Working on your inner critic

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE…I know it sounds sickly sweet but I promise you don’t need the sick bucket, hear me out…

Now I am accused of overusing the word LOVE, namely by my husband, on a weekly basis. He thinks I LOVE everything and to be fair there might be a teeny tiny bit of truth in that.

I am a person of extremes and there isn’t much that I am in the middle about, so if I really like something I pretty much love it. Obviously there are degrees and different types of love, the way I love my daughter isn’t the way I love coffee…or maybe..only joking!!!

Talking to other women got me thinking about those degrees of love and how important it is to bring it into our daily lives.

Especially when it comes to loving ourselves

but what does loving ourselves really look like?

I have a soft spot for anything in the self-help space. Put me in a quiet corner with a cup of something hot and a personal development book and I am a happy bunny. But bloody hell, sometimes they lack the practical action needed to make the changes they go on about.

Theory smeary, I’m not at school, I want to take action.

On feeling unconfident and pretty scared about putting myself out there, I was recommended to read a particular book.

HONESTLY. The book has been a total game-changer for me.

Playing Big by Tara Mohr explores the notion of the Inner Critic…and talk about making an impact. Her approach resonated with me beyond belief. Since finishing the book a couple of months ago I have had numerous conversations about it and I wanted to share with you one of my biggest takeaways.

Let’s start by taking a step back and thinking through how you talk to yourself.

Most of us women have an inner critic that men just don’t have in the same way. Controversial, I know, I’ll come back to that.

As women, our inner critic sometimes speaks to us in the most awful ways.

Just have a think about what kinds of things you say to yourself, what words do you use and what tone do you take?

Now mull that over for a minute and answer this question…

WOULD YOU EVER TALK TO A FRIEND IN THAT WAY?

I’m guessing the answer to is a big fat NO.

Would you question a friend in the way you question yourself? Would you dismiss them as not being good enough, capable enough, clever enough, confident enough, thin enough, tall, short, pretty, etc etc.

You wouldn’t, so why do we do it to ourselves? Why do we let that inner voice be a critic instead of a cheerleader?

In LOVING OURSELVES, let’s start with being more conscious of that dialogue.

LET’S TALK TO OURSELVES AS THOUGH WE WERE A FRIEND, BE KINDER AND MORE UNDERSTANDING.

Obviously there are times when we need to put ourselves in check, where we need to discipline ourselves not to eat another bowl of ice-cream or to go for that run or yoga class, or push ourselves out of our comfort zone BUT that doesn’t mean we need to be a bitch…to ourselves.

The language we use and the approach we take, in short, could be a WHOLE lot kinder.

The inner critic ADORES fear.

This is where the harshness often stems from. So be aware of this.

When those seedlings of doubt start to creep in, go to what what your friends think of you. If you don’t know what they think, go and ask them.

I’m guaranteed they will bring you back to planet positivity by telling you how amazing you are.

THEY WILL SEE THE QUALITIES YOU DON’T ALWAYS READILY SEE IN YOURSELF AND REMIND YOU OF YOUR POWER.

PLEASE don’t think because I am writing all of this, I have got it all sussed. I really haven’t. However, I am trying and it all starts with turning the inner critic into an inner cheerleader. One that encourages and not irritates.

So try it today, be conscious of that voice in your head and when she pipes up, tell her to pipe the f**k down.

Acknowledge her but ask her to change the way she is talking to you, then choose to accept or decline her advice.

Earlier I alluded to the fact that men don’t have an inner critic in quite the same way.

Feel free to disagree with me.

After the reading the book I excitedly discussed my new found revelations with the Mr. To say he was underwhelmed is an understatement. He did not get it.

Plain and simple.

His inner critic is in fact his champion.

It’s not that he doesn’t doubt himself, he does, but the key difference is that he believes in himself more. And his self-belief ultimately wins.

When promotions or work opportunities arise around something he doesn’t know, he’ll go for it anyway and figure it out afterwards. In contrast my female friends question their ability. Believing they need more. More qualifications, more experience, more time, more knowledge, more everything.

MEN TRUST THEMSELVES TO BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH IT.

WOMEN NEED VALIDATION THAT THEY CAN DO IT.

And this wasn’t unique to the Mr and I, it is a dynamic I have since seen repeatedly surface when speaking to women about their experiences and those of the men close to them.

So from today, join me in making a change.

LET’S START WITH REALLY LOVING OURSELVES.

BEING KINDER TO OURSELVES.

TRUSTING OURSELVES TO DEAL WITH ANYTHING.

AND CHAMPIONING OURSELVES TOO.

Are you with me? I hope so!