Are you tired of judging yourself relentlessly? Let’s do this instead.
Hey, it’s me, Rebecca Wiener McGregor, the Anxiety Eraser. And welcome to another episode of Effective Immediately, where we talk all things mindset, healthy emotions, abundance, leadership, and I give you a mindset shift that you can use effective immediately. Okay.
So today we’re going to be talking about the relentless inner critic. Hey, thanks for being here. I’m so glad that we get to talk about this because it’s been coming up so often with so many people that I’ve been talking to how this inner dialogue, the thoughts that we think about ourselves being unreasonably critical, harsh judgment to like push yourself through to get you to the next level, maybe even just intense judgment that seems out of balance for you. And we do this because we’re used to being high achievers.
The people that I work with, the amazing humans that I get to work with, are used to being super high achievers. They’re used to having things be swift, having the results be swift, they’re used to… so you might find this about yourself. Are you used to trying something and you don’t have to try very hard because your try hard is like 10 times what some other people’s is? And you may notice that when you try something that you can get it quickly. That you have the “I’ll figure it out” gene. Maybe you have the “Oh, I can get this” or “I’ll make this work” gene? These are all signs of super high achievers. Now when this does not go as planned, when the thing is a little bit harder than you expect, the shift is a little bit bigger, the resistance is a little bit stronger, the way that you speak to yourself might be just a little bit harsher. So I want you to start to think about when you feel certain things. When you have this inner critic that’s really piped up. What kinds of things does it say to you? What kind of things are you saying to yourself?
Now remember, this is all data. Okay? The goal here is not to have you feel nothing. The goal is to let your feelings and your actions and your behaviors, the ones that we’re here trying, you’re doing well, you’re moving along, you’re learning, you’re stretching, you’re growing. That when something doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean anything about you, your talents, your gifts, or your value. Okay, how does that sound?
Take a breath for just a moment. I’m a little out of breath because I went and chased the sunrise a little bit right before I got on this call. So I’ll show you the picture when I’m done. Okay? Now, as you are a high achiever, as you are pushing through as you are fighting for your vision, you’re fighting for your dream, you’re fighting for that next level, you know that there is a breakthrough coming. And you are right there with it. When something doesn’t go right, when you are in the contraction, which we talked about a little bit last week, when you’re in the place of this isn’t working the way that I want it to how are you speaking to yourself? Are you asking, you know, what’s wrong with me? Why am I not figuring this out?
These are often the kinds of questions, I’ll share a few more actually, that I hear from my clients and have heard from my friends and even said myself at some points, okay? All right. So, “I’ll never get this”. “I should know this by now”. This is a really, really common one that comes up, especially for super high-achieving women who have been doing a lot of self-development work. They read a lot. They have a great self-awareness. “I should know this by now” comes up a lot. Another one is “Why am I stuck here?” I felt this myself when we go through different times when we’ve gone through a big expansion. And then we contract, we gear up again to get to the next level. Why is the contraction happening? If you wonder about that, and you haven’t seen that video, go back to last week’s or you can go to my YouTube channel to see how important that contraction is. It’s the time when you gather wisdom, it’s the time when you gather energy for your next expansion. So this “Why am I stuck here? Maybe “Why do I feel this way? I know better”. You know, when you get in an argument with someone, or you get in a situation with someone, and they kind of suck you in or pull you in, you may feel like “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I got caught up in that I know better than to do that”. Another thing is maybe, “What have I done wrong?” Or “Why am I such a failure?” Even super high achieving people will ask themselves questions like, “Why am I such a failure?” Because being a failure is the opposite of having, being of value.
For high performers, high achievers, there’s probably a little bit of trauma, or maybe a lot a bit of trauma that has caused them to want to prove themselves, not just to other people, but to themselves. And this is where we get caught in proving our value and performing. So it’s actually, it has had its benefits, right? Some people get a little scared that if they dial it down, and they’re not so critical of themselves, everything will fall apart.
Now, let’s look at what resistance actually is. Resistance is rooted in fear, fear that you’re not enough, fear that if you don’t perform that you’re not valuable. So you could be rejected, you could be abandoned. And we know that being abandoned is a very, very scary place to be. We know that our base fear is a fear of death. And if we were still animals who were hurting, which we are, in some ways, being kicked out of the herd, being rejected, being rejected and being abandoned, would mean death. That’s still inside of us the need to belong, the need to fit in, the desire to be loved, the desire to be seen, the desire to be valued, that’s still inside of us. So if you have been trying to prove yourself, to others and to yourself, for a very long time, these may be some of the things that you’re thinking. And it may or may not be all the time. But when something doesn’t go well, it’s easy to have that inner critic get really loud.
Okay, so like I said, the goal is not to feel nothing, but it’s not to, it’s to have you allow yourself to feel what you need to, to learn what you need to, to assess what you need to, and look at it all as data without making it mean something about you or the quality of person you are. Okay? So how do we release this judgment? How do we release this inner critic? How do we release this inner taskmaster? We do it with the opposite. We do it with compassion. You’ll notice this too, we’ll talk about this more next week being judgmental of other people. But being in this place of judgment with yourself means that the fear is really high. Means that, and this can be a habit, these, these ways of being that we use to get ourselves to perform to get ourselves to the next level, these have become powerful habits. But they’re actually not as beneficial as you might think. When we are in a state of fear, and we’re in a state of resistance, we’re in a state of lockdown, where it doesn’t even really matter the data that’s coming in, the information that’s coming in, that’s proving otherwise, that’s proving opposite of the resistance, it’s proving that you’re valuable. It’s proving that you know a lot of information, it’s proving that you have been successful, will be successful again, and have a strong track record of being successful. The resistance doesn’t hear that, it doesn’t feel that it only remembers the pain.
Remember, we talk about this all the time, your subconscious mind does not care about your happiness. It doesn’t care about your comfort. It doesn’t give a flying fig about your fulfillment. It only wants you to stay in the same, in the similar because that’s what it’s used to. It wants you to be predictable. So if being this inner critic and being harsh with yourself is the way that you’ve done it you have to be very mindful and aware of how you are talking to yourself, how you are thinking about yourself. Now some people run that inner dialogue. Some people don’t. You just have to become aware of which kind of person you are. If you’re constantly talking to yourself in your mind, or if you occasionally have thoughts or feelings, or there’s not really a conversation happening, there’s just “What’s wrong with me? What did I do wrong? How could I have done this?” That kind of action happening in your head. Okay, so kind of pay attention to who which one you are, how you talk to yourself when this happens. And then thinking about being compassionate with yourself. How would you treat your best friend? I know this is like such a cliche question, right? It’s such a cliche, like, how would you treat your best friend if they were struggling? But in reality, you get to be your best friend. When you get to be your best friend the ways that you speak to yourself calm down. Because most of us, if we’re in good friendships, we are being honest with one another. And we’re being kind, compassionate, and respectful. So when you’re noticing that inner critic is turned on, and the resistance is high, you can pause, take a breath, and think about “How can I be more compassionate with myself? What do I actually need right now?”
Why Release the Inner Critic?
Now, why do we want to do this? Why on earth do we want to even release the inner critic or calm them or quiet them at all? Because when we are in that resistance state like I mentioned, we are in fear and we’re in lockdown. We have suppressed all ideas passing through either direction. Maybe not all. Okay? I don’t like to speak in absolutes. Sometimes, being so cruel with ourselves can force through some survival mode, some survival technique that we can use to get to the next moment, but it’s not the most beneficial, it’s not the most kind. And it’s not, actually, it’s not the easiest either. When we release that resistance, when we come back to a place of love, we actually open up our mind. We open up space in our mind, for the possibility for inspiration, for the way to be heard, for our higher self or our higher power to speak to us. Now, this is pretty beneficial, right? We don’t want to shut down this wisdom. And when we’re in the fear, and we’re in the resistance, Steven Pressfield, wrote this incredible book called The War of Art, not the Art of War, The War of Art. And he defines resistance as the engine of destruction. So when we are in fear and resistance, we are not moving forward the way that we want to we’re not in a state of learning. We’re in a state of freezing. We’re in a state of paralysis and it takes us further away from our vision and our goal. When you get the flow going again, and you’re not in a state of resistance, this is the optimal state for you to create from. And when I talk about creating, I’m talking about solutions, I’m talking about cultivating relationships, connection, trust, joy, new ideas, and your artistic side as well. The things that you want to create. And if you are a coach or a consultant or a therapist, being in a state of resistance, of being in a state of judgment, shuts down all of that flow of ideas. It shuts down all of that extra energy that can be running in the background, looking for the idea, looking for the solution for you. And if you are a manifester, and you’re trying to get to your next level, being in a state of resistance, being in a state of resistance is shutting that down. You being able to create your next step, to create your vision. All of that comes from you being in flow. It comes from you being in a state of trust about where you can go, what you can have, what you’re worthy of, all of that. And all of that is cultivated in love and self-compassion, self-respect, self-worthiness. So when you are in that state of fear and resistance, it’s like the drawbridges are up. You have locked up the castle. Nothing can get in. Nothing can get out no flow.
Okay, so sit with that for a moment. Because you might be thinking of all the times that this has happened to you in your life. All the times that you have thought that this was the best way to get to the next level, that being critical of yourself, looking for what you’re doing wrong, judging yourself grading yourself harshly, and getting yourself to move to the next level was the right thing to do. And it was what you had available at the time. So it doesn’t mean anything about you. This is not an invitation to judge yourself. It’s an invitation to look at how it’s been for you in the past, and how you want it to be in the future.
I’m going to introduce a little idea to you, you may have heard me say it before. But it gets to be easier. It gets to be easier than it’s been. The harsh critic hearing that, feeling that, experiencing that, that’s not easy. It may be what you’re used to so it may feel like the norm, but it’s not the easiest, most beneficial path. Now, if you want to achieve something, and you want to open the pathways to creativity, to innovation, and you want you want to start looking at things in a new way, the simplest path for you is to release that inner critic, to release that inner judgment. As soon as you begin to do that, as soon as you begin to look at your thoughts and shift them just ever so slightly, to allow yourself to see “What is the most beneficial thing that I could say to myself right now?” “What’s the next thought that would actually be helpful to me?” When you do that, you give yourself an opportunity to move forward in a positive, loving direction.
Now, I mentioned that I’m going to talk to you about criticizing others next week. And you’re going to notice in your life, even this week, as you’re walking through this, and you’re noticing your inner critic, that when you are super critical of yourself, it is very likely that you’re super critical of others. This is not a judgment. This is an acknowledgment that this is how we operate. When we have super high expectations for ourselves, we tend to put those on other people as well. When we have big, bold judgments against ourselves, we will see that in other people. We are reflecting and mirroring our own beliefs all day, every day.
Okay, so give yourself a lot of, a lot of love right now. You may need to take a couple breaths. You may need to put your hand on your heart a little bit. Be super kind to yourself. Because you get to, when you know better you get to do better. And I’m not talking about perfection here. I’m talking about practice, all the things that I teach are really about being in a new practice of how you get to speak to yourself, how you get to speak to others, how you get to feel, how you get to behave, and the actions that you take moving toward your dream, your vision, your goal. Because at the root, the biggest thing that I want for you is to get every single frickin’ thing that you want in this world. Everything that feels good and right and natural to you. And you want it. I want it for you. And the way that we do that is to release all of this judgment, we release all of the unbeneficial beliefs, we release all of the old stories and paradigms that you’ve been living on that have kept you from having that vision. Because the faster that we release resistance, the faster that we release the beliefs that we can have what we want, the faster we get to get to them. We get to get to them? [giggles] The faster that we move toward them. Okay?
All right. So coming back to this. As you release judgment of yourself, you create space. If you’ve ever heard me talk about Hew Len he calls this state zero. Dr. Hew Len. He calls this space between your thoughts the zero state. And when you have the space between your thoughts, you have the ability to have your inner wisdom come to the surface. Things you already know. You have the ability to hear your Higher Self, your higher power, God, your connection to Source, your guides, you get to hear all of that wisdom come through so much more readily. When we’re in resistance and the drawbridges are up and we’re in a state of lockdown it’s very hard to hear that guidance. But when we allow ourselves to have space between our thoughts, and we’re not constantly judging the last thought that we had there is space for us to receive the way, the next step, to make things so much easier for ourselves.
So think about that for a moment. If you’re in a conversation, you’re in an argument, and you are, just imagine you’re in an argument with another person, and your goal is to be right. Not to be understood, not to let both of you win, and create a win-win situation. But to be right. You do not hear any other guidance, right? You will not hear their side of the story, you will not allow them to express themselves because your only desire is to be right. And this comes from wanting to be accepted. It comes from wanting to be part of the fold, and not be rejected and abandoned. And guess what? You don’t have to be right with yourself. You don’t have to be the winner of the argument with yourself or anyone else. But that’s a story for another time. So when you are in that state of resistance, and you’re just fighting yourself, “Why have I done this?” “What’s wrong with me?” “What have I done wrong?” You probably will even start going through past experiences. And looking at all the steps “Ooh, was that a misstep? Was that a mistake? Was that something I should have done? What if I could do that over?” We can get in the state of regret, which is very hard on ourselves and we’ll invite even more of that inner critic to step up. Because if we’re in a state of looking at all of our mistakes, that’s a tough place to be. When we’re in a state of looking through all of our memories and seeing how we could have done things differently, we’re going to get into a state of the spins, and the inner critic is going to get louder and louder. And that feeling is going to get stronger and stronger. And it is going to be so hard to hear your inner wisdom, divine wisdom, your higher power, your higher self.
So what if you didn’t have to be right about what a screw-up you’ve been? What if you could be right about all of the ways that you have succeeded? What if you chose to take responsibility for your thoughts, and to begin a practice, a practice of seeing yourself and your life in a new way? That everything is a lesson. Everything is a practice. And the outcomes are all data about what’s most beneficial or unbeneficial. What could you do then? Imagine being in this flow state. [exhales] You’re letting go of all these negative self-perceptions that you’ve had. You’re letting go of these harsh words that you say to yourself when you’re stuck. You’re letting go of maybe even the name-calling that you’re doing to yourself when you’re stuck. When you’re frustrated when you’re frozen when you’re paralyzed when you can’t get to that next place that you want to get to. When you’re overthinking and you’re overanalyzing everything. And you’re starting to speak to yourself in a harsh way. The name-calling, the belittling. If you took that away, and you gave yourself an opportunity, “Okay, how can I grow through this situation? What if I take a step? What if it’s not quite the right step? What if it’s completely the wrong step? The most unbeneficial step I could make? What if it’s that kind of step? But what if I learn from it? What if I can grow from it? What if I can look at that data and I can trust that whatever I’m going through is going to bring me to the next space? Whatever struggles I’m having is teaching me lessons. The struggles that I’m having are teaching me lessons, the wisdom then that I can take to the next step”. Then you can see there’s actually not really a big space for the inner critic. The inner critic doesn’t need to be there because it will allow you that openness and flow for you to take in the new wisdom. And you can see your life as an experiment, an experiment in joy, an experiment in manifesting, an experiment in leadership. Now that’s not a backdoor to let yourself not care. Right? Because not caring can be you going numb, like “I’ve maxed out. I’ve burned out. I’m exhausted. I’m just not gonna care anymore”. That’s not an invitation to do that. If you’re feeling that way, we need to have a conversation. Okay? If you’re feeling that way, you might be a little bit more tired, exhausted, burned out than you realize.
When you give yourself the space of “Things are an experiment. This is, I’m going to try it this way, I’m going to look at the data, I’m going to tweak it, I’m going to hypothesize further and I’m going to move forward. I’m going to try something else. I’m going to allow myself to make mistakes. I’m going to allow myself to mess up and not have it mean anything about me. Because I don’t need to invite that cruel, negative, judgmental part of myself to be activated again”. Now, like I said, this is a practice. So you may be doing this already, you may be trying this already. And if you have tried this, and you are in the process of starting this new practice of, “Okay, I’m not gonna judge myself, I’m gonna love myself, I’m gonna do my very best to, to take the best of what I know today put it in practice, learn from that experience and not judge myself”. This is an imperfect practice, right? You may have a day, where you’re like, “Okay, I did everything that that I’ve been told to do. I’ve asked myself repeatedly to do this, I have done what Rebecca suggested, and I have practiced, and I didn’t get to my result, and it stung. It hurt me, it frustrates me”. And the inner critic maybe gets, the volume gets turned up just a little bit. Doesn’t mean you’re bad. This is not an invitation for you to be harsh with yourself again. It is completely normal and natural for that inner critic to get turned up every once in a while. So when it happens, you get to bring yourself back into a state of love. You get to bring yourself back into a state of flow. You get to take the drawbridges down again, you get to let your mind open up. You get to cultivate that feeling of love and self-trust again. Okay? So be super loving with yourself.
Your Effective Immediately Mindset Move
Are you ready? Are you ready for your effective immediately mindset move of the week? Okay, when you are starting to feel that tension and resistance, you can feel it in yourself, you can feel it in your thoughts, you can feel the tension building in your body, you can feel the harshness of your thoughts. And even if they’re just harsh for you. Pause, take a few breaths. Put your hand on your heart. And here is your mindset move. Okay, are you ready? Here’s your effective immediately question that you’re going to ask for yourself, you get to ask yourself right now. “What is the most beneficial thing I can think about myself right now?” And let it bubble to the surface. “What is the most beneficial thing I can think about myself right now? What is the most beneficial thing I can think about myself right now?”
This can help you throughout the day. It can help you throughout meetings, it can help you throughout creating your next program. It can help you through planning your next meeting. Anytime that you get that resistance where you aren’t quite sure what you’re going to say, what you’re going to do, how you’re going to move on, what the next action is. “What is the most beneficial thing that I can think about myself right now?” When you let it bubble to the surface, it might not be all lovey-dovey, right? It may not be “Oh my gosh, Rebecca, you’re amazing and wonderful”. It may be “Well, that didn’t suck as bad as you thought it could be”. And then, after you’ve done that, give yourself another breath and ask now again. “What is the most beneficial thing I can think about myself?” When you do this and you let the answers bubble to the top, you’ll release the bottleneck, you’ll start to let the flow of beneficial thoughts and by that, I don’t necessarily mean that they’re just humoring you, or catering to your ego but you’re actually starting to flow. “What’s the most beneficial thing I can think?” And then when you’re ready to take action, “What’s the most beneficial action I can take?” And when you go back and forth between those two thoughts, you’re not being hard on yourself and you’re being realistic. And you’re also keeping your vision and the complete trust and faith that you can have what you want. As you ask those two questions to yourself throughout your life, throughout each day throughout each week, you can really get far.
So I want you to practice this. Let me know how it goes for you. If you are feeling stuck, if you’re stuck in anxiety, if you’re stuck in a state of burnout, if you are exhausted or feeling numb, this is your opportunity. This is your sign to reach out to me. You can connect with me through rebeccawiener.com or callwithrebecca.com or message me anywhere that you’re seeing this video. And I would love to have a conversation with you about what results we can create for you. Releasing the pain, releasing the stuckness, and helping you move forward into your dream.
All right. Have a beautiful week. Be loving to yourself. And I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.
About the Author:
Rebecca Wiener McGregor, also known as The Anxiety Eraser, is a seasoned transformational hypnotist, trauma healer, and abundance coach. Since 2004, she guides visionary women to break free from anxiety, blocks, traumas, and fears, leading them to a life filled with abundance and purpose. Through her book “Loving Her” and work with conscious women executives, leaders, coaches, and healers worldwide, Rebecca sparks profound transformations, helping her clients embrace their true selves and create impactful, joyful, fulfilling lives.
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