Did you know there’s a nasty little bully that lives inside of your head?
I know you don’t like to talk about it much.
It’s the voice that tells you …
Who do you think you are?
Why would anyone want to listen to you?
You will never amount to anything?
You won’t get the job so don’t bother applying.
So this little bully whispers in our ear that you are not good enough, working hard enough or just NOT ENOUGH.
Sometimes the little bully will make statements like you’re hopeless, lazy and useless leaving you feeling paralysed by fear and self doubt.
The negative self talk from the bully is harsh and judgmental and you’re left feeling like crap.
The little bully inside your head is your inner critic. He or she is a nasty little gremlin, but we all have one.
What’s your inner critic?
Our inner critic is part of our ego structure.
From the moment we enter the world, the most kind and loving parents in childhood cannot protect us from the pervasive and pernicious influences of our environment, namely our parents, schools or religions.
As children we swallow whole beliefs, values and confusing messages about ourselves without stopping to refute them. That’s because as children we don’t know how to process or question what we’ve heard.
We can internalise even the smallest, flippant remark, and then create a negative story around it and give it meaning.
Now here’s the good news!
As an adult, you have a choice to explore whether there’s any truth to the negative self talk. This can be achieved by understanding your critic’s roots and experimenting with disengaging from it and its effects.
Think about it. No baby is born lazy, clumsy or stupid.
So if I bring to your awareness that you have picked up these messages along the way, there is already some relief at diffusing its message.
I encourage people to create their own bully, make it really ugly and name it.
For example: Bossy Betty; Worrying Wendy; Mean Megan; Nasty Nelly or Peter Perfect.
Then visualise it sitting on your shoulder and saying fearful or nasty things into your ear.
Get a sense of your critic. Notice what happens to you as he or she speaks.
Sometimes you can recognise the voice being that of a parent, teacher or another authority figure.
The critic is so powerful, but only if you buy into the silly speak.
The trick is to dialogue with your inner critic, find out what’s behind it’s message i.e. an over protective parent, and disempower your inner critic by talking back.
So next time your inner bully is giving you the negative self-talk follow these simple steps:
Step 1. Notice that it’s the bully talking to you and not you.
Step 2. Muster the superhero strength inside of you to refute the silly speak.
Step 3. Find a way of disarming him (or her).
Here’s a few ways you can talk back to your inner critic:
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Oh really so you can do better.”
“What nonsense, I’m always considering the feeling of others.”
“I am not a failure, I just failed this time.”
You might like to visualise yourself slapping him or her off our shoulder, or locking your bully away in a cupboard.
You don’t have to let your inner bully get the better of you or stop you from feeling that you have to be something more (perfect) than you already are.
In my Back To Balance life coaching package I have created some bully busting templates to help you identify your little monster, and learn ways to drown out his or her negative self talk.