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When To Stop Stifling Your Inner Critic

As an adult, many of us become aware that there are voices inside of us that are giving us criticism and criticizing us. And as an adult, we tend to become concerned and defensive when we hear these voices criticizing and criticizing. But as you can see, you can’t just cut off these voices. You have to learn to listen to them and to allow them to exist in yourself on their own merit.  These self-critical voices are not a bad thing. They give you valuable insights that help to improve the way you think and act.

I can now look into my heart with the eyes of compassion without the anxiety that comes along with that. We’ve all been there.  We’ve all had to shut the critic within inside us.  And yet, we feel better. We feel like we’ve done something, like you’ve done something, unlike what they’re telling you.  It’s very similar in the meditation practice.   When you get to this point, you don’t shut the critic, you listen to the critic and allow it’s good qualities to inform how you think and act.

Let the Critic Run Free

But at that point, you’re going to get defensive.  You’re going to close your mind to these critical voices.  At that point, when a voice tells you that you don’t have the desire, that your desire is too weak, that you’re not strong enough, you just shut down the critic.   And that’s OK.  That’s what we all do at times.  But for the sake of your practice, allow these positive voices inside of you to teach you the way you act and the way you think and the way you feel.  Because those are all things you can improve as you go along.

So allow the critic to teach you how to stop being afraid of failure, stop being so afraid of criticism and getting into situations in which you can lose touch or make a mistake in a way that hurts yourself and others.  Let the critic guide you and give you the tools to become the person you want to become.  It can be a process, and it’s something you’re going to have to practice.

So learn from the critic, but do it on your terms.  Let them help you be a person who you want to be.  And then allow yourself to take that into the world that you live in. Because that’s when you actually become the person that you want to be.  And I think that’s what the Buddha was saying about this practice.  He was saying, “Stop being afraid of failure.  Stop being afraid to give your best.  Stop being afraid to accept the criticism that you’re going to get.

And I’ve just been in my own life, having these internal dialogs with my own fears, and I can tell you that when you have your best self in you, those fears just melt away. You don’t have to worry about them because your self does that for you every single day.  And you can start to say, ‘I’m not going to worry about anything if it means that I’m not doing something or making a decision that’s going to make me happy.” So I think the thing to remember when you’re practicing this is just to get out of your mind and let that happen to you.  And then you’re more likely to do it anyway.