Life is a journey! It can be a easy free-flowing miraculous journey or it can be a journey of wrong turns, dead ends, crash and burns and arduous uphill routes. Some people are able to move forward in the direction of their dreams; others continue to make wrong turns or get stuck in a rut. If ...Life is a journey! It can be a easy free-flowing miraculous journey or it can be a journey of wrong turns, dead ends, crash and burns and arduous uphill routes. Some people are able to move forward in the direction of their dreams; others continue to make wrong turns or get stuck in a rut. If it's the latter chances are you have a 4-year old planning the route and driving the car. Why would you continue to let a child that can't even see over the steering wheel direct your life?

And yet you do.

Who is this child?

It is your Inner Critic. It is that well-meaning yet woefully misguided inner child. And, as a misguided child, it is frighten and doubtful about it's abilities and potential. As such, this Inner Critic serves up internal messages of self-doubt and fear as you think, feel, make choices and act as you move through your life. You, as directed by your Inner Critic, are doing the best you can. So this is not about you being at fault or to blame for the stuck in a rut or wrong turn experiences you have had. The problem lies in the map that your Inner Critic has charted for you. It's a map based on misinterpretation and it is incredibly outdated. By following this useless map, you've travelled down wrong turns, experienced crashes, dark roads and stuck up a tree or in the ditch moments. And yet you continue to use the very same map in your continued effort to get to your destination.

Albert Einstein once said, "You can't solve your problems using the same kind of thinking that created them."

You can't get to your destination using the same map that lead you to wrong turns, crashes, steep uphill slopes and ditches. It just doesn't work. You will not get to where you want to go if you keep using the same map you've been using.

So, what is this map?

The map you're using is the belief system you took on for yourself when you were a little child; starting around the age of four. You realized that you needed some guidelines to help you cope and stay safe in your environment. You don't do your homework and parent says "You'll never amount to anything." At that moment you charted a course that will lead you to "you'll never amount to anything". And you will only go down roads that lead to not amounting to anything, not accomplishing anything. You will self-sabotage your efforts to succeed.

Hey! This is not about blaming parents either! Parents are also doing the best they can. They have your best interests at heart. Young children do not typically understand context. They make broad generalizations out of what they see, hear and feel. I ask parents if they've ever said anything that their child has completely misinterpreted and the answer is always, Yes! Children misinterpret things. You misinterpreted a lot of what you saw, heard and felt.

A well-meaning teacher will say, "Johnny will have to go to the end of the line because his behavior was bad today." And Johnny's map adds the route of "I'm a bad person and should be at the end of the line." And so he goes through life going down roads that will make sure he stays at the end of the line. These roads are the choices that you make based on your map, your thought processes, what you believe about yourself and the world. And it is all based on misguided misinterpretation.

Even if you had a parent who looked you straight in the eye every day and, with clear intention, said "you are worthless" and that's exactly what they meant -- it doesn't make it true. You are the one who took on the validity of that statement and made it part of your map. And you've gone through life limiting what's possible for you because you don't believe you deserve what you want to achieve.

"All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions." - Leonardo da Vinci

Time to throw out the map and get a new one, with a better charted route!

No, don't throw the Inner Critic out of the car! It's part of you. It loves you and was only trying to protect you and keep you safe in your well mapped comfort zone. Just remove the Inner Critic from the driver's seat. Put him in the back seat with a bankie and a sippy cup. You are going to do the driving from now on.

But, with what map?

Yes, you'll need a map. Remember, the map is your thought patterns and belief systems. If you've been going down the road of "you'll never amount to anything' examine your life. Look for experiences where you have accomplished something. Heck, you've learned how to read or you wouldn't be able to read this article. You've learned how to use a computer too! I'll bet you know how to walk and talk. If you had that Inner Critic map when you were just learning how to walk and talk you wouldn't be able to walk and talk very well today. One fall on your butt or one person correcting your words would have sent you immediately off course because the map was taking you down the road of "You see, you'll never amount to anything. You'll never be able to learn how to walk and talk. You might as well give up. Quit now."

The truth is, you've accomplished a lot in your life. If you notice that you've been down the road of "I can't" look for evidence of when "you could". Change your map from "I can't because" to "I can because". Focus on all the experiences of "I can" that you've had in your life. Look at all the other people who have had the "I can" experience. If they can, so can you!

Deliberately and mindfully changing your perspective of who you are, what you can do, and what is possible for your life experience is the way to chart the course that will absolutely, positively effortlessly take you to your destination. And you might even decide upon a better and bigger place to go!

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go."

- excerpt from "Oh! The Places You’ll Go!" by Dr. Seuss

Author's Bio: 

VValery is a Mentor, Coach & Author who provides an all in one toolkit and training course that give you the necessary tools and information to get over the unique challenges that come from success, fame and fortune. Championing those who have or aspire fame and/or fortune to maximize their potential is her calling. She's fully prepared to engage clients with her experience, extensive training, certifications. For more information please visit