Life Work

Taming your inner critic

Today on Tuesday@10 we’re tackling how to tame our inner critic.

1) Identify your your inner critic’s voice
“I’m going to fail”
2) Separate from your inner critic
“You’re going to fail”
3) Put the bully in it’s place
“Fail or not, I’m giving it my all”
4) Rationally rewrite
“I’m going to fail like a genius”

Watch or read below for more tips and insights…

As a photographer, I spend a lot of time listening to women talk about what they don’t like about themselves.  It doesn’t matter how many photographic techniques I use to get the most flattering picture or how beautiful a moment I capture… women are tough on themselves.

Honestly, the ever present critic was part of the reason I chose to switch to family documentary photography.  I got tired of fighting, of getting indignant on my client’s behalf. This mama bear comes out of me when I hear women talk badly about themselves.  If they won’t stand up for themselves, then I will.

Today’s topic is one that I am SUPER passionate about.   Let’s get right down to it, shall we.

We all have an inner critic, though sometimes it may present in actual words (most commonly), it can also show up in thought patterns or visual pictures.

The first step to taming your inner critic is to recognize that voice.  You’ve got to look for it.  So often, our inner critic seems to be a part of ourselves.  We hear it as truth and never bother to question it.  Typically it speaks in “I” statements, like “I will fail.”  Often, the inner critic has existed for so long in our subconscious mind, it can be hard to bring it into the light.

After you learn to recognize your inner critic, the next step is to separate yourself from it.  You want to change the “I will fail” into “You will fail.”  Your inner critic is NOT YOU.  It is not who you are and it does not speak the truth.  You want to change your inner monologue into a dialogue.  It can even be helpful to name your inner critic… this just solidifies the separation further.

The next step is my favorite… you need to put that bully in it’s place!  You need to get indignant, enraged, and passionate.  You need to stare your inner critic down and tell it to shut it’s pie hole.  In response to “you will fail,” you need to argue and insist “fail or not, I know I’m capable and I’m going to try because showing up is what matters and you’re a jerk for not believing in me.”  (I often get very rambly and long winded with my inner critic!)  Be your own best friend and defend yourself from the mean girl in your head!

Lastly, you want to take what the inner critic says and rationally rewrite it.  You’ve gotten mad, but now it’s time to check your emotions at the door and be very intentional about your response.  In our example, you would say something like “I’m going to fail… like a genius.  You’re right.  I may fail.  But you know what?  That’s ok.  Even brilliant people fail, but then they learn from their mistake and try again.”  Ideally, you’ll write these (shorter) rational responses down and post them where you can see them.  Your inner critic tends to say the same things… come prepared with your response and you’ll be able to put it in it’s place even faster.

Taming your inner critic takes work, but there is so much freedom in quieting that awful voice.

————–

I’d love for you to join me in my group: Blue Space Moms on Facebook.  It’s an amazing group of women – no judgement and lots of support.  Plus, right now I’ve got a giveaway contest running until June 8.  If you join, you’ll have the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

Love and grace,

Lauren

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