3 Steps To Fire Your Inner Self-Critic
If we are all honest with ourselves, there are many voices in our head that “speak” to us throughout our day. It was a true revelation for me when I realized that not only do all of these voices NOT speak the truth (what? Everything I think isn’t true?!), I could choose which voice to listen to and that that choice ultimately created my reality. It really is very simple. Where your thoughts go, energy flows so all you have to do is choose to follow the inner voices that support you in evolving to your best self. Oh, that’s all you say? Well, simple doesn’t always mean easy. In order to choose the inner voices you wish to follow to manifest your reality, you first must become aware of the different voices you are hearing, and when they are arising.
Let’s start with your inner self-critic. When I was in massage school, someone called this voice my “itty-bitty-shitty-committee!” This made me laugh and has stuck with me ever since as a way to refer to my inner self-critic. This is the voice that pipes up to tell you that you’re not really good at yoga because you don’t do it every day and you can’t fold yourself into unimaginable pretzel-like poses. This is the voice that shames you when you eat that extra cookie (or those 8 extra cookies) and tells you that you are bad at taking care of your body and asks you why you can’t just figure this out already? This is the voice that questions whether you look as good as that girl you saw on Instagram in the new dress you just got. Blah, blah, blah. For so many of us, our itty-bitty-shitty-committee has been employed as a full-time voice in our head leading us to doubt ourselves at best and to loath ourselves at worst. So, it’s time to tell that little committee that “you’re fired!”
Step 1: Learning to recognize your itty-bitty-shitty-committee
The first step in firing your itty-bitty-shitty-committee is to recognize when this is the voice that you are hearing in your head. This committee never has anything nice to say to you and when you choose to listen to what it is telling you, you never feel good. This voice is critical of anything and everything you do, say or think in a negative way. Don’t get the itty-bitty-shitty-committee confused with the voice that questions and reflects in a way that is constructive for you. For example, the self-reflective voice in your head may ask you kindly to consider the habits you have developed around food. You may hear something like “How do I feel physically when I eat those extra 8 cookies?” This voice is helping you to evolve to your best self in a kind and thoughtful way. Your itty-bitty-shitty-committee will never sound like that; it will always make you feel, well, shitty.
You might find it helpful to write down what you hear when your little shitty committee speaks to you. Try this for a few days and when you see what you are hearing in writing, ask yourself “would I say this to my best friend? My child? To anyone?” If the answer to that question is a resounding NO, then this can be a tool for you to use moving forward to check in when you hear the little shitty committee start talking to you. If the answer to that question is not no, then you need to dig deeper and do some work around how you are treating other people as well as how you are treating yourself.
Step 2: Making a conscious choice to not listen
Once you begin to recognize when your shitty committee is speaking to you, the next step in firing them is to make a conscious choice to not follow the energy of that voice. Let’s say that you have decided to try cooking a new dish without using a recipe. As you begin, you hear this voice saying “what are you doing trying to cook with no recipe? You’re not a chef. This is silly. Go get your cookbook out and let’s do this the right way.” Here is your shitty committee calling itself to order so it can cast doubt on you. Don’t. Let. It. When you hear that voice, acknowledge it “ok, I hear you, my itty-bitty-shitty-committee.” I like using that name when I acknowledge the voice because it always gives me a chuckle and helps me to shift my energy to a voice that is more conducive to supporting my highest good. After you acknowledge your committee, you can then choose another voice. This is a good time to ask yourself, “what would I say to my best friend if she was trying to cook a new dish with no recipe?” Taking the time to pause and ask this question brings the light of awareness to your itty-bitty-shitty-committee and right away helps to reduce its power. Remember this: always talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone that you love and care for deeply.
Step 3: Practice
After you learn to recognize what your shitty committee sounds like and you make the conscious choice to not listen, that’s it! The only thing left to do to officially fire them is to practice. Congratulate yourself every time you recognize your inner self-critic voice and choose to not listen. Every time you become more aware is a victory to be celebrated! It’s important that as you practice, you are kind and compassionate with yourself. If your itty-bitty-shitty-committee has a strong voice and you are used to listening to it, it is going to take some time to unravel that way of being and to develop a new way of being. Celebrate the successes along the way and remember that making a lasting change is a journey. Assure yourself that you have all the tools you need within you already to create the reality you choose.
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