Silence the Critic

Today was a gloriously beautiful day. It was one of those unseasonably warm days in the midst of the cool fall weather we’ve been having lately. I spent some time in my back yard with the birds and the squirrels and the Blue Beech tree I planted when I moved into my house 5 years ago.

I love my tree. Every time I walk by it I offer it praise. “I love your tiny leaves”. “Your bark is such a beautiful texture”. “My, how you’ve grown!”

My tree and I have such an uncomplicated relationship unlike the “I love you, I love you not” relationship most of us have with ourselves.

When was the last time you gave your inner critic a talking to? We all have one. It’s that voice that gives you a scolding on a regular basis. It is quick to let you know that you made a mistake or you could have done better and it often uses the words “who do you think you are?”

Most of us have lived with our inner critic’s harsh words for so long we don’t realize the harm that they are doing.

I find that my inner critic shouts loudest when I’m trying to do something new, something outside my comfort zone, something that takes courage.

Mine was rearing its head the other day.

I was in the middle of a session with my coach. I enjoy the benefit of having her shine a light on the things I am too close to see. During our session I got a clear view of the negative impact my critic has been having lately on my life. I was so distressed I fired ‘her’ right then and there.

After my coaching session I knew I needed to take another step. I tell my clients that whenever you want to make a change you must take one small step to move yourself toward that change.

You have to secure an alignment with where you want to go rather than where you don’t want to be.

I decided to write a job description replacing my inner critic with an inner mentor or coach.

Here it is.

I put my new job description on the bulletin board above my desk. Every day I read it as a reminder to be kind to myself and to look to my inner wisdom rather than my inner critic for guidance.

I encourage you to fire your inner critic. Then write a new job description to secure a strong intention for a positive change.

What is one of the qualities of your new inner mentor. I hope you’re inspired to share it in the comments below!

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  1. Posted November 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely love your blog post about firing my inner critic. I can’t believe I allowed her to stay in her position for so long. My new inner critic will be nurturing AND gently push me to stretch myself.

    • Jovanna
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it wonderful to finally know that you have a choice! It’s like waking up from a long sleep. I think your new inner coach/mentor and mine would get along very well. Now all we have to do is remind ourselves to listen to their voice. Kelly, I took a look at your website and the work you do is very inspiring!

  2. Posted November 2, 2012 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Great post and I LOVE your job description! I posted about hiring an inner coach instead of an inner critic this week too. The key, as you say, is all about choice! As I see it – You always have an inner critic and an inner coach – one sat on each shoulder whispering in your ear… You get to choose which one you want to listen to 🙂

    • Jovanna
      Posted November 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Elaine, knowing we have choice is so important. It often takes another’s view of our life to offer the fresh perspective that brings choice. I love the idea that you suggested on your post of muting our inner critic! I’m so excited to try that approach!

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