The voice of self-doubt; The inner-critic; The nagging voice inside my head. Call it what you will, the key thing is that everybody has one, even those who appear to ooze confidence and poise.
I like to refer to my own inner-critic as Miss. Meddler, largely because she’s an expert at meddling in my affairs. I can guarantee that just as I am about the step out of my comfort zone, take a risk, wear a new dress or say something in a meeting, she is there, ready and willing to stop me in my tracks and pull me right back into the safety zone.
If you take a moment to tune into your own Miss. Meddler you may hear her saying anything from ‘you look fat today’ to ‘your colleagues think you’re useless.’ The words are usually incredibly hurtful, and it is easy to accept them as truths, after all the words are coming from you, aren’t they? But, you wouldn’t tell a friend she is ugly or tell your boss he’s useless, would you? So maybe this voice isn’t yours after all.
And herein lies the opportunity. You can decide to ignore what you hear. Yes, it really is that simple. The inner-critic resides in the conscious mind, it’s an anti-self that aims to stop you from acting in your best-interest. Armed with this knowledge, you can treat your Miss. Meddler like an annoying Aunt who constantly tells you what you should and shouldn’t do. You can respect that Miss. Meddler has an opinion, and then dismiss it as ‘unhelpful and not required’.
Once you make the decision not to listen to the negative ramblings of your inner-critic, it’s remarkable how much quieter she becomes. You can go one step further and tap into the powerhouse that is your unconscious mind. This is where the magic happens. The unconscious mind wants the absolute best for you and will encourage you to succeed at all costs. It thrives on positivity so spend time feeding it inspiring thoughts and words. The trick here is to ‘believe it until you become it.’ Even if you are doubting your ability, tell your unconscious mind that you can. If you hear Miss. Meddler say you are stupid, ignore her and say the opposite out loud. Tell yourself over and over that you are Enough, and you will become Enough.
For more tips and tricks for handling your inner-critic and developing self-compassion check out Angela’s new book, Enough.