I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, I believe you may know her, or her family. Her name is Veronica Lowlife. She is my Inner Critic, my Cynical Committee, my Hypercritical Dream Crusher. She tries to keep me small, cajoled into fear and self-doubt, and tries to deplete the belief in my ability.
Have you gotten to know your Condemning Judge, or Cutting Commentator? You can recognize their presence by some of the following statements:
You’re terrible at relationships ~ You’re a fraud ~ You’re lazy ~ You need more credentials, more preparation, more time ~ It’s been done before ~ You look terrible in that shirt – look at your arms! ~ What you have to offer is of no value ~ They’re going to laugh at you, think you’re stupid ~You’re not disciplined ~You’re terrible with money ~ If you go for it, no one will take you seriously ~ You’re going to fail ~ You’re too old, too young, too loud, too introverted, too fat, too skinny, too much, too late ~ You’re not smart enough, credentialed enough, experienced enough, rich enough, not good enough ~ You’ll never be as successful as _______, attractive as __________, creative as __________ ~ WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!?!?!
Veronica Lowlife starts screaming pejoratives at me when I’m making choices that require vulnerability, courage, and boldness. She does her best to keep me small by comparing me to others, discounting my talents, telling me I don’t have enough letters behind my name. She’s rude, demoralizing, and MEAN!
But, once I realized that voice didn’t belong to me, I developed a different relationship with Veronica. I realized that Veronica was protecting me from hurt, embarrassment, scrutiny, outer criticism, and failure. She was the voice of experiences and people from my past – teachers, family, supervisors, and life challenges.
If your Demeaning Evaluator is really loud, “crack open some spiritual champagne,” as Carolyn Myss says. That means you’re close to a transformational, life-changing opportunity. The louder your critic is screaming, the more you have the chance to move towards enlightened awareness. You can have the courage to live through your heart strings of vulnerability, rather than fear. When we kindly thank our Inner Critics and let them know they can rest, we can shed our attachment to outside influences and shift to inner freedom.
Inner Critic Resources:
- Mohr, Tara: Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message
- Myss, Caroline: Advanced Energy Anatomy: The Science of Co-Creation and Your Power of Choice