It’s all to easy to live in the past and allow our thoughts to direct our future. We can have moments of clarity and inspiration that can quite frankly scare us, such are their magnitude, brightness and potency, and often no sooner have we had this gift from our intuition than we start convincing ourselves that it’s a ridiculous pipe dream, or thoughts to that effect.
It’s a trap, lovely ladies!
She (your dear inner critic) is designed to keep you playing a small game that leads you back to the road of safety and security, sure, but also if we don’t call her out, a life of regret and should haves.
Mine has a name, I like to call her “Mona!” God, she used to be a right pain in the bum, and could list the dangers, possible worst-case scenarios, likely fall-out and pitfalls of any given scenario. It was enough to give me head-spins and often saw me going into a defensive retreat quicker than a pursued rabbit.
I wonder if you relate?
Giving your inner critic a name can be cathartic, trust me, and brings humour and a sense of ridiculousness about her. That primeval part of our brain that triggers the fight or flight instinct can really be demoted to a standing of much lesser importance; afterall we are no longer running around in fur bikinis being chased by sabre tooth tigers!
Mona, I’m pleased to report, is a shadow of her former self. Sure, she still rears her head occasionally and if allowed to ‘go rogue’ can influence my state, but these days she’s quickly spotted and swiftly dealt with.
So, how does your inner critic show up?
- In beliefs; beliefs are just thoughts that we have attached emotions to and have led to habitual patterns of thinking. Can they be changed? Absolutely!
- Listening to other peoples opinions over our own guidance system. We are not always as kids allowed to develop our own appropriate boundaries, thoughts and opinions on matters of importance. Draw a line in the sand, lovely, and start living your life.
- Through our language and use of metaphors. Bring awareness to the labels you attach to yourself and others and make them serve you, not disempower you. For example, we can use language that intensifies or reduces our emotions. How much better to go into a presentation thinking “I’m feeling a wee bit nervous and excited” than “I’m feeling petrified.” Language has the power to create our reality.
- By focusing on the ‘how’ rather than the ‘what and why’. If we focus too early on the how of an idea, we can often suffer feelings of overwhelm, procrastination or self-sabotage. Getting super clear on what you want and why it is important will create a more empowered state, allowing more trust that the `how’ will take care of itself. This brings me nicely to a metaphor I will challenge you on……. “You have to see it, to believe it.” If this were true, how would planes, cars, electricity and any innovation have been created?? So, lovely lady, turn this one on its head “you have to believe it, before you see it!”
So, to finish, living a life that is less than your potential is a denial of your true self. Life takes courage, absolutely, so surround yourself with fellow women warriors that understand the game and play full-on in the arena of passion, purpose and growth. They will be the women who understand the journey you are on, pick you up when you fall, broaden your viewpoint with experience, not judgement, and ride the wonderful ups and downs of life with an adventurous, open spirit.