I recently met a young woman who is making a significant difference in her community, a woman who is helping people transform their lives. If you had been listening to our conversation, it is unlikely you would have known how amazing Anna is. Hearing her describe herself and her work, you might have been underwhelmed. But I knew something about Anna before meeting her, and in our conversation it was clear that her inner-critic was very much “in control.” Anna deflected all praise, responding with examples of what she could and should be doing better. I wish this behavior surprised me, but it is pervasive in conversations with so many women I meet.
Much has been written about the critical inner voice that most of us hear throughout our days and nights, the voice that points out what we haven’t done, what we should have done, what we could have done better. So I find myself asking why we do not do more to “shush” that critical voice and instead cultivate our loving inner voice.
As always, I welcome comments on how YOU quiet your inner critic. Here are a few simple steps that have worked for me…
– Sit in a comfortable spot… close your eyes… take several very deep breaths in which you inhale
slowly, hold the breath for a moment, then exhale slowly.
– Think about the most loving voice you have heard at any time in your life, a voice that has
encouraged you, calmed you, comforted you.
– HEAR that voice speak your name…notice the tone, notice how you feel when you hear that voice.
– Welcome that voice into your awareness and commit to listening to it more often, to have that
loving inner voice be the one you to which you listen.
– Ask that loving inner voice to intercede every time your inner critic speaks up.
– Say out loud whatever version of this statement resonates for you: “I free myself from any and
all judgment, including my own. I recognize that I am truly AMAZING.”