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The Spiritual Side of Dethroning Your Inner Critic

podcast Jul 14, 2020

Can't listen? Here's the transcript: 

Hey Dethroners!  Today I want to talk about the combination of brain science and spirituality when it comes to doing the work of Dethroning Your Inner Critic.  

First, let’s talk about the brain science. Our brains are hardwired for survival. So the only thing our physical brain really cares about is seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.  And for this reason, your Inner Critic is your default mode of thinking. 

Simply put, it is how you think when you are in survival mode. Your Inner Critic is nothing more than a conditioned set of beliefs beginning in early childhood, that becomes your identity. And because so many parts of our personality are created by how we think, act and feel, our personality is intimately connected to our personal reality.  So the work of dethroning your Inner Critic is about becoming conscious of your unconscious thoughts, which gives you access to consciously thinking new thoughts.  

By learning all the tools to separate yourself from your Inner Critic identity, you find freedom from being obsessed with trying to fix, change or control so many aspects of your life. You learn to break free from paying so much attention to what others think of you and seeking approval and acceptance outside of yourself. We have been socially conditioned, programmed to behave this way. 

The majority of your autopilot Inner Critic thoughts and feelings are either connected to guilt, unworthiness, self-doubt or fear, anger, frustration, self-judgment or some form of suffering. On the opposite end of the spectrum, our Inner Critic thoughts are also connected to our importance, our feeling better than others, our judgments of others, and our attempts to fix, change or control other people. 

These are all connected to our survival instincts because remember our survival is about avoiding pain and seeking pleasure. So the default mode of your Inner Critic is controlling what other people think of us or how other people behave, and these are the thoughts that suck up our energy like no other emotions. 

Stress is a tremendous amount of energy that we are consuming. And when we are consistently living in that survival mechanism, there is no opportunity to get back to homeostasis. So if you are always living in anxiety and fear and focusing on the worst-case scenarios, there is no energy left for healing and growth. 

The majority of our Inner Critic thoughts are creating lower vibration energies in our bodies. When we are under stress, we don’t feel comfortable opening our hearts. We stay closed and guarded when we are in survival mode. We are all about fight, flight, or freeze when we are faced with potential danger. But the only danger we are experiencing is that we can’t control how life will go.  We can only control the moment we are in.   

So When you feel distressed, sad, powerless about a circumstance, when you focus on the circumstance, you feel worried and inadequate to fix or change it. And you wonder if you are just not enough to fix or change it. Changing your beliefs about this circumstance is essential to shift your life. 

Every time you are in distressing emotions you are letting your Inner Critic create your reality. Remember your thoughts actually create your experience of your reality. It is never about anyone else. No one is making you feel the way you do. 

As humans, we think that focusing on how WE feel is selfish, especially when other people in our lives are hurting. We believe that the more we focus on what we want to change or fix about either ourselves or that other person, that will lead us to feel good.  But in fact, it leads to more suffering. We have no power when we are focusing on anyone else other than ourselves and how we feel. That is when life changes. 

We need to focus our thoughts on feeling good and we think that is selfish. But the truth is that when we let our Inner Critic’s story of the circumstances dominate our thoughts and we don’t reach for better thoughts about the circumstances, we become victims.

Now, this is where the spiritual piece comes in. The spiritual component of dethroning your Inner Critic is the recognition that we are actually NOT our computer programmed thoughts.

When you are in survival mode, you are basically living from your physical brain that is stuck in the past. You are not in touch with the part of you that is so much greater than your automatic computer programming. When we are in survival mode, it is virtually impossible to get out of our own way. If we can’t give up control, we can’t rewire a new mind. 

The thinking that created all of our suffering is not the thinking that is going to create a completely different life moving forward. And getting out of our own way is about giving up control to some higher power, consciousness, or energy. We need to know how to practice the art of surrender and allowing. And this is very difficult to do without consciously giving into something bigger than just ourselves.  

The spiritual side of dethroning your Inner Critic is letting go of the small self so that the grace of God/the universe can flow through us. When we let go, we are in a state of flow. And that is exactly what our physical brain needs to be able to work at its highest potential. Letting go gets us out of survival mode. 

When you are in survival mode, you are not connected to your inner being, the part of you that I call your authentic self, but instead you ARE your Inner Critic.  Your Authentic self is really the divine energy that exists in all of us.  It is who we are in our soul when we are separated from our mind, our ego, our conditioned beliefs, and our smallness.  

If you knew that what your Inner Critic has to say is nothing more than a made-up story that has been playing on a repetitive loop for much of your life, you would trust the thoughts that are connected to your Authentic Self. The divine soul that already knows that you are already enough and have nothing to prove to anyone in this life, and don’t need another soul’s recognition or approval or love in order to feel fantastic about You and the life you are already living. 

You just don’t trust yet that your Inner Critic thoughts are made up. You still believe your conditioning that has told you “What I think is the truth.” Except it’s not--mostly not ever! 

Mostly, you are just having thoughts. You are not thinking. Thinking, actually consciously thinking, is about letting go of your automatic Inner Critic thoughts like worry and letting go of focusing on what you don’t want and why you can’t be happy until this or that changes. And when you start actually consciously thinking, it feels too weird so you don’t trust it. 

You have been looking for the arrival point for forever--- the arrival point is what your Inner Critic says you NEED in order to be enough. But See YOU are the one who put there, there. You have a there which causes you to keep looking over there. And the only reason why you have an emotion that causes you to suffer is because you keep going over there.

And when we keep looking over there, we are not in harmony and alignment with what is our divine energy. We are not in sync with loving energy. We are instead creating lacking energy. And this lacking energy is what creates feeling stuck, and experiencing problems and struggle. Dethroning your Inner Critic is about liberating that stuck energy by intentionally thinking in a way where we are cultivating loving energy. And when we are in alignment with this loving energy, this is when we experience major shifts in all areas of our lives.

When we are in alignment with this divine energy, we can remember that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And this means that our lives are not meant to be in perfect harmony all of the time. We are not a puzzle that we need to put back together to become whole. In fact, some of the puzzle pieces that are falling away are often falling for a reason. 

When we are connected to the divine energy within us, we can remember that sometimes the pain we are experiencing is there to show us something. The pain is actually meant to point us in a different direction so that we can breakthrough. When we have a sense of spirituality, we can experience the pain as a breakthrough rather than a breakdown because the pain is nothing more than growing pains, where we are shedding the things and the people in our lives that are holding us back. 

And you can trust that if you allow those things to go because they are going anyway, that you are making space for the best of you to emerge. You can stop holding onto the pieces of yourself and your life that don't fit you anymore and trusting this and stepping into that unknown is actually what has a new life unfold. 

Our Inner Critic survival mode brain is so afraid of change. But when we are connected to something greater than ourselves, we remember that we aren’t in fact changing, we are instead becoming the person that god/ the universe intended us to be, which is a person of pure light and love and courage and joy and grace and compassion. Instead of clinging to what we already know because of our survival mode fear brain, we can let ourselves become.   

Why is this so hard? The things you care about the most are the things you think the most about. Me too! But the problem is that the things you have been thinking the most about, your Inner Critic has done the most damage to. Because you have just been having thoughts. Those are just your Inner Critic’s automatic thoughts.

YOU haven’t actually been the one doing the thinking. The things you have been thinking the most about are actually the things that are causing you the most suffering because your Inner Critic thoughts like worrying about the people you love, or stewing over what someone has done to you, and getting other people’s agreement about how bad this person has been to you, or how awful this circumstance was, this is how all humans think. 

Most people are in agreement that when someone is a jerk you should feel bad, or angry, or when something in your life isn’t the way you want it to be, you should worry and fret and be upset about that. But that is because most people are not taught to think in a way that brings them peace and joy. And the more people that agree that other people make us upset, or ruin our lives, or we are not enough until we achieve this, or being a certain size is bad and means you’re not damaged, and all the things we have been buying into in our culture, the more we will struggle and suffer. And we think that the more we see these things as a problem, the more likely we are to find a solution.  But actually, what is really happening is that the more we see “problems” that we have to find a solution for, the bigger of a problem it becomes. 

When you change the location of your mind out of your Inner Critic mind and relocate to a different mind, you get connected to your future instead of your past. And when you focus on the future you are creating, you change your energy.  No one changes until you change your energy. 

When we get beyond our Inner Critic selves, we are free to create without being tethered by our Inner Critic addictions that were created in our past. We are addicted to a lot-- all things outside of ourselves, that are usually connected to other people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. For some, you are addicted to controlling a specific person’s thoughts, like our kids, our boss, our spouse. For others, you are addicted to controlling the thoughts of nameless, faceless others.  

Here is a powerful exercise to practice: Take out a notebook and look at your lower energy emotions that let you know that your Inner Critic is creating a story around what is occurring in your life right now.  

So I encourage you to get a piece of paper, and at the top write out the problem. And on one side of the paper, write “MY Inner Critic’s story about the problem”. And then on the other side of the paper write “What I really know about this IS”-- You need to remind yourself of who you really are. 

When you are tuned in to who you really are when you are not listening to the not-enoughness and lack of your Inner Critic, you can see that you are really waaay more powerful than so many people who are living their lives on autopilot. And you can see that the simple exercise to separate yourself from your automatic thoughts creates a glimpse of freedom, because you are awakening to the idea that what you thought was reality, is really just a manifestation of your automatic thoughts. 

And you are able to reconnect with your TRUE power which is to unhook from your thoughts and your attachments and demands that other people have to think or behave a certain way, or that certain circumstances need to be different in order for you to experience joy and inner peace. And when you focus on thoughts that give you the experience of joy and peace right now, what do you think that does to those programmed beliefs? 

Because the better you feel right now, the more you will start to take actions that are in alignment with those new feelings. And those are the actions that will alter the life that you are living. Either you are going to look around the world and allow your Inner Critic to see the problems and the lack, or YOU are going to look around the world and see abundance and gratitude and love. The choice is yours.

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