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Tame your inner critic

Disciple your fear to work in your favour

Human beings are gifted with the ability to communicate. Each one of us communicates in two ways, one is inner communication and the other is outer.  Our external communication, behavior and perception is a manifestation of our inner communication with ourselves. We think we are consciously driving ourselves and our actions but on the contrary, we are “driven” by our deeply rooted subconscious which is busy talking to us at all points.  

Recollect a situation when you wanted to pursue something or take a decision, something that puts you out of your zone of comfort. This could be as small as a change in lifestyle to as big as a life-changing event. What was the first voice you heard? For most of us it is “I can’t do this”, “O God it’s so difficult”, “I am not meant for this”, “What if I fail?” “I am not good enough”….

Now think about what “actually” happened when you pursued or acted upon your decision? Were you able to do it? Was it that difficult? Did you really fail? Not many people will be able to answer these questions. Why? 

Most people get succumbed to this inner critic and do not take an action in the first place, forget about the outcome. 

So where does this inner critic come from? Why doesn’t it speak in our favor? Well, the answer to these questions is simple. This critique finds its existence in our deeply rooted self-beliefs which rest in our subconscious. It gets formed throughout our childhood through our experiences self or vicarious, learned or experimented, memories or knowledge. It is extremely influential in forming our perceptions about ourselves and the people around us.

So what do we do? Do we keep on living with it and constantly battle to prove it wrong and reach exhaustion someday? The answer is “No”. 

In order to help you deal with it and move it in your favor here is a small portion of my 3D system. 

“D”iscover your source 

Every voice running through our head has a history attached to it. It is a story of our past that gets settled comfortably and resurrects at the moment we decide to act counterintuitively to it. So the moment a self-critical thought run pasts your mind, pen down that thought and resonate, “Why” did it appear. There is always a dated story that will tell you why it does. In my life, I had always been averse from playing any sport or any activity which is high on physical indulgence. My inner critic used to tell me,”Don’t do it, you will get hurt.” 

When I started my journey of discovering the source to this I realized it rests in the days when I was very young and I saw my elder brother getting hurt each time he played with his friends. I could see him bleeding and bruised, dirty and soiled every single day. Upon my questioning, “How did you get hurt?” he typically replied the following, “I was playing so I got hurt.” As a child, this statement registered in my mind, “If I play, I will get hurt.” And there I was, protecting myself throughout the childhood, averse to play with other children. I even carried it in my adult life until I chose to discover its source.

Now, whenever this critical voice hounds me, I turn back and know where it is stemming from and how one vicarious experience of my childhood cannot be a baseline for my forthcoming actions in life.  

“D”isrupt your thinking 

Our mental programming has become strong and agile in picking up reasons “Why something will not work out”. The Yin and Yang theory beautifully explains the co-existence of a positive and a negative of everything to analyze it as a whole. Likewise, if we have consistent regressive thoughts, there have to be equally positive stream thoughts as well. But over the time we choose to numb it. 

So here’s what you do, once you have the source of the problem with you, write down your present belief system about it. Now pen down reasons why those thoughts might not be true. You will be surprised to notice that the list of reasons negating the belief system outnumbers the reasons supporting your negative belief system.   

So now, when you have it out there, all you have to do is rewire your thoughts and focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t.  

Writing things down is a great way of decluttering the mind. When it is out there on the paper, it is externalized and no more part of the internal chatter. It is a great way of focussing on your action and way forward. 

Pic Courtesy: Green Chameleon (Unsplash)

“D”o

Well, this one is simple to write but very profound in its effect. 

The best way to gain clarity is to do and not over think.  

Over-analysis leads to paralysis. That is the truth of over thinking and giving in to your inner critic each time. There is nothing more fulfilling than an action taken towards your goals. Muster all your skills, knowledge and abilities and give your wholehearted attempt to make it a success. Remember, maintaining consistency is equally important as is taking initiative. There is no short-cut to this. 

While you are on the journey to accomplish your goals remember to celebrate your “small wins”. Keep looking for cues that reinforce your grit and prove that you are always worth it and always good enough. 

Our mind is beautiful, it is a complex yet simple to fathom, quite a paradox. Our choices in life are a manifestation of our internal wiring. The good part is that at any point in our lives we can be rewired. Our thinking, belief system, and perception are malleable. Why not mold it in a way that works for us and not against us.

 So next time you have an inner critic bothering you, take a step back,

Discover -> Disrupt ->Do and “Rewire into the new YOU..!!”

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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