She likes to show up when I least expect her. She’ll typically make an appearance whenever things are going pretty well for me, like a pesky cold you can’t get rid of or an irritating relative you have to include in your holiday plans even though you’d really rather not. She comes in full force and swiftly interrupts any progress I’ve made, dragging me down to her level of negativity, criticism, and doubt. Before I know it, here I am listening to all of her bullshit -- and what’s worse is that I believe it, too.
She is my Inner Critic, and she’s a real pain in the ass.
She pays me a visit whenever I think about my future. Any goal, vision, or deep desire I have, she likes to chop up into tiny pieces and scatter to the wind. She invades my journal, butts in on my conversations, and spies on my daydreams, then laughs while asking, “Who do you think you are for dreaming so big? What makes this even remotely possible for you? What the hell are you thinking?!”
She pops up whenever I go down memory lane, too. Any time I spend thinking about my past, trying to pull out any kind of lesson or teaching there, she inserts herself into my thoughts and reaffirms all of the negative bullshit I’ve been working so hard to move away from. She cycles from, “You weren’t good enough then, you aren’t good enough now,” to, “It’s not safe to be who you truly are.”
What’s even worse is when she appears during a perfectly routine present moment. There I am, just minding my own business, when suddenly she comes out of nowhere with a, “That girl just looked at you funny – what do you think her deal is?” or a snarky, “He still hasn’t texted you back yet? Wonder what that says about you…”, or better yet, “No one liked your Facebook post. Why would you have even said that to begin with? Literally NO ONE cares!”
My Inner Critic has no filter, is unapologetic in her remarks, and truly thinks everyone is out to get her. She constantly tries to remind me that I’m not good enough, that I need to do more in order to feel worthy, and that I’m always two steps behind everyone else.
But honestly, my Inner Critic really doesn’t have her shit together. She shows up loud and proud, but there is no truth behind her words. She’s like a dictator who attempts to influence by fear and control. Her message is only as strong as my willingness to believe it.
I don’t know if my Inner Critic will ever leave me alone. Apparently, she has one job to do in this lifetime, and that is to show up with a limitless reserve of snarky comments, criticism, and doubt. Who am I to prevent her from doing her job? But try as hard as she may, it is still my job to choose what I let influence me. I get to decide if I will allow her messages to infiltrate my subconscious or not, or if I will let her fear-driven words become more than exactly what they are: meaningless.
It’s only when I attach any sort of truth to what she says that it becomes true for me. I don’t stand with that crazy, controlling, manipulative girl anymore. She’s a part of me, yes, but she’s not who I am.
My truth runs so much deeper than anything my Inner Critic could ever tap into. And it’s my responsibility to continue to filter her messages for truth, take away whatever lessons I need to, and keep going on my path, despite her never-ending chatter. At the end of the day, I get to decide what is and isn’t true for me, and my Inner Critic has been proven false time and time again.