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Banish Your Inner Critic – NOW
Very often, your “inner critic” can show up at the worst possible time. Maybe it’s a big presentation, a time when you’re in the spotlight, or perhaps a difficult moment as a leader.
Just when you need some calming reassurance, up pops a voice that says:
- Who do you think you are?
- You’ll look like a fool… this is not safe
- You’ve never done this before
- You’ll say the wrong thing
- DON’T DO IT
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce your INNER CRITIC.
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With 70,000 thoughts a day, it’s hard to know which thoughts are your own and which have been influenced by others. As kids, we internalize a lot of what we are told. Sometimes this can be a good thing, other times not so much.
When we internalize a message, we start to believe it is true. Research suggests that our inner critic is often a result of the negative or critical things that we have been told.
As our thoughts influence our decisions it’s crucial to actively “think about our thinking” and take control of our inner critic.
What if you could get out of your head and have a better experience? What if you could quiet that inner critic and believe that you can choose how you want to feel? What if you could have it all right NOW?
It can be easy when you have the right tools.
And, when it comes to banishing your inner critic, the right tool for the job is – NOW, which stands for
- N – Notice
- O – Of Service
- W – Wiggle
N – NOTICE
Pay attention to how you feel. Try to be aware of any negative or unhelpful thoughts, and see if you could identify that voice as your inner critic. If it makes you feel bad, then you’ve found it.
Your inner critic is that voice of perfectionism, judgment, and fear. Realize that people don’t expect perfection. What they want is for you to be yourself.
When you notice your inner critic speaking up, be honest with yourself and others. Connecting on a human level can transform even the most challenging situation.
Once you know that your inner critic is speaking, ask yourself two questions:
- Is this true?
- Is this helpful to me right now?
Most people don’t realize that they’re in control of their inner critic, and can choose their response to train, or even banish their inner critic altogether. We like to call this being critical of your inner critic.
O – OF SERVICE
After you have checked in and “noticed” what is happening internally, you may still be feeling nervous or uncomfortable. Often these feelings are the result of perceived or real judgment coming your way.
This is perfectly natural and normal. If you experience fear, that fear is absolutely real for you. Sometimes that’s a result of our inner critic, and sometimes it comes from an external source.
One way or another, you still get to control what’s inside your head. It’s easier to get out of our own way and on with the task at hand is to focus on being “Of Service”.
If your only job is to make sure that you are communicating well, communicating clearly, and connecting deeply, that shifts a lot of the fear, uncomfortable feelings, and nerves. The goal is to stop all of those thoughts that tend to rise up and prevent us from moving forward.
When you focus on being of service, it quiets that inner self-judgment and perfectionism,
A useful visualization is to remind yourself that what you’re sharing is a gift. When we have something of value, sharing it is giving a gift to the other person.
I have found this idea massively powerful across all areas of my life. If helps me with work, speaking in public, and in my relationships.
Being Of Service by focusing on helping the other person takes you out of your head and eliminates the voice of the inner critic. The truth is when you are in this mindset, you show up in a different way.
Not only will the inner critic be quiet, but you will show up in a more compassionate, kind, and approachable manner. This increases your ability to influence and lead those that you are communicating with.
W – WIGGLE
Ok, so now for the fun part. Let’s get ready to WIGGLE.
The purpose of wiggle is to get you anchored in your body and get grounded. There are a million ways to achieve this and everyone is different, so this is a fun experiment that you should practice over time to discover what works for you.
The first step is to get rid of the nervous energy and get your body moving. If you are stuck in your head, sometimes it can literally feel like being in cement, being frozen. You want to break free and let go of all that negative energy.
Start simply with a toe or finger wiggle, or a quick shake of your hands. From experience, I can say the bigger the movement, the better, so if you can go for a full-body shake out, do it.
Next comes grounding. Plant both your feet on the ground and focus on your breathing with several slow deep breaths. Pay attention as your breath enters and leaves.
At this point, it is useful to focus on connection with the person or people that you are communicating with. One tip that can really help with this is to make eye contact and picture a string between you and the person.
Remember that you are anchored in your service to them. You’re helping them move forward, getting out of your own head, and silencing your inner critic.
This technique can also be used with groups. You can imagine strings connecting you to multiple people or to specific individuals within the group as you visually scan your audience.
Your intention could almost be repeated like a mantra– Please let me be of service to the people I am communicating with.
These three Tools will Help You Fire Your Inner Critic NOW! We hope you can see how you can apply NOW in almost all areas of your life. From difficult conversations with friends and family to critical moments in your professional life.
Why not put it into practice today? Take what you’ve learned here and put NOW to the test.
We would love to hear your experiences, thoughts, and comments. Drop over to our Facebook Group – Be Brave, and share your NOW successes.
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