Battling Your Inner Critic

I wanted to briefly continue my thoughts from yesterday about my bouts with anxiety and fear.*

Can I just say...this shit is normal!  We all worry.  In my opinion, there are two vital keys to managing it: identifying it when it surfaces and regulating how much we allow it to impact us.

Of course, we'd love to believe that overcoming fear/anxiety once means we've conquered the demon - that bastard inner critic that haunts us all in one way or another!  The one that worries that we're not good enough in some way.  The not-good-enough feelings can relate to a specific task/project (for example, "I'm afraid everyone will laugh at how I dance.") to you, yourself (for example, "I'm worthless - I can't do anything right.")

Fear/anxiety in the first example is easier to manage.  We can more readily accept that we can improve in a specific area.  Following the example above, maybe one could take dance lessons.  Then with confidence in newly found dance skills, one's fear/anxiety about judgement would reduce.

The second example is more difficult.  The fear/anxiety is related to us, as a human being.  Conquering the thought that you are worthless can seem unfathomable.  Even though tackling it may be overwhelming, it can be done.  Some can do it themselves, and that's great!  Others may want or need some help and support, possibly from a medical professional or even a life coach.  

What I want to share is this...

I don't feel banishing our inner critic is possible.  (If that thought terrifies you, STAY WITH ME!)  Believe it or not, that evil little voice serves a purpose.  I know that may be hard to believe.  It really is trying to protect us from embarrassment and/or being hurt by others.  (Odd, right, that the protection it's trying to provide is actually damaging, in and of itself.)  The thoughts will continue to surface.  But, with consciousness, you can identify it and regulate its impact, thus reducing its hold on your life.

In my experience, practice has resulted in the thoughts surfacing less and less often, and when they do bubble up now, it usually doesn't stay with me long.  (There are unusual circumstances like yesterday that creep up every now and again.)

All this to say, do NOT feel like you have failed or, worse, that YOU are a failure - YOU ARE NOT.  Being aware of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and learning to harness them is a journey, not a moment - and it's completely worth the effort!

Wrapping up how this is important for me...

Just because my conversation didn't go as fabulously as I had hoped yesterday, and I KNOW I played a part in that, it doesn't mean I'll inhale at every similar situation, and certainly doesn't make ME an awful person.  It just means that I assess the good and bad about the EVENT/SITUATION, and incorporate changes the next time.  It's called growth.  I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be.  So, the opportunity for me to learn from mistakes and those not-so-hot moments will ALWAYS be a gift.

Be open to what comes.

*I acknowledge many suffer from anxiety and cannot make mindset choices easily, if at all.  I am posting only from my personal experience and what has helped me, and may be beneficial to others.  This post is not intended to serve as medical advice.

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