We are have a bunch of sub-personalities inside of us. The most common ones everyone seems to have are an inner critic and an inner child.
The inner critic is usually that inner voice with messages like: You could do better. You could try harder. If you weren’t so x, y, or z, you’d be more successful at (whatever it is you’re doing). The most toxic messages from the inner critic generally contain words like always and never. As in You’re always screwing this up. You’ll never get this right. Or the inner critic melds temporary failures and makes them part of your character. As in What make you think you could even try this? You’re just no good. You’re too (lazy, crazy, bad…)
Would you want a friend like that? Would you want a voice like that (even temporarily) running your life? Probably not!
However, the inner critic once served a function. If you think back to an earlier time in your life, that voice may have come from an authority figure who genuinely wanted you to do better and was trying to motivate you. It may even have worked to motivate you, but at a cost. Or maybe you were trying to motivate yourself.
If you can discover what deeper purpose your inner critic served (by journaling or talking with a friend or coach), you can decide if you still want or need it. Many inner critics simply want to keep you safe or to motivate you. You can even re-negotiate the contract with your inner critic by asking it, “I’m grown up now. Can you keep me safe or motivate me in a gentler, kinder way?”
Every part of you serves a purpose. But you just don’t need a small part of you with a small agenda driving your whole bus.
May we pursue our path and consciously decide what parts of us we want to lead the way,
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about how to work with your subpersonalities, look for The Concise Coaching Handbook, coming soon!