One of the questions I get asked most is "How did I get an Inner Critic?" That question is usually followed by "How do I get rid of it?" These are both great questions and since I get asked about the Inner Critic so often I'll answer these questions here.

How did I get an Inner Critic?

When you were born you were in awe and amazement about everything in your environment. You wanted to be nurtured and cared for. You were fun loving and happy. Everything you saw, including your parents, was there for your enjoyment and survival. Every thought and action was based on intuition and inspiration. And you began to explore your new world.

In doing so, you saw, heard and felt your experiences. Some experiences were wonderful, some not so great. As you learned how to navigate your environment you started to create a little "Rule Book" to help you avoid the not so great experiences. This book of rules became your Inner Critic - constantly reminding you what you can and cannot do to stay safe and away from unwanted experiences.

The problem is, as a young little child, you were not able to distinguish between truth and belief. You processed your experiences literally. You misinterpreted much of what you think you saw and heard. A parental statement such as "Bad boy" about breaking a toy, for example, became "I'm a bad person" to you. And you wrote in your Rule Book "I'm a bad person. I don't deserve." A teacher correcting a mistake of yours became "I'm not smart enough". A classmate in the schoolyard who makes fun of you becomes "People will always laugh at me". Your Dad coming home from a stressful day at work says "My rich boss just steps on the little people" becomes "Rich people just step on little people". You probably had other unavoidable scars from childhood. This is where the inner critical voice gets started.

You still live your life by this voice, these rules! In any area of your life that you aren't being, doing and having what you want know that your Inner Critic is leading your choices by following the 'rules'.

If you have a rule that "Rich people just step on little people" your Inner Critic will not allow you to become rich because, deep inside, you do not want to step on little people. You won't even realize that the choices you make will be toward making sure that you don't become rich. You will unconsciously self-sabotage to prevent the accomplishment of the success and abundance you yearn for. If you have a rule that says "I'm not smart enough" you will hold yourself back from achieving, or even wanting, bigger career goals.

The Inner Critic loves to be right. It is constantly looking for evidence to justify the rules - constantly seeking examples of 'rich people stepping on little people' and 'mistakes you made to prove you're not smart enough'. The Inner Critic will ignore any evidence to the contrary - won't even see it. And when it can't find any evidence that supports the rule it will create some drama in your life that will become the evidence it seeks.

"We are what we think about all day long." Ralph Waldo Emerson

How do I get rid of my Inner Critic?

Your Inner Critic is part of you. His job is to keep you safe and happy. He means well although he is woefully misguided. The Inner Critic thinks that what will keep you safe and happy is to keep you right where you are - in your current comfort zone. You may not like where you are right now but it's what you know. Your Inner Critic works hard to keep you right there. "Oh, no" your Inner Critic says, "We're not going to grow and stretch or move forward. Too scary!" And he holds you back. And you don't feel good. If you're not feeling good that's a clear sign that your Inner Critic is in charge. When your inner voice becomes and stays critical, it drags you down. You will not be able to hold enough love or esteem for yourself to fulfill your potential.

What you want to do is take away the power your Inner Critic holds over you. Let him know that he's no longer in charge. Just tell him "You're not the boss of me!"

Before you can disarm him, though, you have to get be able to recognize his presence. He hides in your subconscious and often you're not even aware that he's there diligently working in the background. The good news is you can get really good at hearing and recognizing his voice. When you hear that self-talk that often starts with "Who am I kidding I can't…", or "I'm not - fill in the blank - enough to be, do or have that" know that this is just your Inner Critic at work. When you are envious or jealous that is another message from your Inner Critic reminding you that your aren't good enough to get what you want. Being able to notice when your Inner Critic chimes in is a big step in taking away his power. You can’t afford to allow him to direct your life. It’s costing you too much.

To strip away the Inner Critic’s power, deliberately look for evidence that violates the rule. As in the above examples, look for rich people who help those who are less fortunate. There are plenty of them. Acknowledge the moments in your life when you were smart enough or good enough. There are plenty of them. You have lots of moments like these every day. Until now, your Inner Critic has blinded you to them. Heck, you had to do a lot of things good and right just to get into a position where you could read this article today.

You have natural talents and abilities. Acknowledge and embrace them! Recognize what your Inner Critic is doing when he tries to hold you back. Gently let him know that you are going to stretch beyond your comfort zone and you will remain safe. Your Inner Critic will be alarmed and will Find Excuses And Reasons (F.E.A.R.) to hold you back. Just take a deep breath and take one step forward, even a baby step. In those moments of fear, ask yourself if the step you are about to take will move you closer or farther away from your goal. Make the choice that moves you forward. Your Inner Critic will see that the bad things he feared didn't happen and will be less scared when you take the next step forward.

Always check in with your self to see how you feel. If you're not feeling good, your Inner Critic reigns. If you're feeling good you've taken the power away from your Inner Critic and have empowered that other voice within you. Yes, you've got a lot going on in that mind of yours! There is another voice! You haven't been able to hear it very often because your Inner Critic has held the microphone until now. This other voice is the voice of your Inner Wizard. You've heard him before. He is the voice of your intuition and inspiration. He is that gut feeling you had when you knew you just made a choice that wasn't going to result in a good experience.

Your Inner Wizard always has your best interest at heart. He knows your truth, your passions and your dreams. Whimsically imaginative and creative, your Inner Wizard will always guide you as you create the future you want to have. He inspires you to think even bigger! Your Inner Wizard scares the heck out of your Inner Critic. Just keep reminding your Inner Critic that you have some New Rules to live by - rules that guide you effortlessly as you turn your dreams into reality.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein

Author's Bio: 

As Founder of the International Association for Inner Wizards ™ I am able to enlighten and inspire the members to express their Inner Wizard and to turn their dreams into reality as I have. The Members are also encouraged to influence others to do the same. Imagine a world where everyone achieves his or her fullest potential! Collectively, and as individuals, we can be the change we seek in this world.

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