Nothing takes the spring out of our step more quickly than a critical comment made by the wrong person at the wrong time.
How ironic then that the meanest critic we encounter is the one living in our own heads!
You’re strolling down the street and a stranger yells, “Hey you…ya fat, useless, undeserving lump of good-for-nothing…..” as they drive past.
You’d respond, right? Course you would – with something witty, big and clever.
Since you’re a classy gal, you might not respond out loud. But you’d certainly ‘talk back’ in your head.
So why-oh-why do we not talk back to the inner critic that yells in our own head?
Day after day, we crucify ourselves with nit-picking, de-motivating meanness – to which we do not respond!
We take it on the chin and keep walking.
But, like anyone who’s subjected to a barrage of criticism, we feel bruised and battered – which leads to comfort eating as a form of anaesthesia. Hello vending machine or that third helping of chocolate cake.
Well, don’t we?!
Speaking to you as a reformed comfort eater, it is absolutely vital that you start having a meaningful conversation with your inner critic.
If you don’t learn how to question the validity of its accusations, you’ll continue to hen-peck yourself with mean monologues.
And overeating and self-medicating with food will continue unabated.
Accusations of the inner critic
Our inner critics are conversationally limited. The usual topic is you and your apparent imperfections, like
- Unless you’re Size 6, you’re deeply, deeply flawed.
- If they knew the ‘real’ you, they’d leave you.
- You’re just not good enough, so bring on the lack of confidence.
- If you fail at something, it’s because YOU’RE a failure.
How’d you go?
If you nodded your head to all of the accusations (maybe even added a bunch of your own), you’re in good company.
It is a light-bulb moment for many women to realise that just because there’s a voice in your head –you don’t need to listen to it!
Or, as Cheri Huber points out:
“That voice in your head is not the voice of God. It just sounds like it is.”
You are NOT the conversation you have with yourself in your mind.
If you’re thinking, “What conversation? What is Avril talking about?”
So now you’ve identified it, here’s how you can mute your inner critic so you can get on with igniting your thinner sparkle.
Taming the inner critic
The next time your head fills with disapproving voices, simply say, “next, please”. Just because there’s a voice in your head doesn’t mean you have to listen to its pontifications.
You’d wouldn’t bother listening to a track on a CD you don’t enjoy, so why listen to thoughts in your head that you don’t enjoy?
Some clients take a stronger approach to handling their inner critics.
“Sod off!!!” works particularly well.
Or, the stronger, “Foxtrot-Uniform-Charlie-Kilo Off” can also be yelled at persistent negative thoughts.
It’s YOUR head, you get to chose which tracks to play. Take ownership – chose the soundtrack to your day.
Find out what works for you. Get creative and discover the specific wording that moves you into a resourceful emotional space when your inner critic starts yapping.
STOP the self abuse + drop a dress size
It’s a curious aspect of human behaviour that we are willing to take more abuse from ourselves than we would ever accept from anyone else.
Over the next week pay particular attention to how you talk to yourself. As you notice the inner critic voice, take back your power by talking back.
Life is short.
And it’s also too darn long to live in a body at your unhappy weight or carry an inner voice that is critical.
So go on….have a chat with your inner critic and get your thinner sparkle on.
Love etc, Avril
PS: If you recognise that you have mean inner critic and you realise you need a helping hand to silence it, hypnotherapy can help. Why not drop me a line so you can ditch the inner critic and drop a dress size…..