Stress Relief — 5 Keys for Turning Your Inner Critic into Your Inner Guide

Dealing With Criticism from the Inside Out

Massive or minuscule, spoken or silence, big upsets or small irritations… Have you ever become aware of how much time and mental energy we spend criticizing ourselves? Or how stressed and horrible this internal criticism leaves you feeling? Criticize yourself long enough and you can end up feeling cynical and resigned about things ever being any different.

Where Did This Inner Critic Come from?

We are trained from a very young age that there are right and wrong ways to do things, and good and bad ways to act. So, when something happens, our first tendency is to decide if the action is good or bad, and who’s right or wrong. We learn this lesson so well that we end up judging ourselves in the same way. Consequently, when we do something that we don’t enjoy, or someone else is dissatisfied with us, we judge ourselves in the same way–as inappropriate, selfish, rude and our actions as unacceptable, uncaring, or any number of other labels.

All these internal judgments become our constant companions, our inner critic.

We have gotten so good at criticizing ourselves, we tend to miss seeing the reality of what’s happening. When we keep our attention focused on blaming, judging, and criticizing ourselves, it keeps us from being able to see just the facts of the situation. It becomes impossible for us to separate the reality from all our judgments and stories about what has happened.

“There is a gap or a space between stimulus and response, and the key to both our growth and happiness is how we use that space.”
~ Steven Covey

What Is the Hidden Gift Your Inner Critic Is Trying to Give You?

Believe it or not it is possible to hear every inner criticism as an opening–a gift–to discover what’s deeply important to you and an opportunity to get in action creating things the way you want them to be?

We believe that every criticism is an unfinished articulation of a deeply held value. Your inner critic can actually be the keys to your happiness. Once you have the skills, you can use your tricky little jail keeper to unlock the judgments holding your values captive.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

Five Keys that Release Your Inner Critic and allow him or her to become Your Inner Guide

1) Download our free Values worksheet to help you identify what you value.

2) The next time you notice yourself criticizing something you’ve done, stop and ask yourself, “How would I describe what happened if I didn’t have any criticism or judgments about it?” You can do this by pretending you are a video camera, what would the camera see?

3) Using the Values worksheet, identify what’s important to you that are missing from the situation. Some examples would include statements like: “I really want to have more FUN when I visit my family” or “I’m so tense and I want to feel more at PEACE when I come home after work.”

4) Ask yourself, “How would this situation be different if what was important to me–what I value–was present in the situation?”

5) Finally, ask yourself, “What can – I – do in this moment to help create what I want most in this situation?”

Live What You Value and You Shall Experience a Life You Love

Practicing these steps will support you in gently releasing your inner critic and allow your inner guide to blossom.

Being able to create who you are from your values is one of the outcomes people experience as a result of doing our courses. If you’re ready to learn how to do this for yourself and discover additional personal growth skills , sign up for our complementary thought provoking and motivational Weekly Action Tips eMail series at:

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With love and light,