We all have one.
No matter what shape or size or gender or nationality or religion, every human being has a CRITICAL VOICE in his or her head.
This isn’t a delusional or schizophrenic thing. As humans, we ALL talk to ourselves.
We all have insecurities that this voice warns us to remember and adjust our behavior around in order to minimize the risk of getting whacked!
Another way of saying this is that there is a voice alive and audible in our heads that reminds us:
- about the promises we have made to ourselves;
- about the choices we have made in the past;
- about the mistakes we have made that still sting;
- about the dread we feel about some future event making its way toward us;
- about the ideal behavior we hope we are courageous enough to choose but have failed in the past to follow through on.
It is a voice that “makes sense” of our lives by reminding us of the fear, pain, anger, sadness, and shame that we have experienced in the past and that we should avoid those experiences in the present and the future.
The “Inner Critic” in our heads is very much the voice of our SURVIVAL INSTINCT attempting to direct us toward either a FIGHT or FLIGHT CHOICE in order to decrease the odds of repeating self-defeating behavior.
Having that survival instinct wired deeply in our systems is a really good thing!
However, it is also a very limited way for us to live our lives. This is because the mistake we make is to assume that this Critical Voice is the voice of our authentic self.
Nothing could be further from the Truth!
The Critical Voice in our heads is the voice of our EGO that has gotten wounded and mistreated by others. The voice of our wounded ego is a loud reminder of our screw ups.
It is the drive we have inside us to endure and persevere through all adversity…
…but it DOES NOT direct us toward a LIFE OF QUALITY. A fight-or-flight approach to Life does NOT require us to enjoy or appreciate WHO WE REALLY ARE.
This Inner Critic will NOT inspire or motivate us to reach beyond our grasp in order to self-actualize. This survival voice only teaches us how to “get to tomorrow”.
In other words, authenticity, personal integrity, and self-respect do not exist in the world of survival. Pursuing a LIFE OF QUALITY only poses a threat to our survival instinct because it distracts us from our fight-or-flight instincts.
While it is important to have that fight-or-flight instinct always at the ready just in case we run into a dangerous situation, we must also know when to “leave it at the door” so that we can interact with our loved ones from our AUTHENTIC SELF as opposed to from our EGO.
Yes, it is challenging to quiet the Critical Voice in our heads long enough to get a grip on what is really going on in our lives. But that is why it is ALSO really important to learn how to quiet our minds long enough to step outside ourselves and look back at who we truly are in order to figure out what we need in that moment.
I will talk more about how to do this in my next blog post!