While it’s not something talked about in “polite” conversation, here is one thing everyone in the world has in common: the inner critic. It is found in every hard-held opinion and judgment, in every comparison, in the loud inner voice or the nearly inaudible buzz that fills up inner space. Its effect is felt on a personal level when we feel stuck or find ourselves procrastinating on something important. It is also at the core of many interpersonal conflicts and unresolved racial, ethnic and religious/secular relations.
There is no question: How any of us experience ourselves is intimately related to the amount of internal life space the inner critic takes up. Whether we work hard to bolster our sense of worth, or carry a certain resignation that simply being enough will forever evade us, the inner critic is activated. It can’t help but affect our relationship to ourselves and others, the decisions that shape our lives, how we do life, and how we lead. Left to operate on its own, the inner critic exhorts a heavy price that is ultimately paid for by a scarred and deadened soul.
With such profound consequences, the inner critic presents perhaps the most significant opportunity to open our eyes to the truth of who we really are.
Here is the kicker for those of us who focus our intentions and energy on being more conscious and aware: While it can show up under any circumstances in life, the inner critic becomes particularly activated and accelerated when an individual is on the path of real change and growth.1
If you ask, “What can I do to make a positive difference in my own life and in my interactions with others?” one of the most tangible and potent places you can devote your energy to is in changing your relationship with the inner critic. While the critic can continue to be active, you can learn to decrease the amount of power you give to it. As you do so, you make room for your more authentic inner guidance and authority.
Not surprisingly, the the Enneagram offers valuable insight on the relationship between inner critic and inner authority. When your relationship to the inner critic shifts, you have more energy and momentum for your life purpose and more room for what your soul and heart are destined to express.
Join us for the upcoming, Freeing Ourselves from the Inner Critic – 4-Session Workshop beginning Wednesday, October 5th.
1 From Roxanne Howe-Murphys’s Deep Living with the Enneagram: Recovering Your True Nature.