The Inner Critic
“Your inner critic is simply a part of you that needs more self-love.”
― Amy Leigh Mercree,
As I get to know myself better I discover different parts of myself. For example the playful part, the creative part, the vulnerable part. One part of me I’ve been trying to befriend is the bully part, the inner critic. I’ve gotten more in touch with it over the last few years and have consciously fought to recognise it, listen to it and change the way I interact with it. When we’re not feeling good it can feel impossible to get anything done. If we do manage to do something, it’s rubbish, it’s useless….. We are useless.
We don’t feel good
We don’t feel like we can do anything
Anything we do do is rubbish, it isn’t good enough
We’re not good enough, we’re rubbish, we’re not good.
This cycle of recognising our perceived inadequacies keeps us in a loop of negative thinking and feeling. It can feel impossible to break this cycle. Part of us feels like we deserve to feel rubbish, like we’re not enough because a massive part of us really does believe it. We think that berating ourselves, being unkind to ourselves will help push us out of feeling low and anxious. It’s what we need to do to keep ourselves in check / on course / progressing.
In reality, I’ve found that it actually stops us from progressing, from ‘improving’ and from feeling well.
Treat yourself like you would a friend
Imagine if someone we knew kept putting us down when we weren’t feeling great. They didn’t focus on the things we were able to achieve when we were struggling. Instead they focused on everything we didn’t, highlighted each ‘failure’ and kept telling us about them. Even using them to define who we are and prove that we are ‘not good enough.’
Can you see how you probably wouldn’t put up with it from someone else but can get caught up doing it to yourself? Why do we treat ourselves worse than we would allow anyone else to treat us, worse than we would treat a friend who was struggling?
Start small, start today
This can be challenging, but it’s worth it. It might feel stupid at first and the bully within you might be so strong, so resistant to letting go that it feels too hard. But the more you do it’ll get easier to do without even thinking.
Turn your self talk around and become your own best friend. Think of yourself as an encouraging coach rather than a playground bully. Forgive yourself, accept how the day/ week/ month has gone and talk positively to yourself. Maybe make achievable goals, no matter how small that can be used to show you’re making progress – it could be as little as giving yourself as foot massage or that you took the dog for a walk. You could re-read or remember feedback given to you from others that are able to see your worth when you’re not able to.
Being king to yourself is not arrogant. Treating yourself well is not selfish.
Counselling with me can help you become a better friend to yourself as we discover the reasons the inner critic is there, holding you back from wellness.