In Tara Mohr’s book Playing Big, she defines the concept of the “inner critic.” We all have one. It’s the voice of self-doubt. This book inspired me, actually instructed me, to write down all the negative chatter and thoughts in my mind. These thoughts hold me back and can be contrasted with the cultivation of an “inner mentor,” discovered through a visualization exercise followed by journaling. Powerful stuff!
Thought I’d share my list of bullshit that my inner critic yells at me, and that speak to me much more than I would like.
…your opinion is not informed enough to be shared
…if someone asks you a question about it you will not know the answer or be able to discuss
…you may know a little bit about it but it’s not enough
…it’s a stupid question that everyone else already knows the answer to so don’t even ask it
…you don’t meet the job qualifications perfectly so don’t go after it and it may not be a good fit anyway
…if it sounds like it’s an ok fit, you wouldn’t get the job in the interview process
…you are too scared to interview – you can’t do it
…even if you got the job, you can’t manage it with the family – it will be too stressful for you and everyone else
…you have nothing interesting to say
…you have no ideas, if you do it’s been done before
…you don’t have a unique voice
…you can’t write
…you are not creative enough to write a book/blog, anything
…you don’t know how to make interesting conversation
…you are not outgoing enough to X <insert possibility here>
…you need a drink to loosen up
…you suck as a mom
…you suck as a wife
…you suck as a daughter
…you suck as a sister
…you suck as a friend
…you don’t pay enough attention to anyone in your life
…you don’t really deserve the respect you want
…don’t say it! your words will come across wrong, or you will get tongue-tied
…you will get embarrassed, excessively nervous if you even try to give a presentation no matter how much you prepare
…your nerves always show through and you are not an effective speaker
…you are fat! chubby
…you have ugly cellulite on your body
…you certainly don’t have the body you used to have – it’s ugly now
…you need to be skinnier to be sexy
…you should always hide your body because it’s too chunky
…your thighs are so fat!
…your arms are ugly
…your don’t deserve your husband
…your are not smart enough or sophisticated enough to talk to her
And on and on…you get the gist.
I work everyday to ignore the inner critic – her name is Anna by the way (why Anna, I don’t know). I KNOW that Anna is full of shit, but I listen to her anyway – I can see her point.
I will write about the “inner mentor” in my next post. Check it out at http://www.humbledseeker.com/?p=287 In the meantime, please share your list with me! I would love to hear your own chatter so that I know I’m not a total freak. And remember, you are NOT your inner critic!
Highly recommend “Playing Big!” Worth the read and the work that goes into it.
“The core you is the you of your talents, aspirations and desire to express and receive love in the world in your unique way.