Posts Tagged ‘inner critic’

Dethrone the inner critic!

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Recently, I changed my focus teaching mindfulness. The basic way to meditate has stayed constant with an addition of a body scan.

Beyond meditating things have changed. I bring challenges for the week. The last two weeks it has been exploring our inner critic.

Certain stressful situations had impacted two of the group.

Of course the initial reaction following our thoughts, lead us to habitual routines, judging the event.

Some judge this stress as further reinforcement of our unworthiness or we label the situation horrible.

Horrible makes our experience “Horrible”.

This is a perfect time to apply our mindfulness (focus) skills.

What is your inner critic saying?

First, it has judged something as horrible that is not. It has brought fear and panic into this situation to gain control. Our inner critic uses outrage to dominate behavior.

The inner critic wants control not our wellbeing.

An inner critic need not be extinguished but should be used sparingly.

Another discovered his inner critic cursing at him for things he wanted to say but didn’t, or comments he did say he regretted.

Look how horrible the inner critic behaves.

He found this dam could break with the slightest mention or thought of an event.

It is amazing to witness, someone seeing the inner critic at his/her nefarious best.

Small actions always start with this awareness.

Now the challenge is to discover more and discredit the critic.

Dethrone your inner critic!!!!!

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The Inner Critic is not your friend!

Pixabay: Devanath

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Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving:

“Permanent abandonment, public humiliation, lethal illness, lonely death, imminent attack, and penniless homelessness are common endangerment themes of many survivors.

One of my clients identified his inner critic endangerment process as: “My critic, the horror movie producer”. This made me think: “My critic the terrorist”.

If I had to describe the two most key processes of the critic, I would say this.

First, the critic is above all a self-perpetuating process of extreme negative noticing.

Second the critic is a constant hypervigilance that sees disaster hovering in the next moment about to launch into a full-court-press.”

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My two cents: Our inner critic became dominant during our childhood abuse, know our goal is to overthrow this tyrant, this despot of suffering.

We must decide to support the inner critic or Aware Presence.

Ruminate or stay present, suffer or live free.

It is a moment to moment battle, the marathon of life.

The secret is to focus on this moment, then move on to the next moment without baggage!

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How to Recognize Your Inner Critic by Sharon Salzberg

tur-ilustation/Adobe Stock

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This practice is really about communicating with the inner critic, and, as for Lilah, the first step is to catch that voice when it appears. We notice that the critic lives in a world of absolutes, with little room for nuance or gray areas. Her favorite words are should, always, and never, and blame is her operating system. “You’ve blown it, you always do.” “You should just give up.” “You’re so different, no one will ever love you.” “You’re so flawed, you’ll never be able to help yourself, let alone anybody else.” Instead of creating a wide and open space for embracing our lives, the inner critic causes us to question our worth and collapse in on ourselves.

For some, the inner critic is a specific voice from the past—your mother, your aunt, a child, the boss who fired you. My friend Joseph Goldstein still remembers the first-grade teacher who gave him a big red F in cutting and pasting. (This was in the days when you mixed flour and water to make paste, and Joseph’s work was apparently very messy.)

A friend or stranger may make an offhand remark that we take so deeply into our bodies and minds that they become part of our identities. And if, as in Josephine’s case, the critical voices have been passed down “like family heirlooms,” the identification goes even deeper. I have a friend who hears the scornful voice of her long-dead mother—a woman who revered thinness above all human attributes— when she gains even a few pounds. Paradoxically, at times, such critical voices may even comfort us by linking us to our past and to the most important people in our lives. The judgments of those we loved or admired are part of our story, and, if we don’t spot them when they arise, they become the judgments we project on others, as well as ourselves.

Mindfulness helps us see the addictive aspect of self-criticism—a repetitive cycle of flaying ourselves again and again, feeling the pain anew. The inner critic may become a kind of companion in our suffering and isolation. As long as we judge ourselves harshly, it can feel as if we’re making progress against our many flaws. But in reality, we’re only reinforcing our sense of unworthiness.

Yet when we start to pay attention, we notice how quickly the critic jumps in, even when something good happens. If people befriend us, our critic may whisper that if they only knew how insecure and defective we are, they wouldn’t stick around for long. Or say you’ve just run a marathon. Are you celebrating the fact that you trained, ran, and finished? Or are you upbraiding yourself for being the last person to cross the finish line?

One student told me that shortly after the birth of her second child she went into a tailspin of self-judgment because her house was messy and she wasn’t keeping up her appearance or getting to the ironing. The noise of her self-abuse was so loud that it was more than a week before she realized she was comparing herself to her mother, a woman who always looked put together and kept a spotless home despite having two children—but she also happened to have a housekeeper who came in every day. Comparison is one of the critic’s favorite weapons. Luckily, mindfulness is so much wiser and more robust than our inner critic.

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