The four questions to stop your inner critic in her tracks.
Self doubt got you stuck? The four questions to stop your inner critic in her tracks.
This week has opened up some super interesting conversations around our self worth and the inner critic thanks to Instagram removing the likes (I am here for this trial and hope it sticks). I personally have noticed since they were removed how much I eyeball them in my scroll - I truly didn't think they impacted me as much as they did. Now hopefully we can share more openly and more authentically without the constant refreshing or panic that your post "isn't doing well", and let go of valuing ourselves based on numerics.
But what about the comments or followers count that are still visible? What about other platforms that still show it? What about when we leave our house and have offline experiences that trigger it? Minimising and eliminating the triggers are WONDERFUL, but what can we do when they still show up?
I was listening to an Esther Hicks talk the other day and she said when she caught herself in the less useful thoughts of the inner critic, she would laugh at herself and say "I'm getting better at this." So often I think we can end up beating ourselves up for having thoughts or moments that maybe don't serve us or judge our inner critic, so I love the lightness this creates in celebrating the humanness of it and also your awareness that you caught it. So step one, when in doubt - laugh it out.
These are the four questions I use on myself and my clients to stop the inner critic tirade in its tracks and support you to refocus back to what you DO want and what will serve you.
Let's take a thought for example, "I feel like a failure".
Is it true? Is it REALLY true that i'm a failure? No. I haven't given up, I still have more time, I am learning, I have wins and victories I can acknowledge. So no, it's not true.
Is this useful or effective? Is it ACTUALLY helpful for me to think I am a failure? Choosing to believe the thought that I was a failure is definitely going to move me further away from what I am trying to achieve, will more than likely result in some serious scrolling to prove myself "right".
Who would I be if I chose not to believe the thought? I would feel more free, my mind would be clear to see the next best step and I would be able to recommit to my goals. *dust yourself off and try again*
What could I choose to believe instead that would empower me? This is a little like creating an affirmation or power mantra, however I would like to add a little caveat in here. Try starting with something that you can really believe, something that when you say it, your body agrees and your mind doesn't go "that's utter BS" and you're back to step one. So for example, it could be as simple as "I am constantly learning and growing in to a better version of me." If you can't find one that feels like a full body trueeee, another option is to ask a better question for your mind to answer (the subconscious mind LOVES it a question and is built to find an answer). So if the thoughts of our inner critic come from a space of WORRY, what can we ask from a space of WONDER and CURIOSITY? Eg - "what can I learn from this?" "how am I improving?" "how am I better than I was a year ago?" "where am I succeeding?"
It's all about freeing up the space for you to refocus on YOU, remember that those thoughts are fleeting and not your truth. Catching our inner critic and course correcting is a practice - always remember you get to choose your thoughts because they shape your reality. If you want to dig in to this even more, I would recommend diving in to The Work by Byron Katie (who inspired these questions).