In this first episode we have Valerie Teller who switched carriers from being a lawyer to helping people be a fuller version of themselves. Valerie’s unique style is to walk with people in the nature to help them reflect on their life challenges. She talks about how we damage ourselves through the voice of our inner critic.
What is being hard on yourself?
It is the voice of the inner critic that goes on constantly in our head with a certain harshness and this can be quite limiting.
Can you give an example of this voice?
We can replay events in our head reviewing how things went. Reviewing in itself is not a bad thing as we learn from what we do. It is the quality of the review that is sometimes not necessarily kind. Just noticing that the voice of your inner critic is at play is key.
What is the impact of being hard on yourself?
The impact is perhaps feeling horrible about oneself, feeling incompetent or diminished by the voice of the inner critic. The biggest thing about it is that it can be debilitating, as it can send you to a state of being helpless as you can’t change the past.
The worst part of that is that we do this to ourselves. The other impact of the voice of the inner critic is to potentially create shame within ourselves and shame isolates us; as we think something is wrong with us. That’s when the inner critic starts controlling us.
What is ONE advice to get out of the suffering of the inner critic?
The first step is to notice how you speak to yourself, because if you don’t notice how you speak to yourself there is no chance of doing it differently. Otherwise you suffer the impact of the inner critic voice without having any control over it. So, pay attention and notice when the inner critic is at play.
The second stepis to ask yourself the question: If a dear friend who you cared about very much was experiencing what you are going through i.e. your dear friend is replaying the event and feeling horrible, would you treat them like this? Would you speak to them like the voice of your inner critic ?
Be kind to yourself as you don’t deserve the suffering that comes with being hard on yourself!
The third stepis to show yourself the compassion when you are learning by reviewing your past events. Be kind to yourself and know that in that moment being hard on yourself is not what you need.