A recent solo journey through the streets and galleries of Paris revealed to me yet again, how self-judgement is a sneaky jerk! The inner critic can hide as ingredients in your breakfast, lurk in dark corners, overshadow sunny picnics, and loves to syphon your energy surreptitiously; leaving you more tired and vulnerable at the end of the day.
Technically it’s born of the survival instinct to keep you safe. Akin to the concept of keeping you alive it is hyper-vigilant to (perceived) threat, so it also detests change and growth. Sometimes we call it resistance, sometimes it goes by the inner critic, but always self-judgement is an aspect of it’s distinct voice.
As our lives have become so safe and comfortable in the modern world of privilege, it’s function is no longer constantly needed to detect true danger; so, it gets bored and starts shooting fish in a barrel.
“You did that wrong again!? Crap, you missed the deadline, I can’t believe you submitted a spelling mistake; can’t you even pick a decent shirt to wear? You were supposed to be farther along by now. What’s wrong with you?” And it goes on and on and on. These Familiar refrains are the overarching battle cry marching through your consciousness. It thrives on a steady diet of anxiety and fuels self-doubt.
Shame can be a big culprit here, along with ego, unresolved trauma, learned behaviours; these things serve to amp up the judgemental critical voice.
You judge things you want to reject in yourself.
Often your vulnerability.
It is exhausting. And discouraging.
So how can you stay wise to this sneaky jerk and its ways?
Dispel its discouraging effect?
In a simplistic way, to counterbalance it, stay connected to a source that encourages you. Ultimately, that can be where the voice of your own self-compassion takes charge. We need to cultivate our sovereignty, especially in what we choose to focus on.
Stay connected to a source that encourages you while you strengthen this inner voice. It is the essence of how to stay in your courage—how to build your courage.
This life requires a great deal of courage.
Your personal work demands a great deal of courage from within you.
With all the pain and upheaval in the world, humans continue to enact history from a place of polarities-creating instability and a climate dominated by fear. These polarities are not only ‘in
the other’ ‘out there’ but in fact, live within you.
Stay true to your intention and trust you have what it takes. Bit by bit, you build strength in increments. Courage amplifies through engagement,
it grows through taking action.
It is easy to get triggered and give up,
Turn away in anger, hurt or righteous indignation--
But where does that shadow defensiveness take you?
Right back to the stuckness, The old programming of the wound.
The place of flatness, the restless you,
who can’t quite reach what you need--
To get past this frustration, is a solo journey within.
Because, in order to grow we must stretch beyond what is currently comfortable. And this is where the inner jerk shows up in fear and pumps up the volume. Simply choose to listen to a different tune.
As I observed in my travels how sneaky the critic was,
I could then shift it. Confront it. Release it.
Speaking your truth in kindness requires courage.
Setting healthy boundaries takes courage. Showing up for yourself,
for your family, for your partner—takes courage.
Show up vulnerably -with an open heart - a willingness to be changed. That is the edge of your courage.
You are braver than you know,