How to Stop Overanalyzing Your Life

More and more, I see many therapists, coaches, and self-help books talk about the importance of self awareness for making profound shifts in your life. But this type of analysis alone won’t shift your life. 

For example, there are people who are aware that they’re overweight or obese and hate it. That’s self-awareness in a nutshell: knowing yourself and your perceived problem. But what’s next? What do they intend to do about it? Awareness isn’t enough. You have to understand where your habits are holding you back, where your triggers are, and how to get away from those triggers. 

The truth is that the majority of our thoughts and actions are on autopilot and we don’t even know it. We’re not even aware of our own habits, routines, impulses, and reactions. And when this happens, we aren’t in control of them. Instead, they control us. 

I consider myself to be a very unconventional therapist. I don’t follow the path of...

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How Well Do You Know Your Authentic Self?

authentic self Jan 18, 2018

This morning, we got a text from a client that perfectly sums up the process of moving past the limiting voice of your Inner Critic. It was a quote from James Neil Hollingsworth:

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

Take a second to let that sink in. Our Inner Critics are fuelled by the fear that we carry around with us. If you don’t take the time to access the voice of your Authentic Self, the fear that your Inner Critic perpetuates rules your life.

But what if you don’t even know what your Authentic Self actually sounds like? If we had a penny for every client we work with who didn’t recognize the voice of their own inner wisdom, we’d have a LOT of pennies.

And we get it--it’s difficult to realize that the voice you’ve been listening to your whole life may not even be you. So many of us are not on a first-name basis with our Authentic Self because we’re...

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The Key to a Joyful Life

In over twenty years as a psychotherapist, I’ve discovered that the voice in my head, which is what I call my Inner Critic, constantly wants me to look to the outside world - relationships, degrees, achievements, and everywhere but inside myself - to give me my self-worth.

For most of us, our Inner Critics tell us, “If you just lose that weight, make more money, get married, get divorced, get a different job, find new friends, get a bigger house, then you’ll truly be happy.” Or she might say, “you need to be more spiritual in order to be happy. You need to pray more, meditate more, relax more, have more free time, have a hobby, find your passion. Then you will truly be happy. ”

But the truth is that the longer we pursue these goals as a means of attaining happiness, the more we recognize that the feeling of happiness or peach when the goal is met never lasts long. We don’t stop to realize that the automatic thoughts about ourselves and our...

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Messages The Inner Critic Sends

self Oct 25, 2017

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Through our work with hundreds of clients, we have discovered a theme.  This theme is that most of us derive our sense of self comes from the messages of our Inner Critic. We believe the messages of our Inner Critic, even when life gives us no evidence.  Even when life gives us a totally opposite message, in fact!

If our Inner Critic tells us that we are not good enough no matter how many people love us, no matter how much success we have had in our live, no matter how many compliments we have received, we only listen to what our Inner Critic says.

We think we hear those positive things about ourselves because we have “fooled” the ones we love. If they REALLY knew us the way we “know” ourselves, they would see what we know to be true. But, thus far, we have fooled them. What great con artists we all are! What if others actually see us for who we REALLY are?

What if who we think we are, our self concept, is really...

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How Your Inner Critic Sabotages Your Relationships

relationships Oct 25, 2017

Every single one of us has experienced our Inner Critic's attempts to hijack our relationships. And if you haven't yet been able to identify all the ways that she's separate from who you authentically are, your relationships are suffering. 

Learning to separate yourself from your Inner Critic and let go of the automatic attempt to fix or control and instead very consciously choosing love and connection to your true self – without the interference of your Inner Critic – is a key step to an extraordinary relationship.

The greatest gift you can give to your relationships is to learn to be free from the damaging messages of your Inner Critic. Your Inner critic is constantly evaluating and judging you, your life, your partner, and your relationships. When your Inner Critic is in charge, it tries to control other people and the dynamics in the relationship so that things fit your Inner Critic’s ideal picture. Of course, at any given moment your partner can...

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The Real Problem

relationships Oct 25, 2017

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Your Inner Critic is the voice in your mind that is constantly talking to you and telling you what you need to improve, where you don’t measure up, and what you need to fix. Your Inner Critic tries to have control over your world and convinces you that, if you listen to it and do exactly what it says:

  • You will have control.
  • You will be able to get your life to go in the direction that you want it to go.
  • You will get people to treat you the way you want them to.

In our work, we speak with  folks all the time who don’t realize how much of their lives are controlled by our Inner Critic. It’s easy to get automatically sucked into the message of the Inner Critic and then attempt to control the feelings we’re having by fixing or changing the world outside. We think that if “they” can just change their current circumstance, things will be ok.

The real problem is not with the outside world....

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You’re Driving Me Crazy!

self Oct 25, 2017

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We all get frustrated sometimes. Our expectations aren’t met. Our intentions get thwarted. What we want to happen isn’t happening fast enough. We keep doing what we think will produce the best result we want, but it still seems to go nowhere. What to do about it?

We can stomp our feet in frustration, we can pull our hair out, we can throw an adult temper tantrum.  All that will get us is painful feet, thinning hair, and a reputation for being immature.

Frustration that dominates our lives becomes a problem. Life is filled with circumstances and events that can be frustrating. But if we get triggered into an over-reaction when things don’t go our way, it is usually the inner critic that has taken over.

She is the one who makes your blood pressure rise and the one who feels angry and resentful towards whatever or whomever is blocking you.

As always, the first step in easing the frustrations we feel is...

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5 Ways To Prevent Your Inner Critic From Wreaking Havoc On Your Relationship

relationships Oct 25, 2017

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Your Inner Critic, the voice in your mind that speaks to you all day every day, is the voice that is constantly evaluating you, telling you what you have to fix, change and perfect. It’s been the voice that has been yacking away your whole life, and you continue to listen to it, never understanding that this is where much of the suffering in your life originates.

It says that if you just keep trying harder and harder to get better and better, you will get to a point where you finally feel like everything is perfect.The problem is that no matter what you have accomplished, achieved, changed or fixed, the inner critic is always there telling you what’s next to fix or change. The impact of this voice does not just take its toll on your relationship with yourself, but can also wreak havoc on your relationship.

Because our Inner Critic makes us feel inadequate in some way, shape or form, we tend to look toward our partner as a way to...

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How to Move Past The Feeling You're Not Enough

I've always loved this old Cherokee Indian legend that illustrates the battle between ourselves and our Inner Critic beautifully. 

An old man is teaching his grandson about life. 

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good–he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

So many of us struggle with unrealistic expectations about what our lives "should" look...

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Moving Past The "What Ifs"

The only thing that's consistent in life is change. Our lives are full of opportunities to make decisions. 

Most choices are easy to make: 

  • Which movie should I go to?
  • What should I make for dinner?
  • What outfit should I wear today?

Much more difficult and confronting are the decisions which are life altering:

  • Do I get married?
  • Do I get divorced?
  • Do I have a baby?
  • Do I have another child?
  • Do I quit my job?
  • Do I relocate my family for my work?

Any time you face a decision (big or small), you set your Inner Critic up to scream. She can ruin your evening if you find yourself overdressed at a party. She can spoil lovely family time if they didn’t like what you prepared. But much more significantly, she can paralyze your ability to take action in circumstances that will change your life.

Your Inner Critic can keep you stuck in mind boggling indecision, undermining any possibility of moving forward, one way or another. Her favorite way of accomplishing this is...

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