The Inner Critic Gets the Better of the Best of Us
A Simple Tactic for Getting Out of Its Grip
Last week I changed the headline of what The Pocket is:
Quick, simple strategies to help leaders and creatives find their purpose, overcome their inner critic, and gain alignment in their work and life.
What’s funny is that over the past few weeks, I’d had to confront my own inner critic. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to coach myself through it and share the experience here.
You see, I had a few weeks’ hiatus between posts, a break from my weekly cadence. Some of that was by design — a much-needed vacation — but most of it was not. Life got messy and complicated. Life has a habit of throwing wrenches in our best laid plans.
As my attention pulled away from The Pocket, I noticed this negative self-talk come up: “you can’t stick with it,” and “no one is getting value out of your words anyway.” (My inner critic can be nasty AF.)
The inner critic can sabotage our boldest endeavors. Thanks to my training, I was able to notice this bedeviling cycle go down.
We set a goal for our pursuits based on our bandwidth and resources.
We go about achieving that goal, little success after little success, compounding into a good run.
Life happens, the context changes, our resources are impacted.
The hustle & grind culture — of “always be closing” and “check off the box” — presses us to to soldier forth regardless of the changed context. A crunked Masculine energy pushes back against the tighter limits on our time.
It becomes increasingly challenging to meet our own expectations. Creativity can thrive with limits. But when there’s a rug-pull to our context, and we don’t accept it, flow withers on the vine.
This is a breeding ground for the inner critic. We miss the cues. We think that we have failed, or were never meant to succeed.
For me, the inner critic led me to second-guess my own capabilities. With each new curve ball, the cycle deepened. My inner critic got to shouting and made returning to The Pocket as hard as walking on melting marshmallows.
But then my training kicked in.
First thing, I stopped fighting, took many breaths, started taking care of my damn self. For me, that’s doubling down on my meditation practice and exercise, and connecting with my people.
Then there’s an opening. The negative self talk melts away. The sun comes up on a new day. The crunked energy fades. I can bend. I can sway with the new tides of the times like seaweed in the swell. The inner critic thrives when we’re rigid and pushing back against reality like this.
Next time the inner critic comes to call, don’t fight it. Be like seaweed: look to your life force, loosen up, take a small reset.