Working with the critic

When you’re apparently under attack from others, a large part of your difficulty might be coming from your own inner critic. So there’s much to be gained by studying all the ways it’s in play.

You could start simply by noticing what the critic has to say: the endless stream of criticism and judgement in your thoughts, and its absolute commitment to your unworthiness.

Write it down, verbatim, and just look at all the exaggeration, wild fantasy, fearfulness, and overblown certainty. Read it back to yourself. Then it back to yourself or someone else again, this time in a comedy voice (which can do a great job of showing you all that is crazy about the claims it’s making).

And then, understand this:

  • this voice is not you, but just a part of you
  • you did nothing wrong (or right) to get it – it’s part of the human heritage
  • nobody who is human, no matter how successful or powerful, escaped having this
  • most of us are very good at hiding it from others
  • it’s not helping you – even though it claims you need it
  • you don’t have to listen

This, the last point, is the one to work on most rigorously. Because when you stop listening to the voice of your inner critic as if it were the truth you’ll discover that you can start to listen to the actual voice of others at last.

And instead of collapsing or raging or tuning out, you’ll have the opportunity to deepen your connection and to learn together about this strange, crazy, necessary and life-giving phenomenon we call human relating.

Photo Credit: Eyesplash – a life in transition via Compfight cc