Have you ever had an inspired idea? You feel enthusiastic and filled with possibilities. And then you hear that other voice: the inner critic or your IC.
Let me give you an example from my own life. I have a two-level, 2000 square foot house that I share with two dogs. Lately, I’ve been dreaming of living in a swank downtown condo with an open floor plan, modern design and a lot less maintenance. And my inner critic went wild.
You have too many repairs to do at your house.
Your dogs can’t live in a condo.
What will you do with all of your stuff?
So what do we do if our inner critic is squelching the possibilities right out of our lives?
Here’s what I’m learning to do.
- Have a meeting with your inner critic. The reason the inner critic becomes so bitchy and insulting is that often we won’t listen to her unless she raises her voice. So de-escalate the situation by sitting down and hearing from the IC.
- Listen intently to the points that the IC makes. Ideally, write a list of all of the criticisms the inner critic brings forward to you. Do this without judgment and without justification.
- Consider the ICs points and develop a plan to explore. Most things the IC brings out are going to be reasonable concerns. So take each item on your list and determine what next steps you need to take.
- Decide if you still want to proceed with inspired idea.
In my own case, I decided the IC was right: I needed much more information if I were to move. I started by setting up a viewing for a downtown condo. I had a Realtor stop by and give me a list of all the things he’d have me do before listing my house. I also looked up web sites that gave pointers on how to live with dogs in a condo. And I’ve started sorting through the stuff to toss, donate or sell.
With my inner critic quieted down, I could really start to see what I wanted. And what it came down to is that I like my doggy door and it would be too inconvenient for me to have to walk my dogs at least twice every day, especially in winter. So for now, I’ve decided to stay where I am and work on getting ready for a move in the future.
Our inner critic is here to make our lives work better. Listen to your IC and you will find that you have much less turmoil in your life and better decision-making.