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Honey, don't argue with your inner critic

Mon 23 April 2012

, Tara Sophia Mohr, Wise Living

It is not a good idea to argue with your inner critic, says Tara Sophia Mohr in her recent blog for Wise Living. Because here’s the thing: if you are arguing, you’ve already lost. You can’t win arguing with someone who doesn’t respect you and isn’t listening to you, and the critic is the same way. Plus, have you noticed how the critic will keep producing new reasons, one after the other, about why you shouldn’t do whatever it is you dream of doing?

When it is determined to prevent you from leaving your comfort zone, it will cycle through excuses like someone flipping through a Rolodex.

A = This is arrogant of you.
B = You are too busy.
C = There is too much competition.
D = You lack the self-discipline.
E = You need more education first.
F = You are a fraud.
G = It’s not good enough.
H = It won’t make you happy anyway.
I = It’s impossible.
J = People are going to judge this harshly.
K= The kids will be deprived if you do this.
L = You are too late. You needed to start earlier.
M= Wanting this is materialistic.
N = No one cares about this. No one will listen.
O = This is the wrong order to do things in. Better do x, y, and z before you go for this.
P = You are unprepared. Better do more preparation first.
Q = Doing great work quietly is enough. No need to speak up or be aggressive. Just wait.
R = You need more financial resources before you can do this.
S = You don’t have the right space to do this in. Reorganize your house to create an office first.
T = You don’t have the right tools. Buy special pens instead of writing, shop for a new computer before launching the business, get the perfect website designed before telling anyone you are in business.
U = Your voice is not unique. Everyone’s doing this.
V = If you promote yourself in that way, people will think you are vain.
W = You need the perfect website before you can start (fill in the blank: seeing clients, running your business, etc.)
X = You need more experience first.
Y = You are too young. No one will take you seriously, especially not people older than you.
Z = Well, maybe your critic has nothing to say with z.

The inner critic will just keep going, with one argument after another. It doesn’t worry too much about choosing arguments with any relationship to reality, it’s just looking for ones that will cause you a big “ouch!” or “ack! that would be terrible!” or “oooh, good point….” and cause you to send yourself right back into your familiar status quo.

If your plan is to argue away each argument it shows you, you will never finish the argument. The critic will keep you stuck at the gate – arguing with the gatekeeper, and never able to actually get on that plane that is going where you want to go.

So, what to do?

1. Notice.
Notice when your inner critic is talking to you, and label it as such. Use this list of 7 qualities of the inner critic’s voice to help you recognize when your critic is speaking up.

Why is it important to know these qualities? Because when you are clear on what your critic sounds like, you can identify yours when it speaks up – and separate yourself from it’s voice. You then have a choice: do I want to take direction from this irrational, fearful part of me – or not?

2. Name the critic when you hear it.
This is as simple as inwardly saying, “Oh, I”m hearing my inner critic talking now. Hi, inner critic.”

3. In your own way, wave hello to it.
Blow it a kiss. Acknowledge its voice. Say, “Thank you so much for your input, but I’ve got this one covered.” Move forward from the part of you that is desire, dreams, longing, aspiration, impulse to self-realization.
Welcome the part of you that is petrified of failure as your travelling companion, not as the one steering the ship.

Just one passenger onboard. A hysterical, over reactive, afraid one always pacing about and predicting disaster and crying salt water tears of worry onto the deck.
She isn’t going anywhere, but her hysterics do not need to direct the course of journey.

This is a shortened version of Tara Mohr’s blog. Read the original article on: