28 March 2010

an inner panel

lately my inner critic has been spouting off quite a bit. it's loud and it is distracting. it is also, while i would wouldn't like to admit it, prevalent. some of the message are:
  • you need to be a better listener.
  • you need to express yourself as adequately as you pout.
  • you need to have it all figured out.
  • you need to tone your abdominal area.
  • you need to practice being more present.
  • you need to get up in the morning. on time.
  • you need to take better care of yourself.
  • you need all your friends to know you care about them.
  • you need to...the list goes on and on.

as you can imagine, these messages have left me feeling restless, inadequate, and honestly, a bit lost inside myself. it comes at a strange time, because finally there are many strong winds of change blowing about in my life (more on that soon), but instead of reserving my energy, i'm blowing fuses all over the place. i'm creating & losing battles from within.

i like to call these voices the inner critics. they are a panel of mean, hateful, bitter judges. they love to compare, deceive, criticize, and overwhelm. they are not constructive, compassionate, or thoughtful.

i have decided i am going to whip them into shape. they can serve me, but they are going to change if that's the case. a few weeks ago, after finishing "I Thought it Was Just Me" by the lovely Brene Brown, I whipped up this journal page:

the text reads:
"on the royal throne of life, we are, (without a doubt), our own worst critic.  sure, there are mean co-workers and unfair peers, but in the END we learn from them.  the bully teaches you to tuck your milk money in a safe place; your local weather(wo)man teaches you about 1980's fashion. but the inner bully? the forecaster who already creates a storm within? they will teach you nothing worth remembering...but they will scare and shame you.  THE CRITICS. it's their job to keep you locked up in judgement."

What does your panel of inner critics have to say? What is valid and what is bullshit? What do you do to tame the inner beast and bless the inner spirit? I would love to hear about your ways, your practices, your mantras and your inner panel. I think to myself: "I can't possibly be the only one!" So can you confirm that?

Everyone chooses these voices, chooses to silence them or let them shout. I am in the process of choosing the ones I want. I am the judge: I will only invite who I want on that panel and they will say what I want them to say.


Analiese Marie said...

Oh darling girl, I LOVE this post. I know exactly what you mean! Lately, my inner critics have been beating me up for not being a better blogger, not being in better touch with old friends, not caring more about certain wedding details, etc. etc. I think, for the most part, it's BS, but I've learned that they won't shut up until I confront them, head-on, by either journaling, talking it through with a friend, etc., so that I can get them out of my head and "release" them in some way. I've also found that the inner critics get louder in direct proportion to how stressed and un-centered I am, so I combat them by doing the things that I know feed my spirit and keep me whole: creating, writing, cooking a healthy meal, spending time in nature, spending time along and just listening to my thoughts, yoga, etc. I love your journal page! I think dealing with the critics creatively is a fantastic idea. You're taking their ammunition and transforming it into something positive. Right on!

TK Kerouac said...

so true!

Melita said...

ah yes, we ARE our own worst critic, at least i know i am mine! i'm sure everyone feels like this at some point in their lives, if not frequently. i think if you don't get this feeling from time to time, then there might be something wrong. :) i am hoping that the days are coming a bit easier for you. sending lots of hugs!!

ps i absolutely love your journal page! you are so creative and inspiring. love!!

kristen said...

this is beautiful Steph. anyone that says they don't have inner critics is lying...we all do and I think it's fair to both embrace them and forget them. They keep us grounded but we certainly don't need to be burried. this is something I struggle with and the one thing that seems to come to mind is the word "peace"...I find myself almost chanting it when I feel overwhelmed, want to fall alseep etc. Along with deep breaths and a moment of silence it's sometimes all I need and others, well...I'm still a work in progress. I agree with Analiese and it happens more when things are ultra stressful and I'm neglecting myself.

I appreciate your honest blogging, it's both beautiful and refreshing. Good luck with your critics, don't let them get the best of you.


Shayna said...

My inner cities are mostly about me physically. I'm beginning to realize that they're affecting my self confidence, which is downright lame. SO whenever I catch myself being critical of my or someone else's body, I just drop it. Unhealthy thinking is never in fashion. <3

Girl About London Town said...

Thankyou so much for your comment. Voices is exactly the topic that is popping up in my life. My voices tell me I'm confused when I know exactly what I want to do in my life but am too scared. And when I'm sad and frustrated I'm starting to realise that I can put all that energy into writing down my dreams and making small steps towards them. Feel free to follow my blog x

Mindy said...

I definitely relate to this post!

Inner critics are the WORST!!!

I try to combat them with positive affirmations. Journaling helps too (BTW - love your journal page). Awareness is the first step and then we can take them down from there!

Funny you should mention that it seems like a weird time for them to be popping up - I also notice my inner critic surfacing when things are going well... like I start to sabotage myself or something.