We were driving home yesterday from a long day of taking our son to Children’s Hospital. At some point surrounding every one of those trips, my emotions kick in whether it’s a bit of PTSD or fear or overwhelming, excruciating love. Anyway, we’re driving home and I’m taking pause in myself, trying to rest while my headache throbs. I notice all of my thinking and work to quiet it all down. It’s a job I tell you. I keep paying attention and then I lose focus and I’m wayyyyyyy the heck down the river with my thoughts.

I catch one. I see what I’ve been doing. I’ve been insulting myself. Without even knowing it my inner critic has taken over doing what she does best, criticizing and insulting me! Showing me what a fraud I am. I’m sitting there thinking about how untrue I am, how fake. And my head throbs on……………..

But I caught it and I know what to do from here.

Let me make sure we’re all on the same page here about what the inner critic actually is. You know that part of you that is saying and thinking things about you that YOU WOULD NEVER think, no less say, to ANYONE ELSE in the world? Yup, THAT’S your inner critic. That part of you that LOVES to show you that you aren’t worthy of love or having your needs met, that you should be doing a ton more than you’re doing, that you have made and will make tons of mistakes? Sound familiar yet?

Yup, THAT’S your inner critic.

It’s fair for me to say that there isn’t a client (or really woman) I’ve met that doesn’t have this inner critic voice LOUD and CLEAR in their lives most days.

You might hear yours saying things like:

  • You can be such a bitch.
  • You should have been more accommodating.
  • You’re going to majorly miss out.
  • You’re just not healthy.

Yes, yes, yes. The familiar rhetoric of our inner critics. When we believe it, we feel shameful and shitty. Wrong and unworthy.

I can hear the critic speaking clearly when I hear my lovely clients saying things like “I should have gotten this done sooner but I’m so slow at everything.” or “I did everything wrong. I said the wrong things and acted the wrong way.” or “If I would just stop freaking out all the time, maybe I’d be able to handle this all better.”

Why we think being cruel and belittling to ourselves is acceptable is really starting to baffle me! When we believe the Stories of our inner critics we generally feel anxious, hunched, small, scared, much less than, way not good enough, wrong and unworthy.

OK after reading that don’t go get down on yourself for having this inner critic voice in YOU. THAT WOULD JUST BE YOUR INNER CRITIC TALKING ANYWAYS!!! We ALL have it. So let’s start making peace with it now. We all carry around this ego that’s trying to separate us and show us how much harder we need to try, how much smaller we should be, how much quieter we should tone down our needs.

As soon as I learned my inner critic, her voice and demeanor and the feel of her in my being, I noticed that I didn’t necessarily have to listen to her in the same way anymore.

I stopped taking everything that she had to say about and to me for face value. I started questioning her a lot more and I’ve seen some big shifts in me. Now when I’m feeling low, I actually look around my life for her and generally see what’s happened to get me to this low point. It’s usually that some situation has occurred that I don’t feel great about and my inner critic is there scaring the crap out of me and then I feel worse and worse and worse.

This shift has me so at home in my body and my being. My confidence and love for myself is at an all time high. My trust in the flow and unfolding of my life is feeling amazing and I’m making many decisions based on what my inner compass says instead of my fears and doubts.

I want you all to be on the lookout for your inner critics this week. You’ll know yours is active when you feel “off,” when you feel bad about your words or actions, when you want or need something but feel wrong for wanting or needing it. When you put yourself down in any way at all.

Be on the lookout and when you meet your inner critic, know it’s just an old friend who you’re ready to change your relationship with.

Awareness is the first step to any transformation!

Originally published at www.lexikoch.com.

Originally published at medium.com