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.”


“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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