Silencing Your Inner Critic.

By: Emma Summers


Our minds are a constant hive of activity. As you read this, you
are at present processing many different bits of information some of
which are significant others not so. Your brain is receiving
information from all of your senses taken from all of your
surroundings.
On top of all that you have to absorb this article
too!
However, the mind is not just a simple sponge because it has
to interpret the information it receives too.
Human beings are not just walking calculators because we actively
engage with the information received. More often than not our
recall of an event is not a perfect record. Much of what we
remember depends upon how we were feeling at the time, what else
was going on, who we were with and what our values were at the
time. The latter point is the most fascinating one of all because
it means that out experiences are shaped by what we believe to be
true instead of what we know.
The type of values and beliefs we have determines the filter we
sift our memories through. People with very positive values, for
instance, will tend to draw the positives out of an event and vice
versa.
We therefore live in a strange circle whereby our
experiences shape our beliefs and our beliefs shape our
experiences. When it comes to examining our point of view, we must
take into consideration the subjective nature of memory recall.
It is fortunate that we have the choice of actively engaging with
our subconscious to change our record of events. A lot of
therapeutic intervention involves getting an individual to take an
another point of view of an event. It is a bit like getting a
pessimist to see the half empty cup as a half full one.
If you have ever suffered from a negative experience, upbringing or
traumatic injury, then remember that a point of view is never set
in stone should you be struggling to get over it.
Don't feel that bad events or a dreadful childhood have to condemn
you to a life of problems. Many people survive troubled families.
The preponderance of adult kids of alcoholics do not repeat their
parents' drinking patterns, and the same is true of adults who have
survived families troubled by mental illness, never-ending marital
problems, racial discrimination and poverty.
Some kids naturally rebound from knock-backs with their
self-esteem intact. If you need help doing this now you're an
adult, talking to a therapist can help.
The way we view our experiences affects the inner voice we all here
from time to time. Of course, the inner voice can appear in non
verbal ways too - It can appear in the form of a feeling or
sensation.
Ever felt like trying something new but didn't because
you had the feeling you would not be good enough? Well, that is
your inner critic doing its usual trick of holding you back and
putting you down.
If you ever experience this type of feeling more
than a 'can do' attitude then it's time to retune to your inner
coach again.
Why again, you ask? The answer is because our inner coach is the
loudest voice inside us as kids. Think about how brave you are
as a child. Reflect on all the new things you are willing to try and
the people you are happy to give the benefit of the doubt to. The
inner critic sets in as we get older, more cynical and worldly
wise. The inner critic is the part of you that sticks to playing
safe, to not speak to that cool looking person in a bar, to not
have the bottle to ask your manager about a raise.
It is up to you to decide what you would rather have between an
inner coach and an inner critic. Your inner coach is encouraging,
constructive and empowering while you inner critic is paralysing,
critical and submissive. Evidently we need to be able to
critique our behaviour in a positive way, and yet so many
people end up by putting themselves down.
One of the best ways to develop the inner coach is through
relaxation. Preserve a positive attitude when times are tough by
visualising or thinking about something relaxing. Take a few
moments to imagine a favourite place, floating in the sea or lying
in bed, and you'll switch into a calmer physical state.

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