Are you unwittingly self-sabotaging your best efforts?

Intrigued to know your Ayurvedic Dosha (personality and body type)?

Are you letting your inner critic dictate your life?

Are you letting your inner critic dictate your life?

My finger paused as I was about to post this, it's not easy to write about such personal things publicly but I hope this will help others by sharing my story.

Who here has an inner critic and does it have a name? 

Mine is called Pete Paranoia.  My best mate Xan Tyler Music has one and it’s called Vicky Vicious. She's even written a couple of songs on this topic, a track called Vicky & on the other side a track called Mantra - which is funny as that is the subject of this post!

My inner critic Pete Paranoia would show itself by a constant repetitive negative chitter chatter in my head, making me feel anxious, nervous and questioning those around me who loved me. 

Always criticising, "oh you should have done this", or "you could have done this better", “you’re such an idiot for doing x, why can’t you talk properly to strangers? You’re too fat/ugly/disgusting etc”. 

This voice debilitated me in my younger years. 

Friends were exasperated as it showed up as insecurity in my relationships with them, always questioning and testing their love for me as I didn’t feel worthy of it. 

Through my 20's and '30s Pete Paranoia would render me helpless (or so I thought).

Years later I realised its function was really to protect me from harm however misguided.

I’d had a difficult childhood but let’s face it who hasn’t? We all have our emotional scars. 

When I began to have my own coaching I realised that this was my own voice, Pete was a part of me, the scared, fearful part that wanted me to hide in a corner and never get hurt. By keeping me in this limited frame of reference in my ‘safe’ corner it was shielding me from all the possible threats out there to my wellbeing. 

But it was doing more harm than good. It was keeping me in a negative state and story.

So with the insight, I gained in my coaching I realised I was in control of that voice and I empowered myself to change it. 

Does that mean that voice disappears?

No, it comes back and this is how I react now.

I listen to this voice, recognise that it’s a part of me that needs reassurance, and love, and self-care and give it what it needs. 

I talk to it, I question whether these thoughts are real or if they are made up in my mind? Is that overarching statement that I’m not attractive (for example) really true or is it my fear of something? Maybe a fear of failure/success/possibility/ or the unknown?

I reason with it, placate it and tell it that it’s OK, I’ve got them, we will be safe and then I put it to one side gently.

The next phase is that I actively say positive affirmations daily and throughout the day. 

Upon waking I do a mantra meditation and have done for nearly 10 years now.  

These are the tools that have helped me.  As well as having my own coaching support and insight that has given me.

If you’re struggling with your own negative voice, try doing a daily positive affirmation, such as I am loved/happy/calm/relaxed and see what happens. Notice if you see any changes in your mindset/behaviour/thoughts and feelings. Do it for a couple of weeks consistently every day multiple times a day and see how you feel. 

This is one of the fundamental tools I use with my clients and it has had amazing results helping them overcome trauma, anxiety, stress and depression. 

What’s the name of your inner critic and what tips do you have for dealing with it? Ani x