How to Design a Life You Love

The heart of the work I do is the MIND Method, which allows you to quickly identify and recognize the thoughts and beliefs you previously thought were you for your whole life. So many of the clients I serve one-on-one or though my group programs have trouble connecting with their authentic selves when they're spinning in those conditioned and habitual thoughts. It's really as transparent as breathing for most of us. 

I developed this method so you can spot the voice of your Inner Critic immediately to stop the habit of listening to it. When we stop this habit of giving energy and attention to it (and thinking that those critical thoughts are you), you can shift these patterns of thinking and design a life you love. 

Meet Your Inner Critic

The first step of this process is meeting your Inner Critic. You need to get familiar with her voice, where she came from and why she's in your mind in the first place. For many of us, these thoughts form very early in our lives as a way to keep us safe. It's powerful when we can learn what our Inner Critic sounds like, what she says, and when she screams loudest.

The Inner Critic is the voice inside your head constantly talking to you and telling you what you need to improve. She knows where you feel like you're not enough and is great at setting the goals you need to accomplish in your life so you can achieve the inner peace and satisfaction that you are truly looking for. 

The Inner Critic says, “If you just lose that weight, make more money, get married, get divorced, get a different job, get your kids to turn out the way you want them to, find new friends, get a bigger house, then you’ll truly be happy.” Or, your Inner Critic might say, “I can’t feel the way I want to feel because this happened in my past." 

There’s a lot of discussion out there about silencing your Inner Critic. But let's be clear--not only is this impossible but it's also a harmful goal to have. It implies that if we work hard enough at getting rid of our Inner Critic, we can finally find the peace and contentment that we are looking for.

But how can we find contentment while at the same time trying to fix and perfect ourselves? 

Your goal shouldn't be to silence your Inner Critic. You can't change her repetitive loop for your whole life. The goal of this first step of the MIND method is to get so intimately familiar with your Inner Critic that you can distinguish the difference between YOU, your authentic self, and your Inner Critic. 

Action Step:

A big part of this step is to pay attention to all the things your Inner Critic says each day. For two weeks, write down those repetitive, critical thoughts. For many of my clients, doing this thought download on a daily basis will allow you to see the thoughts that have basically been playing on a loop their whole lives! 

 

Identify the Indication Signs

When you know what to look for, it's pretty clear when your Inner Critic is speaking to you. You'll notice feelings, body sensations, behaviors, and habits that are like blaring red lights. We are all very used to feeling those familiar feelings that are generated by our Inner Critic. 

When you learn to use these feelings like a tool, you can locate where the sadness, fear, anger, and frustration is inside your body. These feelings can alert you to recognize the conditioned thinking of your Inner Critic. In order to change your life, you need to be willing to think differently from how we feel.

This is backed up by science. Our brain actually releases chemicals that go along with the thoughts we are having to produce those familiar feelings...and familiar feelings produce the same familiar thoughts. 

For instance, when I am feeling overwhelmed I can feel it in my chest. I notice a change in my breathing and tightness in my chest. Both are an indication sign my Inner Critic has taken over. When this happens, I stop and examine the thoughts in my mind. I write down all the things she is saying. Almost always, the overwhelm is connected to thoughts I have about how I have to get some part of my life to match my expectation about the way it's supposed to be. 

Action Step: 

Strong emotions are a sign that your Inner Critic is in control. Take a minute to sit in those emotions. What thoughts are coming up? Do they match the thoughts you've identified as coming from your Inner Critic? 

 

Neutralizing the Never-Ending Messages

All human beings (all seven billion of us) have what is called a core issue. It developed unconsciously at a very young age when we're trying to make sense of the world and where we fit in. It's inevitable that we experience a moment in our lives where we felt like we weren't okay. For some, this experience is more painful than for others. But no one escapes the experience of being embarrassed, ashamed, rejected, or feeling that we're not good enough. 

This is where our Inner Critic's voice is first formed.

Our Inner Critic's voice is an attempt to control, predict, or perfect how our life goes so we don’t feel the deep pain of our core issue. When she is in the driver's seat, our Inner Critic is busy analyzing and judging everything we do or say (and everything everyone else does and says too). When we go through our lives not recognizing that our Inner Critic is separate from us, we pay attention to every word she says. She has been assigning the same meaning to circumstances in our lives for forever!  

When we neutralize our Inner Critic's limiting thoughts, we hop off the hamster wheel which leaves us chasing the next goal that will provide us with the feelings we are trying to achieve. The more we are stuck in this pattern of searching for perfection, the more anxiety, depression, overwhelm, dissatisfaction, and disconnection we feel. We believe that we need to keep “fixing” ourselves to achieve what we desire. This fixing and perfecting is a way to combat the pain from the never-ending messages and creates a relationship with ourselves in which we feel like we’re not enough.

Action Step:

The truth is that you'll never find peace, joy, contentment, love, or connection if you're listening to your Inner Critic.  If your Inner Critic has told you forever that you're not good enough, every failed relationship or life circumstance that didn't do the way you wanted it to will be evidence that you'll never have what you truly want.

Gratitude is a great way to find evidence that your life is amazing as it is right now. Start a gratitude jar and write one thing each day that you're thankful for. 

Designing Your Life

When you know what your Inner Critic is saying, know your indication signs, and can neutralize her messages, you're free to design your life. This is truly the step that ends the vicious cycle. 

When you design your life moving forward from a place of already feeling whole, your whole experience of yourself and your life changes. When I'm working with clients, I'm helping them overcome the hard wiring of their Inner Critic AND design their lives with a new mind. You can end the self-sabotage and choose to nurture and expand positive feelings now instead of waiting for the circumstances of your life to be just right. 

Action Step: 

Most people don't recognize that what you give attention to expands. When you learn to give attention to the thoughts that are created from a new mind, your life changes. What thoughts can you choose right now embrace where you're at right now instead of chasing circumstances? 

The MIND method supports you to move from the unconscious, automatic habits of worry, blame, criticism, fixing, changing and perfecting, hiding feelings, or not speaking your truth, to a conscious choice to expand their capacity for abundance, love, and joy. When you cultivate your goals from this place of freedom and abundance (rather than scarcity and brokenness) your entire life feels different.

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

That's why I collected some of my favorite resources and trainings to create an owner's manual for your mind. Want access? Tell us where to send your log-in details! 

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