In my last blog post, we discussed how to tell the difference between our Inner Voice and the inner critic. Today I want to discuss tools we have at our disposal when the inner critic shouts so loud we cannot hear our intuition, or doubt we can trust such a weak, distant voice.
The inner critic also goes by other names. Personal demons can keep us from reaching our goals. Gremlins undermine our best efforts at self improvement. The cluttered mind keeps us overwhelmed and unmotivated. Ego is a tremendous force with decades of momentum behind it. No wonder the inner critic is so vividly real and so pervasively persuasive!
It’s important to understand that the “voice” or the “gremlin messages” are thoughts. Your thoughts come from your mind, so it’s possible for you to change them! How cool is that?
“Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead!”~ Pink, Fuckin’ Perfect
The power to choose our own thoughts is the greatest power we have, but most of us have no idea how to wield that power. Our beliefs shape our thoughts, so if we want to change our thoughts, let’s take a look at our beliefs.
Are your beliefs ones that you chose for yourself?
Were most of them chosen for you?
Are they your culture’s beliefs or your parents?
How willing are you to let go of the ones that no longer serve you?
What new belief(s) would you like to begin practicing today?
Beliefs are something I explore with my clients all the time.
Around 90% of the clients I talk with eventually uncover an underlying belief that they are “not enough” in some way. Once we uncover that, it’s easy to see how a belief like that would spawn inner critic thoughts like: “Why even try?” “I’ll never get a better job.” “I’ll never find anyone who loves/understands me.” “Don’t get your hopes up!” “Forget what you WANT, get a practical job!” “Don’t let people get to know you, they won’t like you.” “I have no confidence.” “I don’t deserve this.”
With thoughts like these, who needs enemies, right? And EVERYONE has them! It’s important to know that if you are identifying with these thoughts, you are not alone. Some people have learned how to deal with them so they don’t cause stress and suffering, but the self doubts are a very human condition.
Our limiting thoughts construct an invisible prison that limit the options available to us.
In order to increase the options and opportunities available to us, and live our best lives, we must make an effort to change the thoughts. It’s not difficult, but it does take some effort and CONSTANT reminders. Constant reminders. Constantly constant reminders. The enemy is a tremendous force with decades of momentum, so it will take time to slow that locomotive down before it can change directions.
In the previous post, I talked about practicing affirmations as a way to strengthen the messages of the Inner Voice. Since writing that post, I have discovered an AMAZING app called Think Up. App info here.
The free version of Think Up allows you to record three affirmations in your own voice, then it plays them back to you over soothing music! I love it! It lifts me every time I hear my own voice reminding me I am worthy and abundant! It’s extremely powerful and uplifting. The app allows you to set reminders to practice throughout the day. This is a really cool reminder to realign your energy frequently. Practicing is KEY to shifting your thoughts.
Read something daily meant only to uplift and inspire!
Some GREAT ways to stay inspired are to read inspiring books, listen to inspiring speakers, and talk with people who are inspired! Subscribe to a podcast that is meant to uplift. Turn OFF the news and listen to a TED talk. We cannot immerse ourselves in the general, chaotic vibration of the world, and not counter it with inspiration, and then expect to feel inspired! How can we possibly feel inspired if we are digesting current events daily with no counterpoint?
Here is the link again to my post called Practice Happiness Daily.
It has a list of uplifting resources to play with!
Constant reminders are vital, but besides bolstering our Inner Voice, we want to begin quieting the screeching of any gremlin messages that are interfering with receiving intuitive messages from the Universe (inner voice).
How on earth do we slow the momentum of the inner critic?
When you become aware that your inner critic is active, just notice. That is the first step. Just let yourself be aware that the critic is vying for your attention. Don’t try to shift gears. Don’t get upset that “it’s happening” again. Don’t run away from the voice or the feelings it brings. Just shine awareness on it. Just be aware. Simply watch the actions of the gremlin with curiosity and non-judgement.
What were you engaged in when the inner critic spoke up?
– Keeping a list of your triggers can be helpful.
What is the inner critic trying to protect you from?
If it’s an emotion that the critic is trying to avoid, sit with that emotion. Allow yourself to experience it.
What does it feel like to allow the emotion?
Awareness is a powerful weapon against the inner critic. For now, let that be enough. Practice getting good at recognizing the inner critic’s voice, and simply observing it.
In the next post, we’ll explore ways to disarm our gremlins and begin redirecting the energy they drain from us into building new, more positive thought pathways!
Follow this link to order Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way by Rick Carson. It’s the preeminent work on gremlin taming and a very useful book.