The other day I was talking with my friend about experiencing constipation. At first I was a little timid thinking I was alone in it and that she could never relate. I told her, “I want to bring constipation out of the closet like the inner critic.” She laughed and told me how she struggles with constipation. She said, “And everyone I talk to is constipated.”
It’s the same with the inner critic. The vast majority of us are bathed in the words of our inner critic:
- “You’re a failure.”
- “You can’t do it.”
- “You’ll never be good enough.”
- “People won’t like you if you do this.”
- “Only if you’re perfect will you be acceptable.”
When we hear this inner voice of “not enough,” we often feel weak, collapsed, diminished, like a failure, and alone.
There’s something so healing about normalizing it. It’s reassuring to know that we’re not alone. That we’re in good company. That inner critics develop over time for the purpose of protecting us. That they often speak when we step outside our comfort zone. That they show up in different flavors for different folks. But that everyone has one.
It’s nice to know that we needn’t hide it anymore. What a relief that is! When someone tells me about their inner critic, I actually feel closer to them. Sharing our human vulnerabilities tends to do that.
Several weeks ago I was telling my brother what my inner critic was telling me right in the moment. A contractor, who was doing a job at my house for an exceptionally low price, stepped out to buy an item for the job. My inner critic told me, “You’ve asked too many questions. He’s going to leave you and never come back..” I felt weakened as I heard the words. And yet, I wasn’t consumed by them, as I would have been before my practice of making peace with my inner critic.
My brother spontaneously responded that his inner critic is a little different, and then told me what his tells him. It gave us an opportunity for sweet connection in our humanness.
If you’d like to come practice making peace with your inner critic and open to more intimacy and freedom-to-be-yourself in your life, I invite you to join us on May 18th for my Making Peace with Your Inner Critic workshop.
We’d love to have you join us!