powerful and liberating form of spiritual transformation.
Take a Fast track to Dispensing with your Gremlin
- Brown, Byron (1999). Soul without shame: a guide to liberating yourself from the judge within. Boston: Shambhala Publications. ISBN 157062383X. OCLC 39013815.
- Firestone, Robert; Firestone, Lisa A.; Catlett, Joyce (2002). Conquer your critical inner voice: a revolutionary program to counter negative thoughts and live free from imagined limitations. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. ISBN 1572242876. OCLC 53163537.
- Carson, Richard David (2003) . Taming your gremlin: a surprisingly simple method for getting out of your own way (Revised ed.). New York: Quill. ISBN 0060520221. OCLC 51304177.
- Stone, Hal; Stone, Sidra (1993). Embracing your inner critic: turning self-criticism into a creative asset. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0062507575. OCLC 26357001.
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