Mindfulness,  Self Talk

Quieting the Inner Critic for a Better Outlook on Life

There is a voice inside you that can kick you when you are down, criticize the way you performed an activity, or beat you up for making a mistake.  This internal voice is extremely destructive to the way you feel about yourself, your self-esteem and confidence and yet it is coming from inside of you.  

How did it get there?  This voice is often called the inner critic and it was given to you when you were a small child by one or both of your caretakers.  The sad part about this is that it is all lies.   For many of us it is the source of our guilt and shame.  

One of the greatest improvements you can make to the way you feel about your life is to start catching these voices when the arise and changing the narrative to something more kind and understanding if you can’t eliminate these voices entirely.  These voices no longer have a place in your adult life because they shaped your world as a child and are no longer necessary because we have power over our own lives.

Colette Barron-Reid has a meditation called the ‘The Chair Exercise.’  In this meditation she says to picture a goblin sitting in a chair across from you repeating its sabotaging narrative.  It can be however you imagine it to look.  A presence will make itself known in the chair.  This creature is not inside you.   Are you this goblin? No.  This wounded self has trying to protect something in you it was born from and doesn’t know it is hurting you.   Rather its purpose is to keep you in the deformed reality of separation.  Its job it to protect. Allow it to have a voice and consider its job. What is it saying?  Let it talk. 

Recognize again that you are not this creature, but you have been listening to it.  If you don’t listen to it what is possible?  Put some distance between you and this creature.  This voice is not coming from inside of you.  So, who are you if you are not it?   You have allowed this creature to drive your bus.  Thank it for its service, it is doing a job. 

As the observer and tune into your heart, connect to source.  Imagine yourself loving this unlovable part of you that really needs you to love and acknowledge it.   Ask it its’ name. Take it out of the chair and wrap it in a blanket and imagine loving this creature in spite of its message and see it getting smaller in your arms.  Are you whole?  You are in charge now.

How much power have you inadvertently given to this wounded part of you when it is active? Practice this when you are uncomfortable or in a negative frame of mind.   Ask yourself who are you listening to?  Practice seeing this as something outside of you.  Ask yourself, who am I if I am not it?  What decisions, actions and motives comes from the you that looks at it?    You would not consider the same things as your truth when the deformed truth sits across from you.

This is a powerful meditation that illustrates the power these thought have over you if you are not aware of when they area active.  We can turn this around with awareness. 

Brené Brown has several books that touch upon this subject and I have listed them below with other resources that deal with self-talk.  If you can practice this regularly you will see immediate improvements in our outlook.


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