Did you know that there are 2 places that the Inner critic lives in our brain? Most other things only have one living area.
No wonder it’s so powerful. And no wonder we can’t shut it up.
Shutting it up is one of the fundamentals of one of the Five Fundamentals for a Fabulous Life.
We’re still on Fundamental #1: Feeeeeling Good
Feeeeeling Good also means letting go of the things that don’t make us feeeeel good – like the Inner Critic.
Some of you might be surprised to hear that we all have an Inner Critic. “What about all those super-confident people?” you ask “Surely they don’t have an Inner Critic”
The truth is that yes they do. They have simply learnt to recognise it for what it is and block it out. And you can too.
So what is it? What is our Inner Critic?
Believe it or not our Inner Critic is designed to make us into decent, socially acceptable human beings.
“You’re telling me this thing that tells me I’m too fat, too skinny, too stupid, too smart for my own good, too outgoing, too shy, too weak, too independent, deficient, disappointing, disgusting, and dysfunctional is actually good for me?” you ask.
And I would have to answer “In a roundabout way…..yes”
Your Inner Critic (and mine) was created by the messages we got from our parents, teachers, friends, and anyone else who meant something to us and might have seemed like they had the answer to being socially acceptable.
As part of our survival instinct we need to fit in with our tribe. And to fit in with them we either need to be just like them or to follow their rules. So people who meant something to us – our family, teachers, friends – had to be taken seriously when they told us that purple hair made us look like a freak, or that being too confident was a sign of arrogance, or even that we were to blame for their unhappiness.
With each message the Inner Critic grows. It tells us to wash that colour out of hair – then we’ll be acceptable. It tells us to downplay our accomplishments so we don’t come across as too conceited or arrogant – then we’ll fit in. It tells us to be perfect so that we don’t make other people unhappy – then we’ll be a valued member of our tribe and we’ll be accepted.
So you can see that it has a very important role. Unfortunately for some people the rules that were created in our tribe were a little kooky and definitely not necessary to follow to fit in with the rest of the world. Like “you have to be perfect to be loved.” Not necessary to follow that rule!
This tricky little point – the rules that were created and enforced by our Inner Critic are not necessarily necessary for us to fit in is going to give us something to start with in taming our Inner Critic. But alas…. I have reached my word limit and you will need to wait for the next exciting instalment.
My Inner Critic is calling me mean and selfish right now. Should I be listening to that? I think not.