Do you know that little voice in your head that doesn’t treat you very nice…
You’re selfish. You should be more patient. What makes you think you could do that?
That voice is an a**hole.
It just holds you back.
In a podcast by Tiffany Han, she interviewed coach, consultant and writer, Tara Mohr. Tara talks about playing big – believing that we’re capable of going after what we want in our lives. Playing small is listening to our inner critic and thinking that it’s possible for others but somehow not us.
How do we put ourselves out there and actually go for it? Tara encourages us to listen to that critical voice, recognize it, and then get it out of the way.
To tackle my inner critic, I played around with a few ideas in my notebook. If you would like to start moving in the direction of playing big and also put your inner critic in its place, grab a pen or pencil. I’ll share what I did. We’re going to have some fun…
1. Give Your Inner Critic a Talking To
Ask yourself, What does my inner critic say about me? Start brainstorming these thoughts in your head.
Next, draw your ugly inner critic in the middle of your head. I’ve provided some inspiration below. You can see the one I did in my notebook and I’ve also drawn you some little cartoon features if you’d like to use them for your ugly guy).
Now put him in his place. Bombard him with your positivity and confidence. Surrounding him, write your rebuttals to his negative comments. Fill the page with them. Let him know who’s boss.
2. Time to Silence those Negative Voices
Another great analogy is to pick up these negative voices and drop them into jars. Twist that lid shut and silence them. I heard about this visualization either in one of my readings or from a podcast (I wish I could remember and credit them. If it rings a bell for you, please comment!)
I picture these nasty little creatures that keep chirping and have nothing nice to say. I just pinch the back of their shirts and drop them in, one by one. See yah! I can picture them banging on the jar, their mouths moving and no sound coming out. Aaahhhh, quiet at last.
Put things in jars and silence those voices. Picture yourself twisting those lids on nice and tight.
3. Have an Ally
When it comes to inner critics, I think of an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. They have ongoing arguments. One might say something nice about you, the other is quick to follow up with a negative comment How does one end that negative voice once and for all?
We need someone to take care of business for us. They might slay our inner critic or be the world’s best bodyguard.
Who is the one that slays my inner critic and has my back? I picture her as a mix of Tinkerbell who flits away the negativity and Hit Girl from the movie KickAss. She doesn’t mess around and will do whatever she needs to, to protect me and get s*** out of my way. She can be subtle or hardcore.
Did I mention that she has a samurai sword?
Draw your Ally. Make her bad a&%.
I hope you had some fun with this 🙂 I found it to be a playful way to think and talk about something that’s not so nice. Since doodling and writing in my own notebook, I find that now when I hear those not so nice voices, I can identify them for what they are – mean and mislead. They don’t help me and when I shut them down, I feel a little braver.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not an easy thing to silence our inner critics. For some of us, they’ve had the podium for decades, and a few little doodles won’t make us ready to play big. But I do think that if we want to start moving in that direction, we need to be more aware of what’s holding us back. Our own thoughts.
So the next time you hear that little voice in your head that doesn’t treat you very nice…shut it down. He’s an ugly little dude.*
*My gram always used to say “little dude.” Hummingbirds at her window were little dudes. Writing it makes me think of her.