We’ve all heard the voice of that harsh inner critic who lives inside our brains. She’s quick to judge, criticize, reprimand, and punish when she perceives missteps, failures, breaches of conduct and dangerous decisions.
It should come as no surprise that our inner critic is ever vigilant, ready to pounce.
We have our ancestral wiring to thank for her hyper-reactivity.
It you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve heard me say it 100 times. Our brains are hard-wired with a negativity bias to keep us safe. To keep us alive, ready and able to procreate to perpetuate the human species. And that’s a very good thing!
But it’s a doubled-edged sword. It can backfire on us when we least expect it. That harsh internal voice harasses and harangues us with a relentless barrage of criticism and reprimands.
Sometimes, she just doesn’t seem to know when enough is enough.
The inner critic operates in complete opposition to the maxim, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
Long ago we learned that to teach our children, and even train our pets, positive reinforcement yields better results.
We learned that negativity was not the best motivator to strengthen behaviors we wanted to see more of.
The same goes for you, my friend, all grown up and in command of your life.
That harsh inner critic, trying to motivate you from fear, negativity and attack doesn’t stand a chance in getting you where you really want to go.
Create an Inner Caring Committee to counter-balance the voice of your inner critic.
I was introduced to the idea of the Inner Caring Committee by Rick Hanson, PhD, a Psychologist and a Buddhist, who has extensively studied the neuro-biology of the brain.
He teaches how your thoughts, experiences, and behaviors actually change your physical brain. How to use your mind to change your brain to change your mind. Aha! Right up my alley!
He suggests we create an Inner Caring Committee that we can consult whenever we need advice or support.
You may wonder if this committee represents your intuition. Actually, I like to think of it as more robust than intuition because it’s capable of providing guidance from an amalgam of valuable perspectives.
Your Inner Caring Committee needs at least the 3 members.
For each one, call to mind a vision of a person or being, or even a pet, that embodies the qualities listed below. They can be living or dead.
They can be an historical figure or an imaginary, idealized version of someone you knew or heard about. It can even be a mythical creature or storybook character.
The only criteria that’s non-negotiable is that the figure is able to show you unconditional love, caring and compassion.
- The Cherisher: A nurturing, caring figure, like a loving parent or grandparent, or even a fairy godmother. Glenda the good witch?
- The Cheerleader: An enthusiastic encourager, someone who says that, with a doubt, “You can do it!”
- The Sage: An inner wizard, crone, coach or guru who possess the wisdom of the ages, who can guide you with a sure and steady hand.
Want more members of your Caring Committee? Add any others that you would like to have in your corner rooting for you.
Imagine each of these beings.
Feel and “hear” them either beside you, around you or inside you.
You can make a collage of their photos and keep it on your desk or your night table. Scan it to become the wallpaper on your phone or computer.
When you are faced with a difficult emotion or situation, call upon their guidance. Allow them to join you. Ask them your questions. Tell them your troubling story. Allow their thoughts to flow.
Take notes if you like.
Your Inner Caring Committee can help build and strengthen your sense of resilience.
Rick Hanson advises imagining your caring committee soothing very young parts of yourself. Praising and delighting in older parts of you. Offering perspective and wisdom about tough experiences you’ve made it through.
Reminding you of your truly good qualities. Standing for the expression of the very best in you.
Imagine warm arms hugging and holding you.
Allow a peaceful comfort to enfold you.
Feel every part of you receiving all the recognition, inclusion, respect, and love you truly deserve.
It’s time to banish that harsh inner critic to the wood shed.
If she’s telling you it’s too late to lose weight or improve your health and well-being, call upon your Caring Committee for encouragement. Ask it to stand with you as you commit to taking action now.
Listen instead to the voices that reassure you that anything is possible if you commit to it. Everything is figuroutable . Your goals are within reach.
Let’s talk about what’s possible for you. Scheduling your free Strategy Call right here is the begin of the first day of the rest of your life.
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