Silencing the inner critic. How thanking your inner critic can help.
People often talk to me about the frustration and anger they feel about that inner voice of negativity that holds them back, that they wish their inner critic would get lost and leave them alone (often expletives are used at this point).
That inner critic, although misguided and certainly not to be listened to, is actually there trying to protect you. Our brains get scared when we want to make changes and go outside of our comfort zone. Our brains hate change (our current stuation is safe and has kept us alive thus far). Our brains haven’t changed that much over the past 40,000 years and struggle to differentiate the threat of being at risk of being eaten by a tiger and the risk of leaving your job to set up on your own- the same brain areas are activated and hormones released.
When you think of your inner critic in these terms, as someone who is trying to protect you, but is misguided, incompetent at their job and certainly needs some communication skills training, it will have a lot less power over you.
Next time you are wanting to make a change or do something outside of your comfort zone and your inner critic tells you; “you are going to embarrass yourself”, “there’s no way you can do that” or “you need to learn X, Y or Z before you even attempt that”, here’s what I want you to do:
1. Thank your inner critic for trying to protect you.
2. Consider whether there is any real tangible evidence for what he/she is saying to you. (9 times out of 10 there won’t be)
3. If there is no evidence- MAKE THE CHANGE. If there is, discuss it with someone else for a further reality check, make whatever adjustments you really need to and then MAKE THE CHANGE.
When you recognise that the inner critic is not the enemy, they will have a lot less power over you.