Is there something you’ve been wanting to do, become, or have but you can never make it happen? Could the Inner Critic be holding you back?
It’s way more common than you think, except you don’t realize how common it is because a) not a lot of people are aware of their Inner Critics – it’s just been there so long and, b) if they are, they rarely share anything about it with others because they’re afraid of being judged.
- “Who do you think you are?”
- “You’re not good enough”
- “You can’t do this/that”
- “It’s never going to happen”
- “You’re going to embarrass yourself”
- “They’ll think you’re an idiot – they already do”
- “You’re such a f****n loser”
If this sounds like something you experience, as an Inner Critic Coach, I want to reassure you that you’re not going mad. It’s not a healthy pattern when it gets out of control but it has a purpose, and a benevolent one at that, and now that you’re aware of it, you can start to work with it and change it.
You can reclaim your natural confidence and wisdom and healthy belief in yourself. You can cultivate an inner world that’s stronger, calmer, more open, more caring and hospitable for yourself. And it will make a tremendous difference in your outer world too.
If you’re interested in learning about my compassionate, self-leadership coaching approach to working with the Inner Critic, then stick around, read this page and reach out for a HeartRich Coaching Exploration Session – see below.
The Inner Critic
Aside from being a major nuisance, and often completely frustrating and life-sucking internally, having a tough Inner Critic undermines almost everything you care about – from your relationships to your career to your life ambitions.
It forces many towards hyper-achievement and over-extending themselves and promises no rewards or even a pat on the back.
Your Inner Critic is possibly the biggest asshole in your life.
What is the Inner Critic, exactly?
It’s a part of you – a distinct sub-personality or sub-self that took on the Role of the Inner Critic.
We are born with many parts, many possible ways of experiencing and leading our lives. Each is an entity on its own and part of a greater system of parts. The Multiplicity of Mind theory or framework has been in and out of vogue in psychology for ages and happens to be a very healthy way of understanding the mind and explaining things like inner conflict and self-sabotage.
These fairly autonomous personal entities (or personalities) often take on specific roles to protect us from being hurt, emotionally, and to help us survive and get our needs met. They protect us from re-experiencing pain we found unbearable at one point in our lives.
The role is like a program, an adaptive protective program (APP) and programs can be changed! Unfortunately though, they don’t respond to rational orders or coding, their programming goes very deep, into the emotional brain and nervous system.
So, how could such a tormentor like the Inner Critic be a protector?
Because at one point in time in our lives, we were deeply hurt by the criticism and judgment of others. Perhaps we were bullied, humiliated, degraded and devalued.
One minute we were being our natural, authentic selves. The next minute we were attacked and demeaned by people in our lives.
So, if we learn to judge ourselves first, we may sort ourselves out and prevent ourselves from doing or saying the particular things that tend to invite painful criticism and judgment from others.
Deep down, people with strong Inner Critics often hold a belief that getting criticized by others is the absolute worst and we won’t be able to tolerate another experience like it, but now the Inner Critic has a life and voice of its own, and for many people, it can be incredibly loud, hurtful, incessant and paralyzing.
Though many people suffer from its intense, constant nitpicking, shaming and catastrophizing, most people who have a tough inner critic, actually hide it and fear that if others knew how they felt about themselves, what happens in their own inner worlds, they’d be shamed and ridiculed by others. Can you see the negative loop it creates?
The Inner Critic, with its negative self-talk, often makes us hide and avoid many things in life and contributes to concerns like procrastination and deeper emotional issues like anxiety and depression.
Coaching the Inner Critic with Self Leadership Coaching
My approach as a Trauma-Informed Inner Critic Coach relies heavily on developing Self Leadership, along with developing mindfulness, compassion and resilience building skills. What does all that mean?
Through a Self Leadership Coaching approach, one that focuses on your own inner world and inner life, you will come to know, understand and appreciate the role the Inner Critic has played in your life.
We’ll work on reducing any animosity, resentment, anger and hate towards it, which is very important.
Once you understand and appreciate the role it’s played, we’ll go even deeper to do some work with the limiting beliefs and burdens you’ve been carrying for years (like ‘I’m not good enough’). It is here that we can truly appreciate why the Inner Critic worked so hard, and made you so miserable.
Ultimately, you will transform these beliefs and release those old burdens. Things like:
- “I’m a loser.”
- “Mistakes are the worst thing ever.”
- “People will judge me and won’t like me if…”
- “I need to be perfect and do everything perfectly.”
- “People at work expect me to know everything.”
- “If I’m not nice to everyone, people will hate me and think I’m a terrible person.”
Through a trauma-informed/sensitive coaching approach, you will learn/discover your Triggers, your Fears, your Protective Patterns, and the pain/s that the Critic (or Perfectionist, or Procrastinator or People-Pleaser) has been protecting you from.
You will transform those seemingly illogical but very powerful limiting beliefs into more truthful, supportive and life-enhancing beliefs that help free you to be who you are (Self) and live life in alignment with your values.
There’s more to it than this but I hope you’re getting the picture that it has nothing to do with conquering, beating, or banishing any part of you. But coming to know, understand and love every part of you.
Yes – compassion, empathy, care, patience, understanding, kindness towards your very own parts – from the core of your being.
Is your inner critic having a field day right now, judging this as too airy fairy or warm & fuzzy fluff? It’s just trying to protect you – so, thank it for sharing, and read on anyway.
This is heart-centered work and we’ll be connecting to your own heart to bring your True Self to the forefront.
In Self Leadership, it is your true self who is doing this work with your parts. It’s this essence of who you really are that we’ll be promoting to Leader within your own inner family or system of parts.
A lot of our work will go into helping your parts trust your Self, because when in Self, that’s when you will be feeling: calm, connected, clear, confident, courageous, compassionate, present, patient, playful, and basically all the feelings and states of being that make life feel wonderful and fulfilling.
You will learn that whenever you’re not feeling this way, you’d benefit from doing some inner work to help your parts adjust and update their roles and beliefs and feelings, so you can get back to being in Self….
So What? What does that get you?
Instead of grappling with your Inner Critic for life or trying to silence it but finding it just comes back louder and more abusive, you will be able to generate and cultivate states of Freedom – Authenticity – Confidence – Self Trust and Compassion. Which translate into:
- Less Stress – Greater Resilience & Wellbeing
- Less Self Doubt – Greater Clarity & Self Trust
- Enhanced Creativity & Productivity
- More Fun – More Motivation
These are some of the benefits that we experience when we remove the blocks to our natural self leading our lives, instead of parts like the Inner Critic. What would you do if you felt free to be who you are?
How many sessions? How often?
Ultimately, I love working with people for extended periods of time – to become a trusted partner in their growth for the long haul – as long as you feel you’re getting the most out of working together… that said, we can start with 5 sessions and by then, we’ll probably have a good handle on the Inner Critic, and if you like, we can move on to other inner players, or move on to other areas of life that are important to you through Whole Life Coaching.
Sessions are about 1.5 hours each and should be held about a week apart.
How do you know if this is right for you?
Sign up for a HeartRich Coaching Exploration Session below – we’ll meet heart-to-heart on the phone or zoom and I’ll guide the way. We’ll get to know you and talk about what really matters to you and we’ll explore anything on this page that you want to know more about to help you decide if this approach feels right for you.
There is no cost or obligation for the Session.
Thanks so much for reading this far and considering working together! I look forward to meeting you, your Inner Critic and any others who show up on the call!
Meet Your Coach & Resilience Partner
HeartRich Founder & Coach Guy Reichard
I’ve completed a few rounds of The Hero’s Journey over the past 20+ years, learning more and becoming more and more of my authentic self with each journey.
I’ve been with the love of my life for 19 years. We live with our cat, Isabel & dog, Charlie just north of Toronto.
I love travel, good coffee, cooking great food, doing yard-work and fixing things around the house over going to a gym. I’ve been into yoga and meditation for years, and recently picked up Feldenkrais, the Wim Hof Method, and Yoga Nidra (kind of like a super-power-nap).
My values are: Love, Peace, Wellbeing, Freedom, Growth, Truth, Fun, Joy, Wholeness, Purpose, Resilience, Flexibility, and Creativity. You can learn more here.
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