February 20, 2018

How do you change your relationship with the inner critic?

Posted in identity, Mindfulness tagged , , , , , at 9:35 am by kellyfdennis

You requested more info on the inner critic and inner wisdom. Here’s a portion of a great post about Tara Mohr’s book, Playing Big. Good info!

1) Label it.

Tara Mohr, Author of Playing Big suggests calling out the inner critic when you hear its negativity and doubts. As you become aware of this inner voice, acknowledge it and label it. Say to yourself, “Oh, I’m hearing my inner critic right now.”

2) Separate yourself from the inner critic.

Whatever tantrums or chatter your inner critic is spewing, remind yourself that you and the inner critic are not the same. Separate yourself from it.

3) Create a character that represents your inner critic.

For many of us, the inner critic is a voice we have heard our whole lives – our mother or teacher or another disciplinarian. It’s the voice of the person who has put us down and doubted us.

Mohr suggests taking part in a playful but effective exercise in which you create a persona for your inner critic. “When you create a character with a name and visual image, you help yourself remember that the critic is not the core of you, it’s one voice, with its own personality and pathology.”

Draw, sketch and describe this inner critic. Turn it into a fictional person, cartoon or caricature of someone you know. Describe its voice, personality and typical phrases and patterns. Name the character and capture its voice in your mind.

Turn it into something funny because, as Mohr reminds us, this character usually says something ridiculous! It’s easier to notice your inner critic if it’s Peggy Bundy, Madea, Carmela Soprano or Sophia Petrillo. You’ll not only spot your critic quicker but get a good laugh at its expense as well.

4) What is your inner critic protecting you from?

Once you can identify your inner critic’s voice and picture your critic in your mind, you’ll be better able to communicate with it.
When your critic fills you with negativity, determine what exactly it’s protecting you from.

Ask your inner critic what it’s most afraid of at the moment. What is the danger it sees?

“Once you are in touch with the root of the critic’s intentions, respond with compassion towards the critic’s misguided attempt to keep you safe – usually from attack, embarrassment, isolation or failure.”

A great line you can use to acknowledge your inner critic but also inform it that you’re okay is to respond with, “Thanks so much for your input, but I’ve got this one covered.”

5) Turn down the volume.

Once you know what your inner critic’s voice sounds like, you’ll be more aware of the times when you hear it. If the voice is stronger and louder than usual, practice lowering it as though it comes with a volume dial.

Turn down the volume on your inner voice like you would with your cell phone or your television.

You’ll still hear the inner critic, but you can determine at which volume you’ll do so. Also, by imagining that your inner voice has volume control, you can differentiate between it and yourself.

Treat your inner voice with love, compassion and understanding.

You can’t win arguments with your inner critic and you can’t be angry with it either. Both strategies will simply fuel its fire.

The inner critic, as Mohr describes it, is a scared and fearful part of ourselves. It doesn’t respond well to anger, arguments or grandiosity.

Use the previous techniques in a loving and kind way. Treat your inner voice like you would an upset or unreasonable child.

Acknowledge it, comfort it, reduce its volume and thank it for guiding you. However, feel free to tell it that you’re in control of the situation.

Be aware that, at the end of the day, although its actions and words are misguided, your inner critic is only trying to protect you.

Your wise inner guide.

Not only can you compassionately deal with your inner voice, you can discover a more empowering, wise voice within yourself.

Mohr explains a concept she learned in her coach training school. This concept has students visualizing themselves in 20 years’ time. The students meet their future selves – the people they’ll be 20 years from today.

In the visualization, converse with your “future self,” asking it questions like, “What do I need to know to get from where I am today to where you are?” and “What has been most important about the past 20 years?”

When Mohr used this “future self” tool with her coaching clients, she found that people saw themselves as their best, most loving and wisest selves. When women reflected on their future selves, they always found the answers they were looking for.

“I began to call it the inner mentor because I found this voice functioned for women as a source of guidance, a voice women could draw on to develop a vision for their lives and careers, to make difficult decisions, to chart their paths,” Mohr says.

By giving women a tool that helped them determine how their future selves would approach a situation, Mohr ensured that the women she worked with would become confident and have a clear idea of what to say and do.

“Or a woman would come in feeling stuck about how to pursue her dream career, and by imagining what her future self would do, could immediately see a path forward that felt just right to her but that she hadn’t thought of before.”

Each of us, Mohr concludes, has this inner mentor.

Within yourself, you have the answers. You have the solutions and the wisdom you need to deal with the situations you’re confronting in your life.

You, too, can conduct Playing Big’s guided visualization and access this voice of perfect wisdom.

As Mohr says, simply asking, “What would my older self do?” won’t get you there. You must complete the visualization to access your wise inner voice.

Don’t let your inner critic hold you hostage. Fully embrace the voice of wisdom – your inner mentor.

This is just the beginning of what’s possible for you in terms of achieving a bigger life. The other eight chapters of Playing Big help you navigate fear, release your attachment to praise and criticism and help you recognize and respect your calling.

This article from Vishnu’s Virtues.

Be Well and Have a Wonderful Day!

February 9, 2018

Wisdom and the Inner Critic

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, identity tagged , , , , , at 4:09 pm by kellyfdennis

dune fenceThe negative inner critic is a result of your early childhood experiences.  We all receive self-esteem “messages” from parents, siblings, extended family, other caregivers, teachers, coaches, and peers.  The negative messages individually are mostly harmless, but when our subconscious strings thousands of them together, they can shape who we believe ourselves to be. Trauma also fuels the nasty girl. Many of us were affected by sexual, physical, verbal abuse which cause feelings of fear and fear makes whatever we believe and learn much more powerful.  Trauma in childhood many create a belief system where we may think we are to blame for just about anything that went wrong. Trauma and negative self-esteem make it hard to us to identify our needs and figure out how to get them met.

This engages our “reasoning mind” and sends us on a problem-solving, evaluating, and decision-making mission.  As human beings we evaluate and make judgments about things in our lives and surroundings.  Evaluating and judging our surroundings helps us to determine our likes and dislikes. The reasoning part of our mind is trying to make sense of the world. This process helps us to decide what to include and not to include in our lives.

That Nasty Girl criticizes and insults you to so you’ll live by the rules you internalized in your growing up years; she tells you to judge and compare yourself to others; she pushes you to be perfect so no one will reject because your “flawed”; she tells you you’re stupid for even trying so you won’t even bother trying and therefore don’t have to worry about messing up.  She’s trying to “help” us to get our needs met while minimizing pain; the only problem is that even if it does work once in a while, the “feel better” time is very short-lived.

As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s best to acknowledge her, thank her for trying to be helpful and then distract or move on to something else. But what happens when the Nasty Girl is actually getting in the way of you being able to be your authentic self and live a fulfilling life? Maybe the messages she’s sending you are preventing you from applying for that dream job, taking healthy risks and reaching out to others in order to know and be known. When we believe her messages, it can certainly stop us in our tracks. We can get stagnant and stuck, spinning our wheels, not being able to move forward because she tells us we just have to accept where we are as the good for nothing people we are.

Inner Wisdom

I think there’s another way. Throughout our existence as human beings, people have talked about, drawn about, written about another side of us. A “wise inner knowing”, “our intuitive selves”, “our spiritual guide”, “insightfulness”. Whatever you want to call it, we all have it. Our reasoning minds shut off this inner wisdom, because inner wisdom isn’t about problem solving, evaluating, and analyzing. Often our inner wisdom is a whisper; a murmur that’s especially hard to hear over your harsh inner critic.

In the next post, I’ll share some ideas about how to access this wise part of yourself. Until then check out my most recent mindfulness meditation video. Meditation helps to slow down the mind and allow us to disengage from “reasoning  mind”, an essential skill for being able to access the “wise inner knowing.”

Until next time, Be Well and Have a Wonderful Day!

 

 

 

January 2, 2018

Try Some Therapy in the New Year

Posted in Well-being tagged , , , , at 12:15 pm by kellyfdennis

Discover a New Day logo smallDid you (or someone you know) ever have the experience in which life is going along pretty well, you feel reasonably successful in most areas, but there is just one area you can’t seem to get a handle on and it really brings you down and frustrates you? Perhaps you have a great job you love, but you can’t seem to get a handle on snacking excessively while TV watching in the evening. Maybe you’re a great mother with awesome kids, but there is this nagging negative body image that compels you to work out, even when you don’t really want to or need to work out. Maybe you’re a father who is a super sports coach for your child’s team, but you feel incredibly awkward and tongue tied in social situations with your peers.

People often think of counseling as something only needed by people with diagnosed mental disorders; and certainly, counseling is very helpful in those situations and many of my clients fall into that category. However, counseling can also be helpful for those frustrating little stuck spots that annoy an otherwise pretty content existence. Counseling can help with creative blocks, learning better communication skills, and learning how to get along better with the in-laws!

Counseling is also great for life transitions: kids taking off for college, getting married, bringing children into a relationship, retirement. All of these are healthy, but can cause distress from some people. Talking about it, really does help.

The collaborative approach I take with counseling allows you to explore any of those little troubling areas that might be getting in the way of Discovering A New Day! Take that first step and give me a call! (717)951-0266.

Be Well and Have a Wonderful Day!

December 6, 2017

Peace, Let There Be Peace

Posted in Compassion tagged , , , , , , at 8:10 am by kellyfdennis

Discover a New Day logo smallWhere there is hatred, sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.-St. Francis of Assisi

A Sioux Story- “My grandfather took me to the fish pond on the farm and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone. Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person.

“You may create lots of splashes in your life but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures,” he said.

“Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles. You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others. The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both.”

May your ripples be those of Peace.

 

stefdennis

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