As you may know, a foundational piece of the work I do with women is working on managing their inner-critics. Creating a new way of speaking to themselves that is kind and compassionate instead of beating themselves up.
And every once in a while, I get this question “What if I see my inner-critic as my motivator? The voice that pushes me to be better in all aspects in my life?”
And your thoughts might look like this:
“Oh, Janice lost 30 pounds recently. If she can do it I can lose 40.”
“I really was an idiot and screwed up that work project. I’ll stay late and come in early for the next month, and do a WAAAY better job next time”
“You know your husband is an ass-man. Amp up the squats, Ms. Flat Ass”
Basically, your inner-critic is comparing you to others– saying you can do better, pushing you to do better based on you falling short or failing, and really just using any “shortcomings” to try and make you a better person.
(You know where this is going, right?)
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People, let’s just be honest here. Your inner-critic is being an asshole by doing this. Does this ever feel good? Unless you’re a masochist (which, to each his own. Seriously.) this isn’t good for you. You know what always works and wins?
Giving yourself the internal beat-down might change your behavior on a dime, but I can assure you it’s for the short-term, ends up making you feel like shit, and diminishes self-confidence.
So, no. The answer is no to “can my inner-critic be my motivator”. Your inner-critic is the voice that is sending messages from beliefs you have about yourself. Beliefs that we ALL have that don’t serve us. Beliefs like:
I’m not good enough
Everyone else has it figured out but me
I’m a fraud and soon everyone will know
I don’t deserve a healthy relationship
And on and on. It’s like our inner-critic’s job to remind us of those beliefs on a regular basis as well as point out evidence that it’s true.
See? You screwed up at work again. Looooser.
See? Another fight. You’re doomed to be alone.
See? Those pants are tight. You’re enormous.
Y’all. It doesn’t have to be this way. No one beats themselves up into happiness, success, being in shape, or a kick-ass life. The solution is to start small. First, recognize the bastard. Hear it and see it. This isn’t a fun exercise, but awareness is half the battle. If you don’t know what is there and when it happens, you’ll just go on listening and believing all the bullshit. Second, slowly work on changing your thoughts and beliefs. Over and over again. Or, believe the a-hole and feel like shit. Your choice.
I’m being really forthright here because I’ve seen this one thing change people’s mother-loving lives. Mine included.
If this post resonated with you and you're ready to learn how to manage your inner-critic (and still kick ass, OBVIOUSLY), join me for my FREE online workshop coming up! Click here to join me.