Where does the inner critic originates from?
This is an extremely important question to answer because when you understand his story you can better understand what it actually do and why and how you may want to go about in changing the relationship with it.
Legend has it that the inner critic originates from the time we are just born and we are completely dependent from others to be kept safe. The inner critic starts its career as a kind of nanny that has the task to avoid any accident, discomfort, disappointment etc.
When we are two years of age the message of the inner critic may sound like ‘don’t walk in the middle of the road or you’ll be run over’ with the intent to keep us physically safe, when we are fifteen the critic may say ‘he will never like you as long as you are so fat’, to prevent illusion and romantic pain, later in life the inner critic talks about how poorly you drive, how mediocre you are professionally, how lousy you are as a romantic partner and so on.
As we grow up the need to keep us safe change, the strategy of the inner critic are more and more inadequate to the task. However we grew accustomed to the inner critic being a constant presence in our head and we tend to believe its words. That is how we end up with a mean inner critic that seems not to serve any purpose anymore other than making us feel bad about ourselves.
It is still the nanny that is now become more of a monster and is trying to keep us in chain to keep us safe and happy without realizing the effect its comments have on us. I have encounter a large amount of extraordinary people completely blinded to who they really are and what they are capable of by an intrusive words of the inner critic. It is painful to see and frankly a terrible waste of talents.
In the first blog about the inner critic you learned to change the inner dialogue and refer to its opinions as its opinions and not as your thoughts, or worst as some kind of fact.
Now that you a differentiated from your inner critic, you still hear what it is saying and you now who is talking. The next step that I would like to suggest is for you to start using a stool to put next to you when you are working at something and feel distracted by the interference of the inner critic. You will ask the inner critic to sit on the chair and let you go about your task. In this way you acknowledge it’s presence, you don’t send it away, however you block the interference. Do this as much and as often as needed.
You are starting now a journey where you travel together with your inner critic and where you don’t feel like a child told off by a scary nanny but as an adult talking with a concerned part of him/herself.
Again you many notice these tips are simple, however the most effective in my experience.