That Little Voice Inside
Most of us have inner critics, here's how to manage them so you can live your best life.
If you’re like many people, you know the Little Voice Inside you…the one that is sometimes your greatest supporter and sometimes your worst enemy. When the Voice is serving us, it’s an Ally…reminding us that we are above all else highly resilient and capable of so much more than we imagine. When the Voice is not serving us, it’s a Critic…trying to convince us to stay small so we don’t get hurt. The Critic Voice means well, it was created when we were very young with a limited understanding of the world and many fewer resources than we have today. But this Voice got a foothold in our minds and it’s been influencing us ever since. When the Voice says something like, ‘Don’t try something new, you’ll look stupid’ it wants to protect you, but doesn’t realize that in so doing it is costing you your Fullest Life. You see, this Voice has one motivation, and one motivation only – to minimize any possibility that you’ll feel uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have the perspective to know that you are infinitely powerful and resilient, and that being at least a little uncomfortable is a necessity to the growth that you were born to live into. One antidote to the Inner Critic is to create an Inner Ally – a consistent voice that reminds you there’s another perspective to consider. I have a few allies that I call on for different circumstances:
Curious George Ally – this monkey never met a situation that he didn’t find fascinating…and one that he could learn from. He doesn’t have any preconceptions of what’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’, just looks at what ‘is’ and wants to know more.
Silver Lining Ally – she reminds me that in almost any circumstance, there’s something worthwhile either naturally happening, or that can be mined from it. Silver Lining and Curious George are good friends. :)
Yogi Ally – this one is centered and calm, the body of the ocean that is calm beneath the waves on the surface.
Bob Ross Ally – that’s right, the 80’s TV show painter. I call on him when I find myself being rigid and perfectionist. He reminds me that my life is my painting, and as such I’ll put my happy little tree any place I choose and it’ll be just wonderful! By the way, Bob Ross was a retired Air Force Master Sergeant who spoke in such a soft voice because he hated having to yell at people when he was in the military.
The more vivid I make them in personality and character, the better. I’ll find myself conjuring up a mental image of Curious George or Bob Ross if I feel that a situation warrants some of their unique energy, and it helps me regain perspective.