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Use Your Pain to Create Your Freedom

podcast Aug 25, 2020

Can't listen? Here's the transcript: 

Hey Dethroners!  Today I want to talk about why your painful and uncomfortable emotions are not only necessary but actually crucial in learning to rewire a new mind. And because anything you want to create differently in your life is only possible with a new mind, it is imperative that you know how to use your pain to create your freedom. 

I talk a lot about your Inner Critic’s addictions. These are the demands and needs that your Inner Critic says must be met for you to feel good. You need to make sure no one is disappointed in you. You need to make sure you aren’t judged or rejected. You need to make sure you find a job, or else you’re a loser. You need to make sure you find a relationship so you can feel valued and important. You need to make sure you lose weight or else you are not good enough.  

Now remember, your Inner Critic mind is only focused on the past or the future. So all of those addictions I just mentioned are future based--in other words, I have to figure out who I need to be and what and who I need to control so that I can avoid feeling rejected or not good enough or some other painful emotion. And if I worry about it enough and think about all of the things I don’t yet have in my life and need in order to feel ok, somehow this will lead me to feel good.  

It is a total trap and an illusion. So many people wake up every day feeling upset, angry, sad, lonely, and fearful because they are thinking the same automatic thoughts that they thought yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. And your Inner Critic will look to your past also, to strengthen its addictions.   

Your Inner Critic will convince you that when something in your life didn’t look the way it was supposed to, it’s your fault because you weren’t good enough to make it go the way it should have gone. Which is another complete illusion, because always and forever, half of life goes the way we want and half of life doesn't. 

This journey called life is a learn as you go journey. And the learning only occurs through the pain! That is why we humans are so crazy! We think we shouldn’t have pain! We think that pain is bad. We think we should never act from our autopilot mind.  

I hear so many of my clients, at the beginning of our work together, blaming and criticizing themselves because Inner Critic has ruled their mind! “Hello-- I am your Inner Critic. I have been with you since you were about 4 years old. But now it’s time to just get rid of me--make me go away and never come back---and if you can’t do that, well then there is something really wrong with you!”  

We need to have grace and compassion for the automatic humans that we are! We mess up!  We act in automatic ways when we are triggered into our Inner Critic addictions. I can look back at the times I wasn’t the parent I wanted to be. I can see the times where I was insensitive to people I loved. I can see the times I held onto toxic relationships longer than I should have. The times I blamed other people for my feelings.  

All of those behaviors were the result of being trapped in my Inner Critic addictions. And the more I practice the work of dethroning your Inner Critic, the less I am trapped, and the more joy, peace, and freedom I have. 

Does it still happen where I get caught in my Inner Critic’s addictions? Yes, of course. But probably a tenth of the time than earlier in my life, when I was trapped in my addictions and didn’t even know it! And because I am no longer trapped by my Inner Critic addictions, everything in my life is completely different--my business, my relationship with my husband and my kids, my relationships with family and friends, and MOST importantly, my relationship with myself, which is the foundation.  

I don’t ever feel not good enough anymore. I don’t feel like my present life is just a stepping stone to get to the next level. I used to feel that way! I don’t anymore. And it is not because my life has gotten to the next level--my life has gotten to the next level because I can pinpoint my Inner Critic’s addiction and unhook from it.  

And the only way to pinpoint your Inner Critic addiction is to explore your painful emotions and suffering.  That is the first step!  The MIND method, which is the foundation of the dethroning your Inner Critic work, allows you to explore your suffering from a neutral, non-judgmental place.  So you have to be willing to WELCOME all of the people and situations that trigger you, as your most powerful tools to spot your Inner Critic addictions.  

When most people are triggered, they are unaware that they are triggered into their Inner Critic addiction. In fact, they feel very justified in their anger, fear, doubt, shame. They will spend days, weeks, months, or even years feeling at best discontent, and at worst, miserable. They will protect themselves from people they “can’t stand.’ They will run the other way when life gives them something that worries them or makes them feel afraid.  

When you begin to work on yourself through the dethroning your Inner Critic work, you no longer retreat from these circumstances. Instead, you use the pain to get intimately familiar with your Inner Critic programming. And how are you supposed to get familiar with your Inner Critic, if your expectation is to be peaceful and loving and free all the time? You can’t see your Inner Critic’s programming UNLESS you are triggered into it. So your suffering isn’t a bad thing! It’s actually your PATH to freedom!  

You have the power to step outside of your automatic mind and look AT it instead of THROUGH it. When you are looking through it, you are not separate from your Inner Critic. When you are looking AT it, you are able to see it as the automatic computer program that it is. And THAT is when you have the ability to rewire your mind by selecting entirely different thoughts, from an entirely new location of your mind.  

When you reprogram your new mind with new thoughts and know how to FOCUS on those new thoughts that is when you are doing the work of creating entirely new emotions that create entirely new actions that transform the direction of your life.  

So the bottom line is that ALL of your suffering is the responsibility of your Inner Critic. You can blame all of your anger, worry, shame, guilt, doubt on your Inner Critic--because IT is the one that is creating that. YOUR job is to change the way you talk to yourself about yourself and your life situations so that you are no longer convincing yourself that anything outside of YOU is the cause of your unhappiness. 

Instead of, “my mom makes me so angry!” You need to say, “My Inner Critic makes me mad when I am around my mom.” Because your Inner Critic might have an expectation that your mom should be different. She should not judge me. She should not criticize me. She should accept me for who I am. But you have zero control over your mom’s thoughts about you.  

You have control over YOUR thoughts about you. Can you practice unhooking yourself from YOUR pain when your mom does or says whatever she does or says? Watch your Inner Critic thoughts when she is criticizing you or judging you. Watch your addictive demand that she should think or act in a way that makes you feel valued, loved, important.  

When you look to other people or situations to make you feel loved and valued, you are stuck in your Inner Critic addiction. Because even the people you love the most in the world, are not responsible for you feeling loved, valued, good enough! YOU ARE! So when you are upset, you are listening to your Inner Critic and mistaking it for you. And until you are able to spot it, you can’t unhook from it.  

Most people are acting from their Inner Critic programming. So if you have someone in your life who is particularly difficult, judgmental, critical, demanding, they are that way because of THEIR automatic thoughts, creating their emotions, and creating their behaviors. And we all have people in our lives who are difficult!  

Now, sometimes we need to leave those relationships! I have a client who spent years in a relationship with an alcoholic. And she stuck around, trying to fix him and waiting for him to change. And she now sees that it was her Inner Critic’s addiction that kept her in that relationship for as long as she was. She was trying to get him to make her feel valued and loved.  

Now, remember, people who are stuck in their automatic programming can be caught in very unhealthy behaviors--chronic anger, blame, substance abuse, gaslighting--which is when someone else makes YOU feel like the crazy one, stonewalling, which is when someone shuts down and closes themselves off when they are upset.  

All of our Inner Critic programming begins when we are young. So when people let their Inner Critic mind rule their lives, they are really letting their childhood pain rule their lives. This is why so many people can act so childish!  So when you are caught in your Inner Critic addictions, the childish or unhealthy behaviors that other people exhibit, become personal. Their automatic behavior will trigger you into YOUR core pain--that is at the heart of all of your Inner Critic programming. Your Inner Critic will make their behavior mean something about you and then you will stick around addictively to try to get them to change so you can feel good. 

When you know how to manage your mind to make YOURSELF feel good, you don’t continue to stay in toxic relationships or situations that are unhealthy. But what about the relationships that cause pain, that you can’t leave, or don’t want to leave: like your mom, dad, brother, or your child, who is acting in ways that trigger your Inner Critic addiction? That is different. Of course, you don’t want to leave those relationships.  

Sadly, when those relationships do end, it is often because one or both people are listening to their Inner Critic addictions and blaming the other person for their painful emotions. I have a client who didn’t speak to her sister for years because she was convinced that she wasn’t important enough to her sister. That is really painful-- when your Inner Critic demands cause you to cut important people out of your life.  

So when you have a difficult person in your life, if you want to be at peace with that person, you have to realize that your Inner Critic is expecting them to be different than who they are. Your Inner Critic is expecting them to think and act in a different way, that makes you feel valued, loved or important. And because they are not going to change, your Inner Critic keeps getting triggered over and over into your core pain--that’s where your Inner Critic’s addictions come from.  

In these situations, it is up to YOU to reprogram your mind. Being criticized or judged isn’t really a threat to you! You don’t need to defend yourself in the face of someone else’s criticism or judgment. You don’t NEED to feel hurt when someone doesn’t return your call. You don’t need to feel not good enough when someone is disappointed in you. You don’t need to feel unlovable if you’re not in a relationship, or your relationship comes to an end. You don’t need to feel unsuccessful if you don’t have a job right now. 

You have the power to reprogram and rewire a new mind. You can say things like, “My life’s journey is my teacher. I am separate from my Inner Critic programming. I am a lovable person. I am the creator of my life. I don’t need to control other people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  I am not responsible for anyone else’s happiness. I can accept exactly who I am now and the life I am living right now. I can see the amazing parts of myself and my life right now.  I don’t need other people’s approval. It is ok for me to make a mistake. I don’t need to hide from people or circumstances. I can just be ME. I have nothing to fear. I can let go and just BE. I don’t have to fix or change myself. I can love myself right now for exactly who I am. I can make a fool of myself, fail, make a mistake, disappoint someone, not have things go my way, and I know that I will be ok. I can take risks. I don’t have to reject myself when I get caught in my Inner Critic addictions and get angry, feel jealous, or am unloving towards myself or someone else. I can see that I am working on getting free. I can love and accept other people in my life for who they are right now. I don’t need them to change. I can love them just the way they are. I don’t need outside acceptance, approval, respect, attention, or love in order to feel good.”  

And you can make up your own rewired thoughts to fit your life. But you first have to see that YOU are the one that is creating your suffering--it’s all in your Inner Critic mind. Use your strongest emotions as your guide. Cry if you have to. But don’t turn away from your pain. Use the circumstance to clearly see your addiction.  

Watch yourself say, “He has no right to treat me that way. Who does he think he is?” Or “If this person leaves me, I won’t be able to bear it.” As you are crying, you can say, “My Inner Critic unconsciously programmed this pain decades ago and I can rewire a new mind. I don’t NEED the things my Inner Critic convinced me I need in order to be happy.” 

And let’s be clear, our culture has reinforced the idea that you DO need these things. That is how we are hard-wired--to put the conditions of joy, peace, contentment on the outside world-- and those conditions will NEVER bring us peace and joy and freedom. Because you already have a lot of the things you have said you needed. And you’re still not feeling how you want to feel.  

And that’s because there is NO ONE and NOTHING outside you that will make you feel the way you want to feel. When you rewire your mind from the inside out, you have access to all the happiness, beauty, and joy the world has to offer. You have the power within you right now to rewire your mind and free yourself from the hellish emotions that have been keeping you from living the life you were meant to live, having the business you want, the relationships you want, the health and vitality you want.  

Your Inner Critic focuses on expectations and demands that drag you away from the amazing parts of your life that are right in front of you right now. And when you learn to think in a way that has you feel peace, flow, grace, and ease right now, your life will look unrecognizable! You can’t control what goes on outside, but you CAN control what goes on inside! 

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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