Dealing with the Inner Critic, Part 1

Here’s the first of a series of blog posts on the subject of the inner critic.

The phrase “Inner Critic” is pretty self-explanatory, but in case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s that constant dialogue in your head that’s evaluating and assessing and telling you that you don’t quite measure up, no matter what. Some people call it the Inner Judge or Gremlin, but it doesn’t matter what you call it, everybody’s got one. Where did it come from? Freud referred to it as the superego, meaning that it “watched over” the ego (this is a different ego than what people talk about in spirituality – Freud’s version of the ego basically means the conscious, everyday mind). And that’s how it came into being: when you were a kid, as you internalized the warnings and exhortations the world showered on you – don’t touch this, behave that way, watch yourself, etc. You internalized those warnings, which were meant to keep you safe, but at some point, that voice becomes toxic and those warnings go far beyond keeping you safe – they limit you and cause self-doubt and ineffectiveness.

In the next few blog entries, we’ll explore more about the inner critic – how you can tell if it is having a toxic effect in your life and how to develop some ways to free yourself from its control.

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Sara Crain

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