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Mind the Gap

podcast May 19, 2020

Can't listen? Here's the transcript: 

Hey Dethroners.  When I was 22 and graduated college, I visited London.  Sadly that was the last time I was there and I am dying to return. But one thing I remember was the subway system in London called the Tube. And I remember when you were getting on and off, there was a recording that said, “Mind the gap” and just repeated it over and over. And for some reason, that stuck with me. 

Now I think I remember it so clearly because my entire life’s work with dethroning your Inner Critic is about minding the gap. But the gap is really the empty space between our true Inner selves and the false, mistaken identity we have thought was us for most of our lives, because we are listening to our conditioned Inner Critic thoughts and mistaking them for us.  So I want to talk today about how you mind the gap. 

In my work, I work with really accomplished women:  female leaders, C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, and really super smart, driven women who continue to feel that they are fundamentally unfulfilled in their lives and are suffering as a result.  

And that is because they have spent a lifetime in their default mode thinking that they ARE the voice in their minds and listening to its every word.  We are all hypnotized by this mini-me version of ourselves that has been created by our Inner Critic mind. And as the saying goes, the mind is an excellent servant but a terrible master. 

So many people go through life trying to make it--to be successful, to climb the ladder of success, to feel valued, to feel like they are in control, only to find that day in and day out, they are going through life like they are dead. And this is because they are a slave to their Inner Critic minds. They truly are hypnotized into believing that if they can just make sure they are always valued, always loved, always important, always have their lives look the way they think it should, that is the key to a rewarding life. 

And that is exactly why so many seemingly successful people, men and women alike, are so fundamentally unfulfilled. They don’t know that their freedom, joy and fulfillment is only accessible when they are able to tune AWAY from their automatic mind.

Your Inner Critic mind is all of the automatic thoughts that speak to you all day, every day. And your Inner Critic’s main job is to protect you from pain, which is impossible. So many people have been living this illusion of life--As long as I follow all that my Inner Critic says, I will make sure that I am loved, valued, and accepted by people, and that is when I am ok.  But if there is a threat that I am in some way not valued, not loved, not accepted, or that something in my life doesn’t turn out the way it’s supposed to, that is unbearable. 

And so when your Inner Critic perceives that threat, it becomes debilitating.  I have the most brilliant, beautiful, and amazing clients who are living in misery because they have never learned how to mind the gap between their mistaken identity and their authentic selves. They have actually never seen their authentic selves because they have been too busy trying to be who their Inner Critic says they need to be.  And they have been living in a looping thought pattern for much of their lives that has them constantly reacting to what they perceive as problems and potential threats. 

Now, this is the Inner Critic’s job-- your Inner Critic says, “Listen to me.  I am going to tell you who you need to be so that everyone values you, everyone loves you, you never have to face rejection, failure or criticism. And this is the way you will feel good.  If you never have to face those bad things.  So, follow my lead and do all that I say.”  And that is the illusion. That is the lie. That you should not feel painful uncomfortable emotions, and so you need to figure out how to avoid them. 

That is at the heart of so much suffering both professionally and personally.  It’s at the heart of the chronic dissatisfaction I see professionally, in intimate relationships, and in parenting. And it is awakening to this---that is how we mind the gap. Awakening to our mistaken identity that our Inner Critic created, is awakening to who we really are--our inner being that is our authentic self. 

That is the part that is below the Inner Critic thinking. The part of ourselves that isn’t addicted to the approval of others, or avoiding pain. The part that can stay centered and grounded if your boss criticizes you or your business growth doesn’t go as planned, or if you are not homeschooling your kids the right way during the pandemic.  Because without that grounded and centered self, we are thrown around by our Inner Critic mind like a feather in a tornado, going from thought, “Oh look I am good enough!  I just landed this huge account.” to “Oh, I am not as smart as her, otherwise I would be landing bigger accounts.”  to “I have to make sure my kids are happy and fulfilled in their lives, or I am not being the parent that I should be.” 

We need to awaken from this looping thought pattern, that we mistake for ME, with the core story “I am not good enough. “  Our mini-me tries to solve problems so that we can finally be good enough. That is the mini-me’s job--find the problems, and fix them so we can feel good enough. But what if there is really no problem to solve in the first place? What if we perceive it as a problem because we are so used to seeing ourselves and our lives through the Inner Critic’s eyes?

When we are able to disconnect from the old mind of the Inner Critic, from the fear, attachment, anger, and struggle that our Inner Critic creates, even if for a brief moment, we are minding the gap. We are seeing the self that begins to emerge when we are not getting sucked into and swallowed by our conditioned mind. In other words, we stop identifying with our everyday mind.  We are shifting the location from which we are thinking. Instead, we become the observer of this automatic everyday mind.  That’s minding the gap.  Instead of seeing ourselves and our lives through the eyes of our Inner Critic mind, we are now awakening to stepping away from it and looking AT it.  

When our Inner Critic is ruling our mind, we are very self centered. We think our thoughts and feelings are at the center of our world. Our automatic thoughts become our whole world. And we can’t see it. It’s like two fish who meet in the ocean, and one fish says to the other fish, how’s the water? And the other fish says, “What’s water?”

We are so immersed in that identity, we can’t see it.  Minding the gap is seeing the water. And you can’t get access to true joy and peace with your everyday mind. Your Inner Critic won’t let you. It will have you spinning in it’s automatic perceptions, thoughts and emotions. 

When you are able to look AT your Inner Critic instead of through it, you create the gap between it and YOU. And here is the thing that is so fascinating: There are parts of your personality that have been formed by your Inner Critic-- so many people I work with have to be the smart one, the funny one, the successful one, the one that everyone admires. And it is like a noose around their neck, because they can’t just BE. They are always figuring out who they need to be. 

I am working with a brilliant CEO of a management consultant group who was so exhausted constantly trying to prove her value, even though she has proven it time and time again, she is always waiting for the shoe to drop, and so is always overwhelmed and stressed, and can’t find work/life balance.

And now that she is becoming aware of her mistaken identity, she has begun to let go of trying to prove herself. She has started to become a different leader in her life. She is leading her team way more from a place of calm, clarity and inner wisdom. She is actually detoxing from the addiction to her old personality as she practices detaching from her old habits of thought and has allowed for new parts of her personality to emerge. Her intensity level has decreased, she is softer and calmer in her life. Her team is interacting with her differently. Her marriage is better. She is less demanding and controlling and combative with her kids.  

All of these shifts couldn’t come from trying to calm her Inner Critic mind.  She had to mind the gap between HER and her Inner Critic, and has been rewiring a new mind as a result.   

This is what I want for everyone!  My work is not about calming the mind, changing your thoughts or adjusting your attitudes. It is about actually shifting into a level of mind that is already calm and alert--you can't ever get rid of the conditioned and habitual thoughts of your Inner Critic--but you can develop the capacity to see who you really are when you stop listening to your Inner Critic and awaken to your full potential as a human being.

My work with people is designed to help you shift out of the separate, small sense of self that makes you feel alienated, alone, anxious, and fearful and into the support of a different mind that is already calm, alert, loving, and wise. Once you shift out of a separate, small sense of self that makes you feel alienated, alone, anxious, and fearful, this is when you see true transformation from the inside out.  Instead of looking for something outside of ourselves to help us gain the inner peace we crave-- the real key is awareness. 

Most of us have spent our whole lives trying to improve and develop our Inner Critic selves to succeed, win approval, and find happiness. We need to be willing to go through the gap of letting go of the old Inner Critic self and have the patience and trust that allows the new self to emerge. This can feel scary because for most people I work with, they have never known any other self than the one that was created by their Inner Critic.  So letting go of that mini-me self feels really uncomfortable. 

But on the other side of letting go, every aspect of your life just works better. Because regardless of what life throws at you, you are free. You can step off the fast train you have been on that has been barrelling down the track of your life at 80 mph, and you can mind the gap.  

If you are listening to this and you are ready to wake up to your Inner Critic and liberate yourself from the illusion of your mini-me self that is at the root of all of your suffering and learn how to let your old self fall away, I want to support you. It is not an accident that you found this podcast and it is not an accident that I hear from so many of you, who say “I feel like you are speaking to me!”  That is because we need to learn how to think fundamentally differently in a way that none of us have been taught.  So please visit my website and schedule a clarity conversation to connect with me.  It is my joy, my passion and my honor to work with the most amazing people from all over the world find their true joy, peace, and inner calm. 

Is Your Inner Critic Keeping You From Success?

Find out what your Inner Critic is saying to sabotage your success and how you can move past her limiting beliefs. 


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