Hey Mom, Tell Your Inner Critic To Pipe Down - A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Monday, July 19, 2010

Are you tired of that incessant voice inside your head telling you that you don't do anything right, you are a bad mom, you can't cook, etc., etc., etc.? It is downright mean sometimes isn't it? You really don't have to listen to it all of the time. I know it is constant but there are some ways you can calm it down and move happily on with your life.

We all have an inner critic, gremlin - whatever you want to call it. I have named mine Kreachur. It's only job is to make you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes we may think it is trying to protect us but really it is trying to keep us from living a happy life. It is very clever. It puts ideas in our heads and then when someone says that same thing to us we think - "Oh, that's right. I am _________!" Or how about when it tells you that you are a bad cook and then you burn something for dinner? Right away you think "Darn, I am a bad cook." That isn't good for your self-esteem but it happens all of the time. Chances are you are not a bad cook or any of the things your inner critic says you are.

How do you get it to quiet down? You can't get rid of it - it is always going to be there but you can quiet it down. First let's really look at your inner critic. What does it look like? Mine is skinny with a hugh head and big mouth full of pointy teeth. It's tongue is always wagging as it yaps about this and that. Draw a picture of yours. Now give it a name. Some of the names my clients have used are Boss, Mother-in-law, General, Mother, Master and Blabber Mouth. You could have fun letting your kids draw one too just dont' let them believe a monster lives in your head and tells you terrible things!

Now that you have a picture and a name for your inner critic it is time to do something about it. Instead of listening intently, arguing or feeling bad about what your critic says just notice. You might think, "Hmmm, that's interesting" and let it go. Your critic will want to argue but don't go there. Just let it be. You might think of how funny it looks and call it by name but then imagine it slinking away to go hide under a rock or something. Each time you hear it in your head repeat the process. Pretty soon it will become routine to ignore it as it slinks away.

Remember, your inner critic is your own worst enemy. It's only job is to make you unhappy. Don't let it. You are in charge. If you are having trouble doing this you might consider getting a coach to help you through the process. Be sure you screen coaches to be sure you hire one who is well trained and has good credentials. Get the best - you deserve it.

Lynn Banis, PhD, MCC

The High Performance Coach

Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here and here. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Lynn is a Master Certified Coach with years of experiences helping moms through tough situations. She would love to answer your questions on a weekly basis. What are you struggling with? What questions do you have about getting through the day? Leave her a few comments with your questions and concerns and she will be happy to write about them in future posts. To find out more about Lynn and how she can help you live your passion, visit her at: www.discoverypointcoaching.com/blog

Liz Mays said...

What terrific advice! I love the idea of personalizing our inner critic complete with name and physical attributes. That would make it tons easier to kick it to the curb!

Serendipityissweet said...

I agree. It reminds me of a technique I started when I was trying to get over and emotionally abusive alcoholic boyfriend in my early 20s. I call it fire balling. I used to imagine whatever it was that was upsetting me being flattened and cartoonified on to paper. Then I'd ball it up and drop kick it into the universe where it would burst into flames and disintegrate as it left the atmosphere. Seems kind of silly at first, but it helps you detach from the situation and take your power back, and maybe even laugh at the situation.

When we play the victim we feel stuck. When break things down to size and take back our power we feel less stress and more confident. Consequently we are able to make better decisions and open up more possibilities. We are our own superheroes ;)

Michelle @Flying Giggles said...

This is great advice. I am putting it into practice now!


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