Tame Your Inner Critic, Once & For All
Happy Valentine's Day! Sending you love in the form of an exercise to tame your inner critic.
Though it has different names--judge, bully, devil, naysayer--we all have an inner critic who says things like:
No one wants to hear what you have to say.
You're a fraud & everyone will find out.
You can't do this.
Nobody likes you.
You're not good enough.
Your critic LIES. If you listen to it, you'll find you:
❌ Lose faith in yourself & what you can do.
❌ Miss out since you're afraid to try.
❌ Let fear keep you from all God has for you!
Enter the Avatar Exercise.
🎉 The goal: create a persona/character to represent your inner critic -- one you'd never dream of taking advice from.
(May sound weird, but stay with me. It's fun & it works!)
How to Create Your Avatar
Approach this exercise with a spirit of fun & curiosity. Your critic's persona can be inspired by anything--a real person, cartoon /TV character, animal, object. And he/she/it should embody what you see as your critic's personality.
A few questions to consider...
🔹 Is your inner critic a man, woman, child, or something else?
🔹 What's your inner critic's name?
🔹 What does he, she or it look like?
🔹 How would your inner critic's friends & family describe them?
🔹 What does your critic tell you most often?
🔹 Why does your inner critic say those things? What's its motivation?
To make you even less likely to listen to your critic, you can exaggerate how your critic looks & sounds...
🔹 Is she pushy? Maybe she's like the Mom on Everybody Loves Raymond.
🔹 Does your critic paw at you to get your attention--maybe it's a silly monkey.
🔹 Is his voice grating? Maybe he's like Gilbert Godfried.
🔹 Maybe your inner critic doesn't speak loudly & isn't really unkind. He's just naive & misguided, like Spongebob Squarepants.
Let's look at a few examples...
Abby fell into the comparison trap. When she scrolled Instagram, went to her kids' games or to church, she compared herself to others. And lamented that she (thought she) fell short. Her inner critic berated her:
Look at Sue. She's got it together. Fabulous home. Well-behaved kids. Perfect hair & makeup. Why can't you get it together? What's wrong with you?
You can't have people over. Your house isn't nearly as nice as theirs & poorly decorated.
Her critic stole her joy & sapped her energy. And she felt guilty for envying others & not embracing who God created her to be.
Enter her avatar, Ungrateful Ursula:
🔹 A tall woman in her 70s,
🔹 Dressed in black,
🔹 With a long nose &
🔹 A scowl on her face,
🔹 Peering down at her,
🔹 Through gold-framed glasses &
🔹 Dripping with bitterness.
Now, when she hears Ursula's voice, Abby pictures her & laughs. Then she recites what's become her mantra:
⭐ The truth is I'm uniquely created by God & more than enough in Him
Shuts Ursula down every time!
Growing up, Michelle made good grades--except for in math. She had a learning disability, so she was prone to transpose numbers, get confused & be distracted.
No matter how hard she tried, Michelle barely passed her math classes. She grew discouraged & had "tummy aches" on math test days.
Her Mom told her she was smart. She just learned differently from other people when it came to numbers. And her tutors would help her improve.
But Michelle decided she wasn't smart.
Her inner critic taunted her:
You'll never amount to anything.
You're a failure.
You're always going to struggle.
Despite her high IQ & successful career as a recruiter, a grown-up Michelle still battled that voice.
As she envisioned her inner critic, she saw that those messages started early in life. Michelle decided her avatar was actually a younger version of herself:
🔹 6-year old Michelle,
🔹 With beautiful brown eyes &
🔹 A sweet smile.
🔹 Sitting all alone,
🔹 Crying when kids called her dumb &
🔹 Wishing she could run away.
Michelle realized her inner critic was a scared little girl & had compassion for her. When little Michelle starting speaking her insecurities, Michelle says something like:
⭐️ I know you feel that way, but it's not true. I'm smart & resourceful & know how to make my way in this world.
She hears that little voice less often now & when she does, she knows how to calm herself.
Ready to tame your inner critic?
Grab your free Inner Critic Worksheets here: www.rtrcoaching.com/inner-critic-worksheets.