One common reason we stop ourselves from achieving our goals is by listening to our inner critic. It is that voice that says in a harsh or unconstructive way, “You’re not good enough” or “I can’t believe you just made that error…again..”
This pattern of negative behavior can become addictive, even a form of motivation for some people, however, critical behavior takes up an enormous amount of energy and slowly chips away at your confidence.
Why is it so hard for us to ignore our inner critic? Well, I tried my best today to silence mine as I was playing a round of golf today. I love playing golf it’s a great sport. But my inner critic was so heightened that I couldn’t hear myself think as I stood over and missed a five-foot putt. It was as if I had a running commentary going on inside my head and I had no idea how to turn it off. This continued throughout the front nine, and my high score was a reflection of my busy mind.
By the time I arrived on the tenth tee I felt exhausted. I needed to come up with a new plan. The first thing I decided to do was to look around and observe my surroundings. The view was beautiful, instantly I felt happier. One positive thought replaced all of my negative thoughts. I hit my first decent shot of the day.
Here are some additional action steps to assist you when your critic is activated.
1. Notice when you are experiencing critical thoughts.
2. Get curious about what triggered the thought. Are you concerned about a potential negative consequence? i.e. Do you feel scared?
3. Notice your breath, is it up in your chest? Take a couple of minutes to breathe smoothly. Notice your belly inflating and deflating as you inhale and exhale.
4. Relax. Take the time to appreciate yourself
5. Welcome your inner critically thoughts, opposed to sparring and staying distracted by them
These processes will assist you to increase your energy level, confidence and overall wellbeing, supporting you to spend more time in ease and flow.
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