Sunday, February 1, 2009

Overcoming the Inner Critic

There is no greater foe than my inner judging voice which may be self destructive. Such self hatred comes from a sense of shame and guilt that has deep roots. As a child I have developed this form of critical voice since it also had benefits. However this primal force can become brutal, vicious and saps my energy creating a form of self anger. This can result in depression and a veil of wrongness.

My spirit becomes in jeopardy when this inner critic creates a fog around truth. It can disguise my reality and an act of self recrimination can devalue my very soul. We also live in a critical culture where we reinforce “what is not” instead of “what is.”

This whole process results from the simple act of judging instead of observing. When I get too personal then I get down on myself stimulating a negative spiral. Understanding the ramifications of this bad habit can make the difference between night and day.

Self talk develops in early childhood by what messages we are given and evolves as we grow. It takes many forms from rationalization, analysis, justification, questioning, scold, gossip, doubting and many other mental forms. I know that as a child I sent myself numerous unhelpful inner signals.

So identifying how we judge ourselves becomes the first step for us to lessen unwholesome facets of this negative mental talk. Simply becoming aware when we judge ourselves is essential to not becoming entrapped by this state. Also understanding how such an inner attack sucks my energy and depresses me alerts me its harmful result. Investigating such self talk can prevent such emotional impact. Finally when I observe not judge myself I find myself more in an acceptance than rejecting mind set.

Our judgments have roots in what we believe as true. Such beliefs can imprison one that since such truths creates doubts and confusion. So challenging the very truth of such judgment is critical to get to the facts of such assumed truth. Finally, my attitude and relationship regarding of such judgment determines how deeply I may become emotionally distraught by such judgment.

From my earliest days I have adopted negative self talk such, “come on stupid,” “you’re an idiot” degrading my self esteem. Awareness of such self deprecating talk is the beginning to gaining a more wholesome ego. As a child I created self berating ways that have taken a toll. Instead of standing up for myself I would berate myself. Such judging measures would subtract not add to my confidence. Suppressing my energy and self esteem increases my descent into the negative.

Now I have the opportunity to better reflect what is true regarding self talk. If I am alert to my old patterns there are many chances for me to counteract this tendency to verbally beat myself up. My happiness and well being is at stake if I do not confront this pernicious habit. I can look at things two ways. One depletes and the other offers possibility. Even though the choice should be obvious putting this into practice is another matter. In closing reframing how I relate to my inner voice is vital to my future. Being kinder and more gentle with myself requires me to focus on what is right instead of what is wrong.