This Girl is on Fire!
I could hear Alicia Keys’ ♫♪♬ voice in my mind. Standing up on that table with my black kicky boots in a warrior stance, my arms jabbing at the ceiling and with my voice unwavering — for just a second — I had successfully F@CKED OFF my Inner Critic at the behest of my coach with my fellow class attendees as witnesses.
Not my usual style, yet strangely cleansing.
Precisely the reason why Sarita Chawla, our coach and senior faculty leader, had chosen this particular exercise for me. Putting me in my Un-Comfort Zone was a way to “out” my Inner Critic who had become too comfortable in my mind and psyche.
The Inner Critic Is Not Your Friend; No Matter What You Think!
Perhaps you are thinking that you don’t need to get into the uncomfortableness of your Un-Comfort Zone because you can make peace with your Inner Critic. You can quiet it down, live with it, even use it for your own betterment. You may be thinking you wouldn’t be as good without its promptings.
Banish those insidious thoughts — that’s your Inner Critic speaking!
What we saw, felt and heard in the New Ventures West’s “Thwarting the Inner Critic” class was this:
- “The Inner Critic causes you to sacrifice freedom for safety.”
- “The Inner Critic usurps your own essential strength and uses it against you.”
- “The Inner Critic dampens your aliveness (the true you vs. who the Inner Critic thinks you should be).”
- “The Inner Critic syphons your energy.”
- “The Inner Critic super glues you to your seat!”
Those observations prompted this tantalizing thought from David Kinsman, fellow coach and attendee:
“We need to meet the world in a different way”.
I take this to mean…
Eradicate Your Inner Critic Now!
And you can begin the eradication with these 3 exercises from the “Thwarting the Inner Critic” class.
1. Name Your Inner Critic — Give It Form So You Can Fight It!
Don’t just name your Inner Critic, draw a picture of it or find one on Pinterest.
When you’re done, look at it carefully.
Note: It does NOT look like you.
That’s because the Inner Critic isn’t you. Now that you have something tangible to oust, you can begin to dismantle its power.
2. Know Its Tactics — Learn How It Attacks You
Write down how your Inner Critic communicates with you.
Does it constantly buzz and murmur in your mind? Is it a deflating sharp punch in your gut? Do you feel a tightening grip on your heart?
What are the should’s and should not’s it uses with you? Is there a particular tone to its voice – shrill, wheedling or patronizing?
Do you feel self-conscious?
These are alerts that the Inner Critic has begun its prowling. Alerts telling you to defend and deflect.
3. Fight Back — Via A Little Madness
A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
I like this quote tweeted by Petteri Tarkkonen (@ptarkkonen), a friend and master at “sharing life and leadership wisdom and motivation” through quotes.
A little madness (what I call –> “creative unexpected disruption”) is necessary to unloosen the Inner Critic’s hold because you can’t reason with it. Logic doesn’t work.
So, why not laugh out loud to defuse its power? Or flood your mind, body, emotions with heart-touching/cell-changing music to counterattack. Perhaps, snap your fingers in its face, walk out on it or do as I did and put your all into the “This Girl is On Fire” exercise.
Creative unexpected disruption can take many forms. Don’t be afraid to try it! Don’t be afraid to meet the Inner Critic’s force with an equal force of your own!!
Still Can’t Knock Out Your Inner Critic?
It’s hard to eliminate your Inner Critic. It’s been living with you and ingratiating itself in your mind for a long time. Here are some additional ideas:
- Check out these articles.
- From The Huffington Post: “Negative Self-Talk: 9 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic” . (Be sure to see Tip #2: “The Power of Possible Thinking”. It’s intriguing!)
- From the Wall Street Journal: “Silencing the Voice That Says You’re A Fraud”. (Don’t miss this statement: “The way you see yourself can be challenged and changed, and it can literally create new neural pathways in your brain…And as your thinking improves, your immune system improves…)
- By ImSimplyDebbie: “5 Strategies to Stop Negative Thinking”. (Try this pointed and useful question on yourself: “How well is the thought that I am a failure serving me?”)
- Consider taking the “Thwarting the Inner Critic” class with Sarita Chawla.
I highly recommend it and so does Martin Proulx (@martin_proulx), who also attended and was motivated to write about it in his post titled: “I Thought My Inner Critic (Super Ego) Was Bigger Than Yours”.
As a Certified Integral Coach through New Ventures West, I may be biased with my recommendation, but truly — I enjoyed the class and found it of value and I assure you that I’m not receiving a promotional fee or any fee for recommending the class. 🙂
I suspect that I’ll always need to be vigilant in fighting off my Inner Critic. It has a certain stickiness to it.
What about you and your Inner Critic? How do you grapple with your Inner Critic? Would you be willing to share your experience in the comments? I would love to hear about it.
In closing, please…
#TakeThisMoment to oust your Inner Critic because you’re out to conquer the world today! ~ Jackie Yun
…and just in case you feel your Inner Critic should hear this. Here’s “This Girl is on Fire” by Alicia Keys.