“One of the best ways to increase our sense of “being enough” is to change what we tell ourselves.”
My friends would describe me as an extraordinarily nice person. I agree.
I am kind, sweet, and loving. I find joy in giving away compliments, presents, and smiles. I love to uplift those around me and brighten their day.
But I also have a dark side, and you might be surprised to discover the one person in my life I haven’t been very “nice” to. In fact, if anyone overheard how I used to speak to her in the past, they probably would’ve had me arrested for verbal abuse.
I’ve been so mean and malicious to this individual that just thinking about my behavior makes me sick to my stomach. I feel shame when I think of how many years I spent criticizing her and kicking her when she was down. I’ve called her horrendous names and belittled her, with the intention of eradicating her confidence in order to strengthen my own ego.
Who is this poor girl, you ask? And what did she ever do to deserve such humiliating treatment?
The victim in this story is me – my own inner self. The perpetrator is also me – my inner critic. And I didn’t do anything to deserve such radical criticism, but I was born into a world where negative self-talk is fairly normal.
Negative self-talk is common because most of us (including me) have a hard time separating the voice of our inner critic from our true identity. When we think we ARE the little voice in our head, we listen to it fervently. We don’t have the awareness to judge whether our habitual thought patterns are healthy or destructive.
Many of us are also running on subconscious “programs” that we acquired between the ages of 0 – 6 years of age. So if our mom or dad told us that we were “bad” when we were misbehaving in the grocery store at the age of 3, it’s very possible that our subconscious mind is still operating from that false belief.
In my experience the only way to silence the inner critic is to become conscious of it. When you are conscious of the inner critic it loses power over you and enables you to think new, more affirmative thoughts about yourself. Meditation is one practice that has helped me become more conscious of my inner critic and be NICE to myself.
You can also silence the inner critic by taking measures to re-program your subconscious mind. Psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and subliminal audio programs have all helped me instill new, more positive inner dialogue.
There is an old Native Indian proverb about two “wolves” that exist inside all of us. One of the wolves stands for evil and the other wolf stands for good. The wolf that “wins” is “the one you feed”.
How do YOU talk to yourself? Is your inner voice loving and respectful? Or is it critical and judgmental?
Which “wolf” are you choosing to feed?