There are a number of ways our life gets optimized and finding a way to not let our inner critic take over is essential. The inner critic is a structure, usually internalized from our parental figures that makes sure certain standards are upheld and that we do not "step" out of line. It informs us frequently of behavioural limits and let's us know harshly when we have not met some unconscious image of how we have to behave. In short, the inner critic, keeps us limited and doesn't let us expand beyond a self-identity that is usually a tapestry of inner wounds, limiting beliefs, images and unconscious aspects from the past.
The Inner Critic is known as
The Super Ego, The Judge, Gremlin, and Inner Voice
The 5 Tips:
1. Develop compassion for the wounds of past times
A common theme for people who have done some self-development is the inner critic being activated around changes and inner issues that "have been dealt with" or "should have been dealt with". The inner critic harshly attacks us for not having been able to tackle this issues or berates us harshly for still "having to explore it". Give me a break here. In addition to us having suffered through a variety of situations and events that lacked the appropriate holding and care we needed when we were young, we are now beating the crap out of ourselves and journeying deeper into hurting our heart.
"Compassion for myself is the most powerful healer of them all."Theodore Isaac Rubin
2. Give yourself time to connect with your body
What's not so known is that when we attack ourselves, we usually have some clear responses in our body we can use as inner guidance. We will have to learn to discriminate and recognize our inner landscape in order to know when we attack ourselves and how it affects us. Some common reactions may include being spaced out, overwhelmed, confused, resistant, and collapsing into a deficient sense of self (e.g. "poor me", incapable, worthless, dumb and other variations). When we get in touch with our body sensations, it helps us to get out of the identifications with the inner voices and to ground ourselves more in the present moment awareness. This point is also a reminder, that we are not the worthless and incapable image our inner critic is supporting and has been supporting for years. So it is a reminder of our human qualities that lie beneath the surface level of rejection, and inner judgement.
"Your body isn't just a body. It's an eco system."Douglas Coupland
3. Let go of the idea that you don't know what is relevant and important without listening to the inner voices
A main objection to opening to a life not governed by the inner critic, is that unconsciously we believe we will not know what is right and what is not appropriate, and so we close down the possibility of discovering that not only do we know, we also have a marvelous guidance system within us, that is far more atuned, precise and capable than those old "inner MP 3's" from ages ago.
4. Engage your inner strength to separate yourself from your own self-attacks
There are many tools available working with the inner critic. One of the major insights in the process is the recognition that we are not the inner critic nor are we the helpless, incapable young part the inner critic is attacking. Generally, it is useful to let our inner strength emerge and find ways of disengaging from the inner critic in a way that separates us from continued self-attacks. If we disengage in a way that supports the process, we may notice more energy, vitality, and often an expanded sense of ourselves.
5. Be aware and mindful when you judge others and develop an attitude of loving kindness
One way we unconsciously align with the inner critic is by identifying with the critic and projecting our attacks and judgement outwards towards other human beings. We need to develop mindfulness and awareness to let go of this pattern, and to develop loving-kindness towards others and stop being hurtful to them.
"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"Jean Jacques Rousseau