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My Meditative Moments

The ‘Inner Critic’

by meditative - January 31st, 2016.
Filed under: Mindfulness for Parents & Children, Reflections from Bodhi.

We all wrestle from time to time with that little ‘inner critic’ inside our head – the one that may routinely send us negative messages about ourselves. For example, “I am not good enough”… “I will never be able to do this”… “I cannot do anything right”, etc. Subsequently, we may fixate on the feelings of inadequacy that arise from their repetition. We may indulge and over-identify with them… “I think so therefore I must be”. Is this really true?

Perhaps our ‘inner critic’ is simply conveying messages that reflect our attitudes or expectations about winning, losing, or achieving. These inner thoughts may also be intended to protect us from some potentially ‘wounding’ experience deeply ingrained in our past (i.e. childhood) memory.

What becomes limiting is how we relate to this inner communication- how we receive & perceive these negative thoughts from our ‘inner critic’, and how we ultimately respond to them. Can we simply notice & acknowledge without indulging them as to who we really & completely are?

In the space of our open & caring awareness, we can shift our perspective and view our ‘inner critic’ as possibly a concerned ‘voice’ in our heads- a ‘voice’ that may be communicating in our best interest… to potentially help us or keep us safe from harm’s way.

We need not resist our ‘inner critic’, we simply need to relate to it with some observational distance. Is my ‘inner critic’ helping or hurting me? If this voice seems to sap your confidence, then simply ask it to step aside so that you may continue on your way. It may be part of you, but never the whole of you…

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