Chill Out, Negative Nelly
Updated: Sep 3, 2019
Oh, you know exactly who I am talking about. We all have one in our lives! That little voice that just complains non stop and always sees the worst in us. She is better known as our inner-critic and most of the time that homegirl can be a real freakin' peach.....Said no one ever!
Hey Y'all, Hey! Welcome Back!
Today I want to talk a little about your inner critic. Your inner critic may be a bit less crass, maybe even a bit more sensitive than mine but I guarantee you have one and I'd be willing to bet she tends to feed you with self-doubt, fear, and negativity.
If your inner critic is anything like mine was, Her communication skills SUCK and most of the time she goes way over board with her obnoxious opinions. Sometimes she was so loud in my head that she would drown out the rest of my thoughts.
Let me tell you, I was so sick of listening to her. I would argue with her her like she was a petulant child. The problem was, no matter how many disagreements we had, she would pop back up. I guess the saying is true-
What we resist, persists!
After years of arguing with her, I decided it was time for a come to Jesus meeting. I truly wanted to know why she was so relentless in the pursuit of holding me back. What I learned is that she was built in fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and fear of potential or repeated harm. She grew up with me and she made it her number one goal in life to keep me from anything remotely scary because she really thought she was saving me. The thing is, you can't ever really rid your entire life of fear. Fear is a natural response and a survival mechanism. What you can do is learn to identify and understand you fear and control your response to it.
I was once told that fear creates two opportunities- 1. You can forget what you set out to do and run or 2. You can face the fear head-on and rise. Y'all I am a riser and I have a tendency of showing fear who's boss. It was time for my inner critic to get on board so I decided to befriend her.
To put things into perspective for my inner critic- I decided to start asking her some questions like, What's the worst-case scenario? What's the best-case scenario?
Talking through these things with her seemed to ease all the negative chatter. Once I got into a habit of replacing irrational fear with reasonable outcomes and redirection I started to see a shift in my inner critic's mindset.
Although I have had a great deal of success with befriending my inner critic, there are still instances where she comes out and is inconsolable and completely unwavering. In those instances, I listen to her perspective and I acknowledge her concerns but I stop letting her define the way I think or how I do things. After all, she has no reason or logic she is strictly built out of fear. I am a strong believer in learning through your failures and sometimes you just have to take a chance.
Next time negative Nelly has you focused on fear and failure and she won't let up, ask yourself what's the worst that can happen? Is the risk worth the reward?
Until Next time,