That Pesky Inner Critic


In most conversations regarding personal goals, when asked “What’s stopping you from achieving your goal?”  That answer is almost always, “me.” I am the one stopping me. Well I’m here today to let you know it’s not you. It’s that pesky Inner Critic.

The voice of your inner critic is either making or breaking you.

That’s that rather loud internal monologue that harps on flaws, judgments, blaming, shaming, belittling or devaluing yourself, others and life situations. The Inner Critic produces self-deprecating thoughts like, “You’re not smart enough,” “You’re incapable,” “you’re too fat/young/old” “Who are you to try?” “You’re not good enough” or “Why bother?”

The Inner Critic is cunning. Sometimes it isn’t overtly mean. Sometimes it’s simply casts judgments but those judgments limit our ability to see passed the judgments it makes. Let’s say for instance, you avoid speaking to someone because of a judgment. You choose not to say anything to a person who walks into the coffee shop and sits across from you. Your thought, “She looks like one of those snobs I can’t stand to be around.” If this sounds like your Inner Critic, you could be completely blocking yourself off from the blessing of a future best friend, business contact, or potential client based on a judgment in your inner critic. Imagine how many judgments you make each day that could be blocking your blessings?

Here is how you can begin reigning in the voice of your pesky inner critic.

Step 1. Personification. Personify or embody the voice in a new character. Let’s call it a Gremlin. The point of this is to disassociate yourself with the voice of the Inner Critic or Gremlin.  (Related Reading: Taming Your Gremlin by Richard Carson)

Step 2. Identification. Draw it. Name it. Write out the things it says.

Draw what this voice looks like.. Use your imagination and let yourself have fun drawing out this Gremlin.

Name him or her. A big part of disassociating with this thing is giving it a name other than your own so that you can identity it as separate from yourself. This way when you hear this inner critic and recognize what it says you can avoid identifying with that voice, and choose to say, “Ok. I hear you, Bitchy McGee, but you’re not in control.” (have good time with naming it too.) 

Step 3. Separation. Hang it! – Post it up in your bathroom mirror or in your closet. The next time this voice tries to highjack your mind, actions or opportunities, your drawing will remind you—that’s your Gremlin trying to stop you.

Step 4- Observation. Monitor the thoughts that come out of your internal monologue. Instead of believing or allowing your actions to reflect the voice of the inner critic, just observe your thoughts, don’t judge yourself, and choose what words you would rather put your mind on.

For more check out this video explaining how to use this simple 3-step process, The Gremlin ID Tool as well as 5 other tools that I teach from The Creative Insight Journey course developed based on the Stanford University Master’s level course Creativity in Business. This course features over 60 tools to help individuals cultivate their emotional intelligence, self-trust, intuition, and creativity.

Cheers To your Gremlin getting out of your way!

Love and Understanding Abound,

Krystal Paige