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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How to Ignore the Lies Our Inner Critic Tells Us

For so many of my clients, their sense of self actually comes from the messages of their Inner Critic. It's so easy to believe her negative messages even when our lives give us a totally opposite message. 

This means that if your Inner Critic tells you that you're are not good enough, no matter how many people love you, no matter how much success you've had in your life, no matter how many compliments you have received, you'll only listen to what our Inner Critic says.

In fact, when we hear those positive things about ourselves, we think we've fooled the ones we love. If they really knew us the way we “know” ourselves, they would see what we know to be true. 

What if who we believe we are think we are is really the lies our Inner Critic has been telling us for our whole lives?

Listening to the lies of our Inner Critic means that we don't allow people to get too close for feat that they'll discover we're not good enough. She keeps...

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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 With Your Relationships

relationships Oct 25, 2017

It's so easy to listen to your Inner Critic. She's the loudest voice in your mind 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 you have the power to make people treat you the way you want them to. She seduces you into thinking that you can fix your life. 

She's so good at her job that we don't realize that our Inner Critic is actually controlling our lives. It's easy to get sucked into her attempt to control the feelings you're having by fixing or changing your circumstances so you can be okay. 

But the truth is that the real problem is not with the outside world. Most of the time, problems are not what they appear to be. The real problem lies with your reaction to whatever is occurring, and that reaction is caused by the Inner Critic.

When you try to change the outside world, you can wreak havoc on our relationships.

We try to fix or control...

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Signs Your Inner Critic is in Control

self care self esteem Oct 25, 2017

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 observation. Noticing when we are feeling...

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

relationships Oct 25, 2017

Your Inner Critic is that voice yacking away your whole life constantly telling you what you have to fix, change and perfect. She's constantly speaking to you and chances are you continue to listen to it, never understanding that this is where much of the suffering in your life originates.

Your Inner Critic 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 relationships with your loved ones. Because our Inner Critic constantly makes us feel inadequate, we tend to look toward our partner as a way to make us feel good about ourselves.

At the beginning of a relationship, it is pure...

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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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5 Steps To Be Less Judgmental

relationships Oct 25, 2017

I will admit it. I hate how judgmental I can be. But the truth is that human beings are judgment making machines.

How many times have you formed an opinion of someone before you really got to know them?

How many times have you felt judged by someone who doesn’t really know or understand you?

Most of our judgments of others come from fear and a need to prove that we are "right" about the way we live. If we are wrong, we are flawed in some way. And because it is scary to look at your flaws, we automatically try to feel good by finding flaws in others. 

The judgments we have can teach us a lot about ourselves. In order to be less judgmental, we have to have a willingness to examine ourselves.

Here are 5 steps to being less judgmental:

 

1.  Be willing to admit that your judgments of yourself (and others) are reflections of trying to live up to your ideal standards.

For most of us, our ideal version of ourselves is somehow different than who we are now. We...

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