3 Ways to End Self-Criticism

3 Ways to End Self-Criticism

 We have grown up in a paradigm, a society, that seemingly rewards the one that is the toughest, the grittiest, the hardest-working son of a gun who can scramble their way to the top of the hierarchy heap with bloody fingers and a trail of destruction behind them. 

Stay HARD!

We have been sold the idea that the only way to find happiness (ahem...perfection) is to cure your brokenness, your laziness, your flaws, your lack of money, success and fame by being incredibly disciplined, self-punishing and relentless with your energy. 

To strive for anything less would be death, mediocrity. 

And so we operate from fear. Fear of not finding the perfect career, the life-affirming, completing soul mate or accomplishing and achieving our highest potential. 

Anxiety takes over because we feel that we are not doing enough in any given moment. That if we are not doing, then we are not producing. And if we are not producing then we are worthless members of society. 

Enter the loop of harsh self-criticism. When how we feel doesn't match how we want to feel or think we should feel we turn towards all that is negative. 

"I can't seem to do anything right"

"I will never get to where I want to go"

"I screwed that up...I screw everything up"

"Why the f*&% did I say that embarrassing thing. Everyone laughed at me"

"Look at how well she is doing, my life stinks because I can't yaada yaada yaada..."

"You have to do better. You are going to work so damn hard to prove everyone wrong!"

Any of these sentences familiar? 

This is the voice of ego and the ego voice usually sounds like a little kid. It's pretty whiny. Let's face it, we are little kids walking around in adult bodies facing the same repetitive obstacles, challenges and situations until we begin to heal our childhood wounding; releasing ourselves from our past and stepping into authentic expression. From old brain unconsciousness to new brain consciousness. 

Enter Soul voice. Soul voice speaks softly with deep wisdom and knowing. With self-love and self-nurturing you become more connected to Soul Voice as you can mindfully differentiate between the noise of the Ego and the calm sagacity of Soul. 

Here are 3 ways you can begin this powerful journey back to your Wild Self. 

Step 1

Be the Observer

Eckhart Tolle describes this in his book The Power of Now and it was the first time I was able to take a step back from my unconscious, habitual daily existence. 

As you go about your hectic day, start to observe the thoughts that come up. What does the thought say? Be a witness to the incessant noise in your head without judgement, criticism or complaint. I like to imagine there is a zen, half-smiling version of myself sitting in the back of my brain watching my experience. Just let the thought or voice ramble on and just watch it. Listen. Let it come up. Spend an entire day doing this. 

When I started this practice of observation I would chuckle at some of the crazy things my Ego Voice was saying. 

All we are trying to do here is to create space between the thought (Ego Voice) and the Observer (Soul Voice). Your thoughts are not you- it's simply an old brain defense mechanism created to keep you safe when you were a child experiencing emotional pain. As we move through adult life Ego is always looking out for ways you could be hurt again. So it is important to differentiate between the two voices. 

Step 2

Make Regular Deposits into Your Emotional Bank Account. 

 After you have begun to differentiate between Ego Voice and Soul Voice you can now add to your emotional bank account, which, if you have been a hardcore overachiever your whole life, is in a severe deficit. 

Whenever you observe Ego Voice criticizing or condemning you, pause, take a deep breath, and send yourself some love in the form of compliment or recognition. I usually say, "I love you Em," or "Damn you're stunning," or "That's okay Em, you made a mistake, that's the human in you and I still love you and will always take care of you." 

"But WAIT! If I tell myself nice things then I will never get better or accomplish my goals," you may be lamenting inside your head as you read this. Ego Voice check- that is fear bubbling up. Soul voice never speaks in fear language just so we are clear. 

It can be scary to start saying nice things to yourself because you have been operating a certain way that has brought you success in your life. Self-criticism, however, can only get you so far as it is not sustainable and is a form of self-betrayal. 

Stay disciplined with making deposits to this account. That way, when someone else criticizes or condemns you, you have plenty of stored up love to pour into yourself while you face the music aka. their projection on you from their limited and ever-changing perspective as well as their own unresolved childhood wounds. You will find that you respond to them in a much different way. 

You will also see a shift in your approach to any goal/ambition/dream when you operate from a place of wholeness and self-love. 

Which leads me to Step 3

Release your hold on specific outcomes.

Our inner world is a wild place and sometimes Ego voice takes hold of our mental faculties to show us what we could be. Our wildest, worldly dreams emerge from Ego so it's not all bad- it helps us express our purpose here within this lifestream. It becomes bad when we become vehemently attached to outcomes the Ego has illuminated for us and that outcome isn't happening. 

And we get really pissed, sad, depressed, anxious and we blame ourselves because that's all we know how to do. We feel these emotions because we believe that a specific outcome will finally bring us relief from the prison of inadequacy that we currently living.  

Life is a big, magnificent wave and we have little control over what that wave looks like and how it is going to break on shore. Life is unfolding into place, which means trusting that Life, Universe, Source, God, Light, Great Mother, Cosmic Father, is leading us along to continually wake up. 

For me, this is the hardest capital T Truth to accept. Trusting that which is greater than me. Then I flow with the inevitable ups and downs of life instead of resisting them 

If I stay present within my body and observe ego voice then I find I don't spin down a vortex of negativity bias, future projections/ past remorse and lack. 

 

Applying these principles and adjusting our operating systems takes a great leap of faith. It's really effin' uncomfortable. Furthermore, I don't really know if these steps can bring you everything you desire nor will it protect you from life kicking your ass. 

I do know this- connecting to your Soul Voice will bring a great sense of groundedness, empowerment and extraordinary love. 

Time to join the heart-centered revolution!

Until next time, 

The Psychedelic Gypsy Queen 

 

 

 

 


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  • I’ve been following you for a couple years now mostly because of crossfit. But I’ve really enjoyed your recent posts. This one in particular resonates with me. Specifically how the ego voice, although productive, isn’t sustainable. I’m going to give this practice of listening to my soul voice a try. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to future posts. Take care. -Jack

    • Jack