Using the Guidance of Your Inner Critic as a Touchstone for Healthy Internal Esteem (part 2 inner critic series)
Is your worth based upon your performance, or perhaps on your status or what you have acquired in life? Maybe it is based upon others' opinions of you. When the voice of your Inner Critic disapproves of your abilities, performance, appearance, the possessions you own, or how you appear to others it can feel like a severe blow to your self-worth. This often happens after you receive some disappointment or loss in life. In that moment, you begin judging yourself as “less than” or a failure, and your energy contracts. You protect your vulnerability by attempting to shut down or ignore the criticism. You try to control it by pushing against the voice. Whenever you push on an object or energy, you meet resistance. The response of the superego is to push back harder and criticize louder. It is merely doing its job of safeguarding your beliefs and values, holding you accountable and attempting to motivate you. (the inner critic part 1) It seems counterintuitive to approach this voice and find out what it is pointing out yet listening to it tells you how you judge and criticize yourself and what matters to you. It reveals what may or may not require a shift in perspective or a corrective action. One gift it gives you is showing you your level of esteem and if that is externally or internally driven self-esteem...
Does your inner voice judge you or demean you? Is a critical voice telling you what you “should” or “should not” do or experience? Do you have a feeling that somehow you are not enough or do not matter?
At first, your Inner Critic may wake you up and try to get your attention; “better work on that project, get going, you are going to be late, quit procrastinating, you made a mistake, be responsible, exercise, eat healthier.” It informs and jars you into action. It can be helpful, nudging and prodding you into beneficial behaviors.
If you haven’t paid attention, it often turns ugly and begins to berate you. It says mean things about your character; “you are lazy, stupid, ugly, irresponsible, wrong, weak, no good, damaged, you can’t do anything right, nobody will ever want to be with you and you will never amount to anything.” Those may be mild words compared with your critic...
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