Perhaps your inner critic is nicer to you than mine is to me. Perhaps not. Inner critics are one of the main causes of unhappiness in life. It is a master at helping us to feel bad about something. The list is endless: something wrong with us or the world; it never stops, until we stop it. So how can we silence an inner critic attack quickly? in 5 minutes or even less? I call it the Get Real Method for handling the inner critic. The inner critic will always be a part of you. So the first step is to understand it and make it work for you.To get started:
- you need to accept it. Most people fight their inner critic when it exists to protect us. Life has always been challenging so it has a useful purpose when it is not out of control.
- to give it what it wants in a way that helps and not harms you. The inner critic wants a couple of things from you:
- to feel safe. Its purpose is to watch out for danger.
- feel appreciated. Don’t we all even when we are wrong?
These are the questions that I would suggest you ask yourself, and of course feel free to add your own:
- Is the issue a present issue, a past issue, or a future potential problem?
- Is the source of the issue
- a recurring unresolved problem that you need to learn from?
- something you need to let go, someone to forgive, or a need to forgive yourself?
- an unresolved conflict about the values you were taught vs. the values you want to live by?
- something I may have missed?
- a new factor that I was not aware of?
- something I need to pay attention to or something I can let go of?
- my inner critic creating dramas?
- Is this an emergency, an ongoing developmental issue, or a daily living detail?
Once you can frame the issue, you can start to formulate your strategy and resolve the problem.
So the trick to handling the inner critic is to appreciate its focus and dedication but realize that it suffer from excessive zeal and hyper dedication to a thankless task. And then apply the Get Real Method.
The Get Real Method involves asking yourself a number of question to sort out the concern of the inner critic so that you can decide what to do and move on.
The inner critic is like a conveyor belt of problems and it sees them everywhere. It is your job to decide which ones to act on. Since the inner critic is extremely aware, it can be useful for helping you to avoid problems or it can be a pest. It is only doing its job.
I find however that the inner critic relaxes more when you don’t fight it, and when you appreciate its intention. So even when it is not being particularly productive approaching it with a kindly and appreciative attitude can do wonders for making your life easier and happier.