How To Overcome The Inner Critic
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Whether you’re a musician, an artist, a writer, or even an entrepreneur, you would have experienced an inner critic. You know the voice that we have within ourselves that creates doubts, fears, and thoughts that we’re not good enough whenever we’re going through any kind of process!
In this episode of self development collective, we’re going to discuss how to overcome that self-critic we all at some point in our lives struggled to manage and overcome. These are the things that helped me work with self-critic a bit more and hopefully, will help you too.
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Hi guys, and welcome to searching for better. So, in this episode today, we’re going to go through overcoming the self-critic. Now this is something that we, I feel like we all have an inner critic. We all, at some point in our lives struggled to manage it struggled to overcome it. And that’s definitely something that I’m familiar with. I don’t know about you, but today I want to go through some things that have helped me to work with the self-critic a bit more, be less judgmental about it in some ways overcome it. So today we’re going to go through how to overcome the self-critic. And there’s just a couple of steps here today that we’re going to go through and again, as always take what resonates leave, what doesn’t. So let’s get started. The first thing when it came to working with the self-critic is first becoming aware of when the self-critic arises. The reason I say that is because I listened to something recently that spoke a lot about self-criticism and how to manage it. And it actually said that our self-criticism is tied to our attachment style and our main caregivers. So usually when we have a self critic, that voice tends to be very similar or the same as our main caregivers, those who perhaps, maybe unintentionally criticized us, or we felt as a criticize us. And that’s something that really helped me because when I started to understand the situations that were coming up, where I was getting self-critical, and then I could understand perhaps the caregivers, voices that I tended to use most, I just became more aware of how my self critic was working when it would get, when it would come up. And it just helped me to understand it a bit more and that’ll get me to the next point. So the first thing I would say is recognize when the self-critic comes up, is there a certain situation where your self critic comes up? The same types of situations? Is it, you know, when you’ve maybe had a fight with your partner on this self-critic kicks in, or maybe it’s when you go to do something outside of your comfort zone, or maybe it’s about when you’re, again, pursuing something that you want to do perhaps it’s maybe when it comes to your parenting. I’m not a parent. I wouldn’t have a clue of how that works, but it’s all about just recognizing when that self-critic comes up. So when we start to recognize the situations where that comes up, we’re able to then start to reflect and go, okay, well, whose voice is this? How did we develop this self-critic which caregiver is it? So for example, perhaps, maybe you had a passion that you always loved and you had a parent that always said that that passion was not a serious thing. You’d never do anything with a, you needed to do something more serious. So you might find that every time you go to pursue that or to spend time on it, the self-critic starts to kick in. And naturally you start to kind of mimic the things that that caregiver would say. So that’s another thing I think that just helps us to become more aware of what’s happening in our thinking. And when we become more aware of that, we start to understand that you have betrayal actions that come after that thinking or with that thinking. So we’d say, okay, I understand why I’m starting to avoid or procrastinate or start to really criticize myself because this is something that X, this person really criticize me for in these situations when I was younger, this always came up. So you sought to understand how you’re wired. And that’s definitely the case for me. I started to understand when that self-critic was coming up, why it was coming up and who it most resembled out of my family system. And if you don’t know what a attachment style is, definitely have a Google of it. It’s a really great thing theory that gives us insight on how we connect based on the relationship that we had with the primary caregivers in our lives. So that’s really, really good, insightful information. Now, the third thing that I want to a point that really helped me, and this is from another theory that I really thought was helpful. The theory is about having different parts and accepting those parts. So it’s called family sorry, internal family systems home blank for a second there. So it’s called internal family systems. And it sounds like it’s about our family, but it’s not. It’s actually about the internal family. So all the different parts of that, we have an internal family systems. The part that I love about this theory the most is that it doesn’t shun us for the different parts that we have. It actually tries to work with all the parts and understand all the parts. So I know that sounds a little bit weird and something that we might struggle to get our head around, but the way I like to think of it most is you know, when you say I’ve got a, I’ve got this part of me that wants to do X, Y, and Z, I’ve got this part of me that says I should, or part of me that says I should it. So think of that and then think of all the different parts that we have. So sometimes we have a part that gets really stressed. Sometimes we have a pot that gets really critical. Sometimes we have a part that kicks in and we start to feel maybe more calm and centered. We have different parts. And with this Siri, the whole idea is that we then have what’s called the self. So the self I like to think of as kind of like the really wise curious, nonjudgmental part of ourselves, that’s able to converse or talk to these different parts as they come up. And one big part of this Siri is that there’s room to learn and accept all the parts. That’s what I love about it. It’s not about trying to get rid of any parts that we don’t like. It’s about trying to understand the purpose of those parts, because naturally we have an inclination as human beings to protect, to avoid situations where we think are unsafe and something I’ve learned with self criticism is when we have a connection with a caregiver or a situation where someone that we love disapproves of who we are or what we do, we will naturally disconnect with that area of our lives. We’ll avoid it. We’ll pretend it’s not there. So when we go to perhaps work on it, it can feel quite threatening to us because we’ve learned through our experience accidentally. And again, this is not intentional by caregivers. This is just, you know, our caregivers, 99% of the time are trying to do what’s best for us. But naturally we learned that being who we want to be or that part of us that we have is unsafe because we don’t connect with the people that we’re trying to connect with when we have that part or the fact that we have that part has been criticized. So we feel if we become part or allow that part, then we will be disconnected with our loved ones and something that I really learnt in uni, which was so interesting was that it’s not actually just the survival needs. It’s the connection that keeps us going. So they did this study with monkeys. And obviously this was a long time ago because I don’t think it would be really ethical now, but they do this study with monkeys and they got these baby monkeys and they had two mothers. They had a mother, they were both made of wire. One mother was just a Y up shaped a mother and she fed them and the other mother was, had cloth around it. So she was more comforting. And they found that even though the why a mother fed them. So it provided a physical need, a physical survival need, because obviously we all know we need to eat and drink to survive. That’s a basic survival. No one actually thought that connection was part of that like group of basic survival needs. And it actually turns out that the monkeys tended to go to the cloth mother more so after they got fed, they went straight to the cloth mother. If they had a choice between the two, they tended to go to the cloth mother for comfort, because that connection was part of the survival. It was a strong part of survival. So naturally we all have a strong inclination to connect with the main people in our lives. If we have been criticized for something that we love to do whether again, that’s accidental or we being criticized for a type of the way that we are for some sort of reason or a particular trait that we have, we will tend to try and avoid that part, bury that trait because it conflicts with our need, our drive to connect it. It can compromise. We can feel as though I can compromise compromise, sorry, getting tongue twisted today. We can feel as though it’s going to compromise with that connection. So we hide that pop and that self-critic in my experience usually comes in to protect us to say, Hey, no, we don’t do this. Or we don’t do that because if we do, we won’t connect, we will be left out. We’ll be ostracized out. We weren’t connected with our loved ones and we won’t survive. And I know that seems a little extreme, but it is important to remember that we do still have a primal brain that still drives us as human beings and understanding those primal needs and understanding again, for example, how much the need to connect the needs to belong really affects us is important because this is where the self coaching comes in. That we can start to understand the way our mind and our body works and to feel less judgmental and be more curious, curious about it as well. Sorry, my friends just rang then and I had a feeling that would happen today, but that’s okay. Yeah, so just recapping on what we went through. So the first thing I would say is recognizing when the self-critical rises. So what situations, so then I would say recognizing the attachment style or the caregiver that, that self-critic mimics, that sounds like, and then number three would be to remember that connection drives us and to allow room for that part. The self-critic can give us a lot of understanding if we allow it, when we start to just understand its protectiveness and its purpose, we start to feel less frustrated with it. We don’t fight with it as much, and we find more self-acceptance, which helps us to move past it. And, and allow when it’s there, allow ourselves to coach ourselves out of it. So this leads me to 0.4. So once we learn to allow room and space to accept that part of our set comes up, the next thing I would say is to see this as an opportunity to practice self compassion. So this kind of goes hand in hand with the part accepting our parts as they are. So the self-critic as it comes up. So we start to recognize the situations that comes up. We sought to recognize perhaps the background behind that voice, where it came from, the experiences that we had. So we sought to understand ourselves a bit more, and we’re becoming accepting of the fact that this is a part, this is just a part of us. It has a protective instinct. It’s trying to, it has a purpose of trying to do something in some ways. This part is trying to serve us how, and then it’s about practicing self compassion. So for me, it was about becoming curious about the part again and being nonjudgmental and saying, okay, so how is this part serving me? How is it trying to protect me? What’s it trying to do and sort of coaching your way through that part. So it’s about becoming the self. As it said in family systems, I’m really talking to that part and conversing with that part. And if you don’t like that idea, sometimes it’s just like, you know, when you sort of talk yourself down situation, so say you get anxious about something and you’re like, it’s okay. I can do this. It’s the same sort of thing. So when that self criticism era comes up, well, when that pot comes up and you start to feel overwhelmed by it, and you recognize that the reason it’s coming up and you’re starting to understand yourself a bit more, you can start to talk yourself through it, be curious, be non-judgemental and something with self-compassion that I always say is talk to yourself as you would a friend or talk to yourself as you would, your ideal parent would. So again, all our parents, 99% well-intentioned, but perhaps there’s a certain way that we wish we would have been spoken to about this part, or we wish we would have been supported and recognize. So this is your opportunity. Now, when that self-critic comes up to really start to self parent to work with that part of yourself, that perhaps has been avoided or ignored, because we felt like, again, if we allowed it, if we worked with it, we wouldn’t connect working with the self-critic is a great opportunity to work on the relationship with self it’s such a great opportunity to really understand yourself and really just, I tell you, improve your relationship with yourself. Definitely. For me, it’s been understanding, you know, for me, the self-critic is all about protecting myself. And I think my family had, you know, and again, this is not the natural thing. Just, I think it’s a cultural thing that, you know, the females were usually quiet. So doing these type of work was very confronting outside of what was accepted, I was petrified that fit. My family would find out about this. And and again, that fear of connection, right. That fear of not being approved of is really scary. When you think about your main caregivers, because the idea of like two loss of loneliness actually equals not being able to survive. So that’s something that’s really helped me. So I really understand like, Hey, that’s okay, you’re scared right now. And I understand for me that the self-critic is just trying to keep me connected to the ones that I love. And I also understand that that pop those, what it’s doing doesn’t serve. So then I kind of worked through it and say, okay, I understand that you’re really worried right now. And I understand that this is challenging, but they see something that I really need to do, and we’re gonna work through this and we’ll figure it out and kind of calm that pot down. And I know that these sounds can sound a little bit I think people get a little bit scared to converse with parts because there’s this idea that that’s a little bit crazy. But again, I found that it works really well. Family systems is a really internal family systems, sorry, is a really fantastic theory. It’s helped put a lot of people. I would highly recommend just having a rate of it as well. There’s actually a book. He, he the creator brought out called no bad parts and that’s like an end consumer book, which is really great, cause I’m about to read it too, but it really helps us to start to accept the different areas of ourselves. And this is why I really focused on the self critique because that is usually the hardest part to accept, because again, it is challenging. It does reflect some of the feedback that we got as kids. And it goes against all those like secret rules that we have, right. Those should and should not set. We live by that sometimes you don’t even realize. So that’s what I would say about the self critique recognize when the self critic comes up, recognize the attachment sole caregiver that it resembles or sounds like, understand that there’s room to learn and accept all the parts that we have, including the self critique. The self critique at the end of the day is trying to serve us in some way. You might, in my experience, trying to protect us from experiences, it’s trying to protect us from things that we want to avoid that would be perhaps experienced as as a child work with that part, understand it. And when it does come up, coach it, talk to it, repairing yourself speak to yourself as you would a friend understand, Hey, look, I say that that pot skate. And I understand that, and I understand why, because of all the experiences, but I’m here now. And there’s something that I’d like to pursue in this is really important. So coaching yourself through that, that has really helped me. I think trying to get rid of the self critique again, is a way of denying the fact that we just have pots that come up that want to help us in their own way. And it’s kind of like, you know, when a friend is trying to do something and perhaps it’s not the way we’d go about it. So we kind of say, look, we know you’re trying to help, but this isn’t actually working for us. It’s the same with your parts. They’ll come up and they’ll try and help. And that might not always be the way it works. It’s about self coaching, your way, getting into the self, becoming curious non-judgemental towards that part, understanding its purpose, and then coaching yourself through it as it comes up and, and taking small steps as you coach yourself through it. So that’s what I would say when it when we talk about overcoming the self-critic, these are the steps that have really helped. These are the steps that I would recommend. I know it’s really like, it’s, it’s different to, I think some of the things that I’ve read a lot of people say, ignore it work through it, push through it. I’m not really one of those people that believes in that sort of aggressive way of pushing through. I think the self-compassion for me has worked better. So naturally I tend to go towards that. So that’s what I would say, try not to, in my experience and the, the suggestions I would make, and again, take what resonates, leave, what doesn’t try to understand the pot. It’s kind of like when you’re having an argument with someone and you sit there and then you try to really just understand each other and things just kind of get easier because you might not agree with that person, but you understand where they’re coming from and you see the intention behind it. And it’s the same when you have the different parts of yourself. When you’re talking to the self self-critic, when you’re recognizing it, you start to understand it a bit more and get less frustrated and you deny it less because you’re starting to understand it more. And you’re giving yourself the opportunity to understand yourself and be better and work through that. And it’s a lot easier to work through something when we understand it and we don’t have to push ourselves through it. It’s just a way of self discovery, something that I found really helpful. So I hope that you found this episode helpful. All the, the, the book that I mentioned and everything I mentioned will be in the description. But this is the kind of stuff we’re going to go through in the membership. This is something that I’d like to walk work through. We’ll have a month on self-compassion. We will talk about the self-critic. We will go into this internal family systems and think about the different parts and learn how to sort of work with ourselves and the parts that come up as they come up. These are just things that are really important in the journey. And the whole purpose of these membership is to help give you tools and tools that I have used as well, that have really helped me to help us create a life and live a life and become a person that, that we really want to be, to feel like, you know, our journey is meaningful and purposeful and allow ourselves to create that and have a box of, of mental health resources that we can use when we come up to challenges and obstacles and experiences. And so that’s what the membership is about. Again, we’ll be going through content like this, but just with more specific exercises activities, it’ll be short and sweet because I respect the fact that everybody is busy and it will be a community. So you’ll have accountability, you’ll have people there to support you. So if that’s something that you’re interested in there’s a link there where you can join the wait list and I will be doing a master class based around what we’ll be teaching in the membership. So if that’s something you’re interested in, make sure to jump on the list because when that master class comes out, you will be the first scenario because you’ll be on the email list. So thank you so much for listening today. And as I always say, take what resonates leave? What does it, I hope this has helped and I’ll catch you in the next episode.