Addressing my inner critic.
The past few weeks I have been listening to Conversations from the Heart a podcast with Yoga Girl. Last week, she released an episode all about the inner critic and the inner best friend. Rachel had the participants of her yoga teacher training share what their inner critics tell them and what their inner best friends tell them.
This had me feeling inspired, so I thought I would try it out and share it online.
My inner critic is usually always around. Some days she is quiet, other days she is loud. So loud, that I am unable to hear anything else.
My inner critic tells me time and time again, I am not enough, I am not good enough. I am nothing special.
Why would anyone want to support me? I don’t have anything new or important to say.
My inner critic tells me to always be worried about something, to always be looking for a mistake I made, she tells me that I should never get too used to things going smoothly because sooner or later, I’ll mess up and chaos will ensue.
My inner critic tells me I waste too much money, I don’t have a nice enough clothing, I don’t clean my house enough, I’m not a good daughter, I’m not a good friend, I’m not a good partner.
My inner critic tells me I should be trying harder. I should be working more.
My inner critic has taught me to believe that I am the reason for other people’s thoughts and feelings. My inner critic has taught me to say yes to everyone, in order to avoid conflict. My inner critic has made me believe that in order to keep others happy, I have to do what they want and silence the small thoughts telling me what I want.
My inner critic compares me to those around me, and makes me wonder, why don’t I look like that? Why don’t I live like that?
That’s a lot.
My inner critic can be pretty tough to deal with, especially because she is inside my head. When these thoughts play over and over and over, it’s draining. If I allow the thoughts to remain inside my head, I start to think that is reality.
When my inner best friend speaks up. She tells me to write it out, to allow the thoughts flow from pen to paper. Once I see the thoughts on paper, I feel a release. It allows me to reflect on the words written down.
As I read these thoughts and feelings, my inner best friend tells me.
You are doing great. Look at where you’re at. Look at what you’ve overcome. Look at the friends and family you have. Look at the job you have. Look at the home you and your partner have created together. Look at your cats!!
My inner best friend tells me that I am only in control of my thoughts and actions. She tells me that I have worked so hard to get to where I am in life. I have chosen to open my heart up to live a life aligned with my greater purpose.
She tells me yes, you’ve made mistakes and yes, you’ll continue to make mistakes. But that is where growth comes from.
My inner best friend reminds me I do not need to compare where I am in my life right now, to the lives of others I see online or around me. She reminds me that I am aligning with a divine plan created for ME to flourish. She reminds me I am unique, I am strong, and I do have meaningful and useful things to share.
She tells me I am capable, she tells me I am deserving.
My inner best friend tells me it’s OK to say no, it’s okay to do what you want to do—that doesn’t make you ‘selfish’.
My inner best friend reminds me that I am enough, by simply being me. She helps me to peel back the layers, to shed what is no longer serving me, to forgive, to heal, and to grow.
Most importantly, my inner best friend loves me. She has taught me to love myself as whole, even the parts I have been taught to hide, the shadows, the wounds, the pain. She tells me that it is only through love, the wounds begin to heal.
I encourage you to check out Rachel’s podcast and listen to both part 1 and part 2 of the inner critic episodes.
Take a few minutes, and think about your inner critic.
What do they tell you?
Write out what is coming up for you.
Then, take a few minutes and look for your inner best friend, are they there?
If so, what do they tell you?
Write out what is coming up for you.
Thank your inner best friend for being there, honour them, and come back to them when you feel the inner critic speaking a little louder than they should be.
Thank you so much, Rachel (and teacher training participants) for sharing your raw, honest experiences with your inner critics and inner best friends. It can be difficult to talk about these kinds of things, I think because we often feel alone in our thoughts. We bottle them up, keep them to ourselves, and often try and bury them down deep, supress them. When I heard other girls share the voices of their inner critics I realized, I’m not the only one who has these thoughts and feelings. This is such an important learning moment for me, and I hope I am able to continue to nurture a relationship with my inner-best friend. To look for her in the moments when my inner critic is talking so loudly to me.