How can you manage your inner critic with self-care?
Last week I began sharing with you my thoughts about how you (and probably everyone else) has an inner critic. Before moving forward I would like to remind you that you will also have an inner champion, are you listening to that part of yourself too?
Both of these internalised inner voices are parts of you that have taken on a role. Both were developed unconsciously during your developmental phase and both emerged for a good reason.
As a side note, the type of inner voice I am commenting on is part of healthy normal development. There are people who have issues with internalised voices as a mental health issue. If you have any voices urging self-harm or violent behaviour please seek support and help from an appropriately qualified professional.
The focus today is on managing the inner critic. Last week I gave you some tips about acknowledging and evaluating the messages from the inner critic.
If your inner critic is particularly loud write down the script. By writing it down you will be able to get some distance and perspective.
Now write down what you think the positive intention is behind the script.
Definition: Positive intention is a term used in NLP to mean the motivation behind a thought, feeling or behaviour. The presupposition in NLP is that your unconscious is responsible for your patterns of thinking and behaving.
Your unconscious has a positive drive and is trying to protect you the best it can. Sometimes it has not enough or faulty information and so develops patterns that appear negative. Here is an example that illustrates what I mean.
An adult has a tendency to want to please others and say “yes” when they would really rather say “no”.
This pattern could have emerged for a variety of reasons, one could be that in childhood this person experienced disapproval from parental figures for saying “no”. Using child logic they developed a belief that the only way to be loved and approved of was to please others. This belief is held unconsciously and yet runs the adult’s responses.
Whenever this adult considers saying “no” to others or pleasing themselves the inner critic replays a version of those early messages. You may or may not consciously hear them however the emotions created are felt.
If this person continues to say “no” or please themselves their inner critic will continue commenting perhaps triggering feelings of guilt and low self-worth.
If the person suppresses their desire to say “no” or please themselves they may get a sense of relief coupled with other feelings such as low self-worth and unhappiness.
This has created a double bind, damned if you do damned if you don’t. Is this feeling familiar?
Now to return to my suggestion of writing down the script of the inner critic, as you review your own scripts consider “who was the author?”
The chances are the author will have been parental figures who in most cases had good intentions. By writing down your script you may gain some new insights that allow you to make changes.
Insights can be very powerful however sometimes insights are not enough. Have you ever had the experience of understanding something logically but hanging on to it emotionally?
This is a really common experience and this is where NLP can help you. There are many techniques in NLP that can help you re-write your script and become the author of your own life.
Here is a link to a free download which includes a technique called “Changing Beliefs”. The recording is taken from a workshop delivered as part of my NLP Research Dissertation into NLP as a way of improving Self-esteem and Well-being.
Next week I will share some ways of changing the sub-modalities of your inner critic to reduce the impact and perhaps transform your experience.
I am pleased to share with you that I have been nominated for the Research Award at the NLP Awards in London this May.