Embracing your INNER CRITIC

How do you feel about your inner critic? The most common response I have heard when I ask anyone this is along the lines of hating it, it's annoying, or I wish I could just get rid of it. But I want to offer you a bit of a different perspective in the hope that if I ask you the exact same question at the end of reading this, some of you may respond a whole lot different. 

So I'll make the claim right now that I am an EXPERT in the area of the inner critic! Why? My inner critic and I know each other INTIMATELY. She makes multiple daily appearances in my life and no amount of shooing her away or wishing she wasn't there makes ANY difference at all except maybe making her more persistent! The reality is, she's still there and wishing and wanting it not to be so is just a big waste of time and energy. I realised many years ago that for me, I really had to have a different approach and do something different so I decided to get to know the face behind the voice and start building a relationship with her. 

That face is that of my inner child. That shy, timid little girl who used to be afraid of EVERYTHING! That little girl who didn't know how to say no and just did what everyone told her because they knew better than she did. That little girl who was TERRIFIED of making a mistake, who was the ultimate perfectionist. The disempowered people pleaser. The little girl who was picked on and bullied because she was an easy target and never said anything back. Yep... that little girl. She was the voice of my inner critic. Naming her in this way and thinking about the little girl I was, I kinda felt a little sorry for her and it got me thinking as to how I treat her every time I hear her. Wishing her gone, hating her, hoping she'll disappear. it's just ignoring her all over again. 

What if all that little girl actually needed at that exact moment she was being critical was a little UNDERSTANDING and ACKNOWLEDGMENT? I decided to try it out and goodness me, let me tell you... it is a GAME CHANGER! 

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Reality is, you can't GET RID of your inner critic. It's a part of you. But what you can do is relate to it differently. These days, when she shows up as that little voice in my head, I acknowledge her and actually THANK her for being there and let her know that she can relax and I, AS THE ADULT have got this (This is SELF-PARENTING 101). After all, I don't actually think she is trying to be mean to me, I think she's just scared and it's her way of trying to keep me safe! This really does make sense as when I say I was scared of everything as a child, I pretty well was so it's no wonder she shows up so often. By doing this little process in my head, that inner child is able to relax and rather than pushing her away, I have actually shown myself the love, kindness, compassion and acknowledgment I need to alleviate my fear. 

Our inner critic isn't just some random pop up in our own head that is trying to hurt us but rather is our own fear presenting itself. It's a real opportunity for us to show ourselves love and compassion at a moment when we need it the most. This inner critic is an aspect of our inner child and we have to stop calling her mean and cruel and understand that she's just scared. A simple acknowledgment (or sometimes two or three) really can transform your whole relationship with this aspect of yourself and will not only provide you with the ability to move forward in a moment but also deepen the relationship you have with yourself as a whole. 

I do a lot of this work with my clients and I can tell you that being witness to people transforming this area of their relationship with themselves is one of the most beautiful and precious experiences. Reconnecting with aspects that are normally considered negative, bad or wrong and relating to them differently is where ultimate peace is experienced. 

Until next time xxx

 

 

How to experience an abundance of JOY from your EXPECTATIONS, (rather than killing it!)

We've all heard the saying, EXPECTATION IS THE KILLER OF JOY, right? And goodness, I've not only experienced this so many times myself, but I see it all the time in the world around me. But hey, what if turn this around so that rather than being the killer of joy, it can actually be the creator of it! Sounds pretty cool huh?!!! 

Firstly, we need to understand what an expectation actually is and why it so often falls so short. By definition, an expectation is a strong belief that something will happen. So what that really means is that it's something that we, as a human being MAKE UP in our head. We put a value on something we are doing and EXPECT others to react to it in a certain way. Well, I'm not too sure about you, but hearing it in this way, is it really any wonder that more often than not, we are left feeling disappointed, let down, sad and angry??? 

An expectation is a value that YOU decide something should have but really, how do you know how everyone else is going to react to something? We all place our unique values on different things so it's completely unrealistic to think that we can have an across the board expectation that everyone fits in to... isn't it? 

This being said, it's human nature to have expectations so let's not do the whole, "just don't have them!" thing, rather, let pull this apart so we can experience JOY from our expectations. I want to use a real-life example for me that I had last week just so you can really see how this plays out. 

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So, last week my website went live. A really big deal for me. It is a culmination of pretty much the past 10 years all written down in a way that I am extremely proud of. Weeks of work went into its creation and it was really exciting for me. I've fallen into the expectation trap many times before but decided that this time I would really be conscious of what was going on to try to create a REALISTIC PERSONAL EXPECTATION rather than one that was based on SOMETHING OUTSIDE OF ME. 

Firstly, I acknowledged WHAT I had done to create this website... all of the time, effort and new learnings involved in its creation. I allowed MYSELF TO FEEL REALLY PROUD and I gave MYSELF THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I NEEDED to fill the expectation of WHAT I had achieved.

Secondly, I thought about WHY I created this website... My why was to be able to share the work that I am so passionate about with a greater audience - as many people as I possibly can. I allowed MYSELF TO FEEL REALLY PROUD of this and I gave MYSELF THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I NEEDED to fill the expectation of my WHY.  

Next, I thought about WHO I was wanting to share this with. I created a website directly speaking to my ideal client, the people I want to work with. I'd made this really clear and concise and  I allowed MYSELF TO FEEL REALLY PROUD and I gave MYSELF THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I NEEDED to fill the expectation of WHO I was reaching.

Finally, I thought about my OVERALL EXPECTATION. You know, in the past I probably would have thought that somehow putting this website out was going to bring me an influx of clients - like.. seriously, that day! However, consciously I thought about it. As a Transformation Coach, the two biggest requirements for my clients in order for them to want work with me is a feeling of TRUST and SAFETY. What I have created on my website is a PLATFORM for my potential new clients to get to know me.  I allowed MYSELF TO FEEL REALLY PROUD that I have created EXACTLY that platform and I gave MYSELF THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I NEEDED to fill my OVERALL EXPECTATION.

The other thing I remembered was that although this was the biggest thing in MY WORLD right now, it kinda wasn't going to be for anyone else!!!  BOOM!! Instant expectation game changer! 

When I put my website out into the world, I was filled to the brim with my own REALISTIC PERSONAL EXPECTATION having been met. I was feeling JOY in sharing it with the world. Because I had given MYSELF exactly what I had needed to feel seen and feel proud, I wasn't searching for these things from ANYBODY ELSE so any feedback I was given really only added to my joy. 

You know, anyone who knows me will know that one of my fundamental personal and business pillars is taking REAL and RADICAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN LIFE. When we approach life in this way, we let the outside world and our family and friends off the hook from having to be our EVERYTHING and rather, we can actually start SEEING and APPRECIATING them for their gifts. 

When we start coming from this place of being responsible for ourselves in our expectations rather than putting them onto anyone else, you will actually experience an ABUNDANCE of joy from them rather than destroying that joy as YOU will be able to give YOU exactly what YOU need, in the way YOU need it!

Spread the word, folks!

Until next time xxxxx