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January 14, 2021

How I Silenced my Inner Critic.

 

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The Meeting.

I am the CEO of my life, but my inner critic continues to try to rule, especially right now.

To take back the reigns, I called a meeting. That’s right, a face-to-face, less than two meters apart, meeting.

We met last Friday, late in the afternoon. I directed and led the interaction. My higher, wiser self greeted my inner critic with compassion and poise. 

And these are the questions that I asked:

Higher self:

“I wanted to get some things straightened out this year. I hear you, and I understand that you have some fears. And since we have been in this since the beginning, let’s pour a cup of tea, companion.”

The Inner Critic croons: 

“Do you hear me? I really need you to hear me. I can protect us from failing and from disgrace. I am the one who keeps us safe.”

My higher, wiser self leans in and exams the critic, who is perfectly dressed and groomed, and asks:

“How does fear keep us safe?”

The critic shifts in her seat, “I prevent mistakes,” and smiles as Wisdom questions further: 

“What about mistakes?”

“You know,” the critic sheepishly says, “Failure ruins you.” She sits taller and straightens her skirt.

My higher self sighs, “Is that all?”  (And I have a good belly laugh now.)

My inner critic begins to squirm.

My higher self softens and says:

“Oh, Critic, my friend, failure is our greatest gift. It is through experience that we learn and grow. We may not see eye to eye, but let’s try to work together here.”

Critic:

“Clearly, you are not taking life seriously. Do you think you can do all these things? Really?” Do you really think that?”

Higher self:

“I know you won’t stop, Critic, but neither will I. I will continue to show up! I will continue to try, and I will stumble, and I will fall. This is for certain.

But life is too short not to try, and I want to participate in life, not just enjoy the show.”

Critic waves her hands, and they part for a little while. I continue to drink my tea and write.

Life’s stories are all unfolding. I breathe deeply and smile.

I know she will be back; she always has more to say. But I’m back in the driver’s seat, at least for tonight.

At least for tonight, I will continue to write and hum my own song.

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