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Everyone You Meet is Your Mirror

podcast Feb 18, 2020

Can't listen? Here's the transcript: 

Hey Dethroners!  In my private work with my clients, and in my Mastering Your Mind programs, I talk a lot about what our Inner Critic is addicted to.  These are all the things our Inner Critic says we MUST have so that we can be happy.

So when you begin to examine your automatic mind, that is the mind that is controlled by our Inner Critic, we can see that the automatic thoughts are always connected with what we want.  We want to feel successful. We want to be liked by others. We want to be prosperous. We want to feel attractive. Whatever it is you want, consider that the only reason you want it is because you think it will make you feel a particular way. Even if you want something like world peace, which is a great thing to want, you want it because it will make you feel the way you want to feel. 

As a mom, I want my kids to be happy. Why? Because if they are happy it will make me feel happy because I will feel secure and like I don’t have anything to worry about. But this is where we get ourselves into a whole lot of trouble with our mind. Because we want to control all of those external things so that we can then feel content, happy, fulfilled and at peace.

Think about the things in your life that make you feel secure.  And think about the things that make you feel insecure. Our feelings of security are created by our Inner Critic programming. In other words, our security is about what we are telling ourselves inside about whatever is going on in our lives.

Wherever you feel secure, it is because you are having thoughts about that part of your life that coincide with feeling secure. If you think about someone that you love deeply, you love that person because the thoughts that you have about that person and about your relationship, generate feelings of love.  And If you think about someone who frustrates you, it is because you are having thoughts about that person that create feelings of frustration within you.

It is not the conditions of our lives that make us feel secure or insecure. Only what our Inner Critic has to say about it. And this is the way almost all of the world operates. We don’t even realize that all the chaos in our world starts with everyone trying to force their outside world to meet their Inner Critic demands. And because this way of looking at life is as invisible as the air we breathe, we just keep thinking this way generation after generation. 

Which, by the way, is how pain gets passed from generation to generation. Because parents parent from their Inner Critic demands. Many parents don’t recognize that they are trying to control aspects of their kids' lives so that they can feel secure and don’t have to worry. I share with you all, all the time, that this is one of my Inner Critic's biggest addictions that I am learning to break daily.

I am practicing surrendering like my life depends on it, ya’ll, because actually the quality of my life really DOES depend on it!! So what if, instead of continuing to be on this roller coaster ride of having your inner emotional life be tethered to whether your Inner Critic’s demands are met, what if we instead used all of our life experiences, all the people and the things around us, as our teachers. 

What if we started to use any emotional disturbance as a way to see what our Inner Critic is really addicted to. So, if you are at a board meeting, and there is a group of people talking and you suddenly become uncomfortable because you think you have nothing of value to contribute, notice your Inner Critic’s thoughts that are making you feel uncomfortable. These are the same thoughts you have had for your whole life. You may think in that moment, it is the group of people at the board meeting that are making you feel uncomfortable. And if you think that, you may then do something like avoid those meetings, or stay silent in the meeting, or become really educated about a topic so as to ensure that you have something of value to say at the next board meeting. But will this really make the feeling of insecurity go away forever? 

Of course not! It will just come up again and again, in different areas of your life. And when you learn to use your life to tune into your Inner Critic’s addictions, that is how you can learn to separate yourself from the needs and demands of your Inner Critic. This, my friends, is true liberation. This is how you break free from the suffering your mind inflicts on you. And this is truly, the only way. Because you and I either know personally, or have heard of people that have all of the things that are supposed to make us happy, and they are miserable! 

Whenever you feel any uncomfortable emotion-- worry, anger, jealousy, fear, anxiety, sadness, this is life holding up a mirror.  These emotions are a signal that you are swallowed by your Inner Critic mind. Your Inner Critic is just running her old computer programming, saying the same thing she has said to you over and over… It’s just a different version of the same thing. 

And this endless mind chatter has never worked in the past to give you the feeling you want. It’s not like listening to your thoughts has EVER led to peace, happiness, and love. In fact, it has always produced the opposite of that. So we need to learn to find a new computer program for our minds.  We need to become expert programmers so that we are only looking inward in our minds for our peace, joy, happiness and love.

The more we look outward, for other people and circumstances to give us these feelings, the more miserable we are. We all need to stop looking for the outside conditions to change so that we stop feeling upset, and realize that when we are upset, it is only because our Inner Critic is telling us that there is some condition that we NEED in order to feel happy, and if we don’t get it, we can’t be happy.  Which is the heart of all human suffering. Truly.

True freedom is when we are able to stay balanced, at peace and fulfilled even during the most challenging times of our lives. And this CAN be done. It is not easy, because it takes a willingness to have a moment to moment awareness of your emotions and the automatic thoughts that are causing them. So, while it takes effort, there is no other way that I would choose to live my life. Because if my automatic Inner Critic mind were in charge of my life, I would be living an entirely different life-- on all counts. 

Working on Dethroning my Inner Critic daily is the most fulfilling and rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. I do it first thing in the morning, while I am driving, I do it when I am in an argument with my kids, I do it in all of my relationships, in my business, I do it everywhere!!

I am very conscious of the cause and effect relationship between my Inner Critic’s addictions and my unhappiness. My Inner Critic is addicted to controlling what people think of me, making sure I am not judged, comparing myself to others, and focusing on where my life is heading.  I am exhausted just talking about it.

My Inner Critic spent decades sucking the life out of me. All of my addictions are the result of my Inner Critic controlling my mind, and then my Inner Critic trying to find a “solution” to how to control how life goes-- what people think, how my future will unfold, how my kids’ lives will turn out. Which is exactly what triggers all of the problems in my life. I feel burnt out in my business if I am trying to control where it goes instead of staying in the joy and excitement of where it is now. I feel frustrated by my kids if I am trying to fix or change some part of them.  I feel angry when my Inner Critic either thinks someone is judging me, or someone is actually judging me.  

And now that I finally know how to separate myself from her, I am completely liberated.  I can talk with anyone, I can keep my heart open no matter what, I can go for my dreams even if I am afraid, I can face the unknown of the future, and I know that no matter what life brings me, I can handle it.

I don’t have to protect myself from anything and anyone. I can feel the discomfort that my Inner Critic whips up, and not have that discomfort get in the way of anything. If someone judges me, that is their problem.  I certainly would prefer that they don’t, but I don’t try to protect myself from it. If someone doesn’t like what I have to say, they are not my people. I truly feel like I have won the lottery of life!

But I have worked my tush off at this, and WILL for the rest of my life!!!  No one has devoted more time and energy than I have to learning everything about how our thoughts create our reality. I have probably spent multiple six figures over the course of my life in courses, coaches, books, programs. And that is why I feel so masterful at helping people transform the quality of their lives! 

I still have to do the work daily. I will for the rest of my life. There is no arrival point. But the more I do the work, the more I keep following my dreams, the more I keep using all of my painful emotions to show me new parts of myself, the freer I become. The richer my relationships become. The more my life unfolds in the most miraculous ways.

And the only difference between me and someone who is stuck in suffering is that I have learned how to intentionally direct where I want my mind to go.  I am no different than anyone else. Except that I have learned and practiced how to interrupt the automatic habit of trying to fix, change or perfect myself and my life and the people in my life to feel the way I want to feel.

Instead, I have devoted my life to the practice of elevating my conscious thoughts by seeing each and every addiction that my Inner Critic is attached to. My entire life serves as my practice ground, so that I see things clearly and consciously, in the here and now, rather than seeing things through the lens of my Inner Critic. 

I have developed the muscle of actually surrendering the addiction right then and there, because I turn toward the suffering it is causing, and I see it for what it is. I don’t blame the person or the circumstance for causing my inner disturbance. There are some more painful addictions that I developed early on in my life, so those have required more and more surrender.

But I am getting better and better every day at recognizing those addictions that are the most painful, and how my Inner Critic demands certain expectations are met so that I don’t feel this pain.  Which is what leads to more pain! I would love to be living an Inner Critic free life! But that is impossible. I know I will never be fully free of her, but I am getting better and better at realizing that it is NEVER anything outside of myself that causes my suffering, and it is only HER! It is HER addictions to how people should behave or how things should be in my life.

When I see that other people are who they are because of THEIR Inner Critic programming, I don’t take it personally. I don’t have to fight people’s judgments or opinions of me. My fear, anger, sadness, resentment, jealousy are all linked to my Inner Critic’s addictions.  I can spot the difference between the FACTS of what is occurring, and what my Inner Critic’s story is about the facts. Your emotions are caused by thoughts, not the facts. This is hard for people to understand.

A great question to ask yourself, that I learned from one of my group participants is “what is the story I am telling myself right now?” That is her go-to question when she is experiencing a painful emotion. And when you are able to tune into the story, you will probably find this story has been with you for forever. You may even be able to see the event from long ago that triggered the story in the first place. But you don’t have to know what triggered it to begin with. 

All you need to keep asking, are questions like, What is actually happening right now? What is my Inner Critic trying to protect me from? What threat does this person or this situation stir up? What can I NOT be with about myself, that this person or situation is mirroring back to me? What is the worst that can happen here? And if it does happen, if I am judged or rejected, or criticized, or I fail, can I experience this and still feel happy? Still feel good enough? What am I so afraid that if other people knew about me, they would stop loving me? What am I so afraid they will think of me? What is my Inner Critic demanding of myself, someone else, or my life so that I can feel happy and good enough?  Where did I first decide that this the way it HAS to be for me to feel good? Who does my Inner Critic say I should be, or have to be? Where is my Inner Critic saying that I have to accomplish this goal, or be treated this way, or look this way or appear this way so that I can be fulfilled? Can I feel good even if my Inner Critic’s demands are not met?

Before I was aware of my Inner Critic mind, this was the trap I was living in. And when you clearly see the trap, this is what changes your automatic reaction to try to control the outside world. Now that I can pinpoint this as my Inner Critic addiction, I see it for what it is. I might prefer to have life meet her demands, but I don’t NEED it to in order to experience joy, love, gratitude and abundance. 

I am the ruler of my mind, so I direct it to specific thoughts that process all that is going on in my life in an entirely different way than my Inner Critic would be processing it. And I direct my mind over and over and over. This is exactly what has reprogrammed my mind. I always have to look at myself and my unhappy emotions to find my Inner Critic’s addictions.

There is a cause and effect relationship between the two. And I have found that the more aware I am of those addictions, the more I realize that it is the same addictions being played out over and over again. The circumstances may change, the people may change, but it’s the same addiction that was running me when I was 10, and 20 and 30 years old.

If you are interested in going deeper in this work and want to break free of your Inner Critic’s addictions, go to my website DethroningYourInnerCritic.com and schedule a clarity conversation.  Here is what I promise you…. This work is hands down the best investment you can ever make in yourself and in all areas of your life. So what the heck are you waiting for?! Have a great day, everyone!

In order to truly change your life, you need to be willing to think differently from how you feel.

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