We all have experienced, at some point during our lives, the effects of that little voice that tells us that we are ‘not good enough’. This inner critic, saboteur, or ‘gremlin’, as some people like to call it, has often prevented us from taking risks, from making positive changes in our lives, and perhaps from reaching crucial decisions.
Because it fills us with self-doubt, and it undermines our faith, our Knowing, our Truth.
The ‘role’ of this inner critic is to counter that more powerful Voice that is constantly trying to guide us, to help us along the way, and to lead us into our real nature, to Truth.
That Voice is our Intuition. And we ALL have it.
But why is it that this more powerful Voice is drowned by the noise of the inner saboteur?
Understanding the Inner Critic
In a higher metaphysical sense, this annoying and tricky little voice is one of the many manifestations of Cosmic Delusion. This is known in Vedic philosophy as maya; or as Satan in the Old Testament, and as diabolos in the Greek Testament.
As a result of this delusion, the Soul imagines itself to be limited. It is then dominated by the ego.
A ‘down-to-earth’ view is that this inner critic is trying to protect us from harm, by keeping us ‘safe’ and within our comfort zone. But ultimately, it is keeping us away from who we really are, and from all that we are capable of doing.
It is rooted on limiting beliefs
From the moment we are born, this inner critic begins to create arguments that will manifest themselves later in our lives. We begin to build a view of our existence based on good or bad experiences, and we feel the effects of duality in everything. And we then begin to build an impenetrable fortress of liming beliefs.
To complicate matters, we are also ‘taught’ to adopt a certain set of beliefs, and of values that are imposed on us. This is not intentional from the part of our parents or teachers. It is simply the result of their own limiting beliefs.
These beliefs and values are not necessarily of our choosing. But eventually we own them and become part of our existence.
How the Inner Critic Operates
This saboteur begins to act at a very young age, when we are challenged in any way or form. It may try convince us that we are not good enough. Or it will suggest an ‘easier’ way. Most certainly, it will remind us of our limitations and keep us away from our true, Limitless Self.
Anytime we want to embark on a new venture in life, the inner critic steps in. For example, you dream of having your own business after retiring. The inner saboteur then intervenes:
“What? Your own business? You have been a loyal employee all your life. You don’t know anything about having a business! You are not good enough to be an entrepreneur.”
Ultimately, it undermines one of the biggest allies we have in life: our WILL POWER. It then becomes our strongest energy block.
And it has to be tamed, or removed altogether if we are to move on.
Then, how do we counter it?
The first thing we must do is to become aware of this inner critic and acknowledge how it may limit us; to know when it is having an influence on our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
A useful exercise is to recall the times when we have defeated this tricky inner voice. Because we have won, many times. Every little triumph, such as learning to walk, to ride on a bicycle, or to succeed in school, is evidence that we also have the power to overcome its limiting influence.
Another technique is to lessen its power by naming this inner voice. By doing this, we are recognizing that this is not really us, that we are separate from this voice.
Then we need to tell it to shut up, to SILENCE it. Firmly and with full conviction.
The best way to counter the effects of this annoying but often devastating voice, is by deepening our intuition, and to let it be our guiding voice.
Ways to tune-in to your Intuition
First you have to learn to recognize it. Everyone has experienced strong ‘hunches’, or a ‘sixth sense’. We don’t need to rationalize intuitive feelings because we know they are true.
How can we distinguish intuition from imagination? The first clue is usually an accompanying feeling of peace. Then, as we accept it we may notice that everything begins to flow smoothly. We are being guided by our own deeper Knowing.
An ultimate test is that no matter how our intuitive feelings are tested or even threatened, we feel calm and secure.
The best way to deepen and to tune-in to your intuition is by calming the mind. There are many ways to do this, such as centering or mindfulness exercises, or meditation. Even a simple act of taking some deep breaths and of letting go will help you get in touch with this powerful Voice.
Why this is so important for us Baby Boomers
As we grow older, our beliefs and values have taken a strong hold on our lives. And some of these may be limiting beliefs, or values that are not of our choosing.
But we are also armed with experience, maturity, greater wisdom, and above all, a keener intuition. So we are empowered and ready to do battle with this inner saboteur.
And it is essential that we face this critic, if we want to become what I call ‘Enlightened Baby Boomers’. Only then are we free of limitations to take on bigger challenges.
How Coaching can Help
Dealing with a dominant inner critic is often a daunting task.
Certified coaches like myself are trained to help in removing these and other energy blocks. We do this by asking powerful questions, by listening objectively and intuitively, by practicing various visualization exercises, and ultimately by empowering our clients, through their own uncovering, in the realization that they already ARE perfect.
In Peace and Prosperity,