Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Inner Critic vs Inner Coach, creating a self-nurturing voice

Journeys start from where we are. Everything starts from where we are. Where we are is
where we’re supposed to be. —Evelyn Eaton.

Journaling can serve as a private, personal journey to self-awareness and self-love. A journal can be a place where, once we have purged the negativity, we can start to forgive ourselves, boost our self-confidence, appreciate who we are and bear witness to our accomplishments.

Calming the Critic or Self Saboteur the goal is to learn how to recognize and silence debilitating self talk; because our secret belief is that if we don’t put ourselves down, we’ll never be motivated to achieve. By building a loving, self-nurturing voice or Inner Coach, we can change our self-talk.

Remember, we don’t have to like every single thing about ourselves or what we do.  But in order to develop, we have to accept ourselves as we are. The biggest impediment to self acceptance is the inner critic, who can be so loud and continuous that we think it is our own true voice. However, it is only one aspect of our psyche. From the book 20 Minute Retreat, by Rachel Harris Ph.D.

Self Deprecating Critic Voice vs Self-Nurturing Coach Voice**

The best way to silence your inner critics is to nurture your inner coach – when he or she is cheering loudly for you and supporting you every step of the way, your critics will pipe down and know they’ve been beat.   

Here are some ideas to calm your Inner Critic and build your Inner Coach:

1) Know that your Inner Critic will never go away completely. By learning strategies to calm it, you can reduce its destructive power and live more freely.

2) Become mindful of when and how your Inner Critic talks. Start with noticing the words it uses and write them down. Make a list of 10 ways you hear yourself criticizing you. Notice the patterns of what your Critic says and how it makes you feel. This will create awareness of your negative self-talk and the affect that it has on you.

3) Explore the sources that have fed your Inner Critic. Whose voice is it? Consider who in your life disappointed you by being critical rather than helpful. Remember that many people misguidedly think that being critical is useful, even loving.

4) Interrupt your negative self-talk & replace it with a neutral and encouraging inner voice. Imagine a mentor or coach speaking to you. As you repeat this process over and over again, it will become easier. Imagine that your inner coach is sitting next to you as you write in your journal. (It will take practice to speak words of compassion. As is true for all learning, we develop through imitating.)

Base your image on a real person: perhaps a mentor or a sports coach or a best friend who supports and encourages you, someone who has had a significant influence on your life. Visualize that person’s face and hear his or her voice.

Now draw both your Inner Critic and your Inner Coach (inner sweetheart) and give them names.


Inner Critic:                                                                         Inner Coach:
You never listen; you talk too much               Not always true. When you are interested you listen closely.

I should have been there for my son today.     It’s not too late; you do care for him, spend 
                                                                         time with him at supper tonight.

Your thighs are too wobbly.                             Your legs are strong, they carry you through
                                                                          the day. Give them more walks outdoors.

You can’t handle this. You’re a failure.           Little by little, I address this issue bothering me.
 One step at a time, with patience and love I grow   stronger.

SoulCollage(R) card Inner Critic

**taken from various sources on-line, and adapted for my Creative Circle Journaling Class

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