The Inner Critic is one of those shadow selves. The voice(s) that show up to sabotage us in some way. We want to get focused on a project or try a new creative venture. That voice might say something like:
- You don’t know enough
- You don’t have higher education
- Who do you think you are
- You’re going to look foolish
The writer known as SARK, suggests sending the inner critic on an extended vacation (somewhere exotic perhaps?) or assigning it an obscure (yet busy-making) task. Author, Byron Katie addresses this aspect of self through inquiry “Is that true?”
Recently, I took a long hike on Mt. Shasta contemplating the question of how to address the inner critic. Walking down the road, returning to Bunny Flat, I considered the premise that everything has an opposite. Why not create a collage of oppositions around what the inner critic has to say. And, what the inner advocate has to say. Get out your colored pencils, paint, markers, whatever you have. Scribble, doodle, use symbols, cut and paste pictures from magazines, etc. onto a piece of cardboard or heavy paper. Don’t be too neat. That addresses one of those critical voices right from the start. Have at it and play.
Everything in you wants to be seen by you. Giving the inner critic an opportunity to be seen and heard opens a doorway to bring in the balance with the inner advocate. For you do have within you a fighter for yourself.
Do you buckle under when those snarky voices chime in? How do you respond to your own inner critic? If you have an effective response, please do share it under comments.