Transforming Your Inner Critic into Your Inner Coach
• One of the most powerful exercises for retraining your inner critic is to teach to tell you the total truth. You have to understand a core principle. Most self-criticism and self-judgment is motivated by love. Your inner critic really has your best interests in mind when it is criticizing you. The problem is that it tells you only part of the truth.
• Make a list of all the things you say when you are judging yourself. Include all of the things that you tell yourself you should do that you don’t. E.g. You don’t exercise enough. Then practice communicating the information using a four-step process outlined above: (1) anger, (2) fear, (3) requests, and (4) love. Be very specific.
• Anger: I’m angry at you for not taking better care of your body.
• Fear: If you don’t change, I am afraid you are going to keep gaining weight until you are facing a real health risk.
• Requests: I want you to join a health club and go at least three days week.
• Love: I love you. I want you to be around for a long time.
• Whenever you hear a part of you judging yourself, simply reply, Thank you for caring. What is your fear? What specifically do you want me to do? How will this serve me?
How to Silence Your Performance Critic
• Have you ever taught a class, given a speech, or made a sales presentation and then found yourself on the way home listening to that voice in your head telling you how you messed up, what you should have done differently, how you could have and should have done it better? Here is another simple but powerful method for redirecting the communication from one of judgment and criticism to one of correction and support.
• Tell that inner voice you are not willing to listen to any more character assassinations, only specific steps you can take to do it better the next time. This eliminates put-downs and focuses the conversation on improvement opportunities for the next occasion.
• There are a lot of things that your inner coach observes about how to improve your performance in future situations. The problem up until now is that it has been presenting the information as a judgment. Once you switch the conversation to a non-emotional discussion of improvement opportunities, the experience changes from a negative to a positive one.
• It is important to write these ideas down and put them in a file that you review before your next performance. Otherwise, you may lose the benefit of the valuable feedback.
You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. ~James Allen Author of As a Man Thinketh
Don’t believe everything you hear---even in your own mind. ~Daniel G. Amen