Turn your inner critic into an inner coach
Category : Positive Psychology
You know that moment when you mess up. The voice in you starts; how could you do that? How could you forget such an important point during your presentation, how could you be so nervous? You should have prepared better. How can you say such mean things, you really need to control your temper, how can you give in to temptation, are you not a Christian? Stop.
Some call it the conscience; others call it the inner voice. Psychologists talk about 3 ego states. The child ego, the adult ego and the parent ego. The child ego is the one who keeps wondering why you are reading that boring report instead of being out playing. The adult ego is the one trying to create a better life for your family. The parent ego is the one correcting you, condemning where necessary.
Whatever you call it, we all have it. The inner critic. Imagine your child runs into the road and almost gets hit. What will be your reaction? “Are you out of your mind? Are you blind? How could you do such a stupid thing? Don’t you know you can get hurt or killed?” Stop.
Both the real parent and inner parent are trying to do the same thing but in the wrong way. There reaction is based on 3 things namely: love, fear and anger. Unfortunately, its mostly the anger we see or hear. Paraphrased the above would be
I am annoyed that you ran into the road even when I have asked you to be careful
I am afraid your could get hurt or even killed
I love you and do not want to loose you.
In the same way, we could train our inner voice to be more constructive and helpful rather than condemning in a way that is likely to leave us feeling despondent.
We could have an inner dialogue like this
-I am annoyed that you forgot such important points in your presentation
-Thank you I appreciate the concern. So what do we do next time?
-Make sure you prepare thoroughly well. Research the topic and carefully edit the material. Rehearse the presentation either by yourself or in front of a friend
-OK. What else?
-Put on your favourite suit, make sure It’s all clean and ready so you look and feel confident. Get a clean shave/ go to the saloon and do whatever is necessary to make your physical appearance something to smile about. Use moderate make-up.
You know something along these lines. It may sound weird or even uncomfortable if you have never tried it but would you rather let the inner voice always lash out to make you feel like a failure? Or use it to improve yourself?
Thanks for reading. I got this concept from Jack Canfield’s book: The Success Principles. You should definitely add it to your reading list. Want to get in touch: email firstname.lastname@example.org