As I sit and listen to a friend tell me about the reorg at work, the kitchen remodel at home and their spouse changing their job, my mind searches for the appropriate thing to say to provide the appropriate amount of support. What is it that I want to say? Oh yes, I sense the words coming: “Well you know, the only constant in life is change”.
I’ve noticed that we tend to use this adage as a way to comfort in times of heightened chaos. During the times when things seem to be out of our control, the only way we can calm our frazzled nerves is to blame the universe and it’s law that says “Change is Constant”. Although I agree that change is something that sometimes seems to happen to us, there are other times when we put ourselves steps closer to self medication or mental breakdowns. We often know that we have 2 or 3 big changes happening and we decided to take on one more. Or sometimes we have so much change happening in the parts of our lives we have less control over that we then begin to “fix” (or shall I say change) the things we do control.
Given that we put ourselves in this situation, we should do each other the favor of shining the light on this human pattern. Instead of telling a friend, colleague or relative, ”Change is constant”, you can try “Are you taking on too much?” or “Have you taken time to recharge your battery”. Anything you can do to help someone pause and take stock of what is on their plate is enough to help keep them sane for that much longer.
So often we have big dreams. Dreams of owning our own property, changing jobs or to do something different with our life. As we dream big and start feeling good about the possibilities, we begin to get disrupted by our inner critic. The critic tells us it is all impossible, that we can’t, we are incapable, or that it will never be. Often times we dismiss the critic, referring to it as the thing that keeps us “real” or “grounded”. Do we need to succumb to the inner critic? To allow it to rule our lives and dreams? Perhaps not. First you need to take a moment to assess whether the inner critic is hindering or helping you. Ask yourself, “Is this thought or voice of service to me?” If it is, then just know that it is there to continue guiding you as you move through life. If it is not helping you, then it is time to let it go!
So how do you fight your own critical voice? That’s just it, you don’t! The key is to learn how to integrate it so that it is in alignment with the rest of you, not in conflict with your other thoughts and actions. There are many ways of letting go or integrating the inner critic, below are just a few ways for you to remove your inner critic.
Sometimes it’s enough to acknowledge that the inner critic is there. It loosens it’s hold from your thoughts by virtue of conscious awareness of its presence. Still, for many of us, it has a strong hold and if that is the case for you there are other avenues to try. You can use a coach or therapist as a guide, or you might try the following:
Find out what the intent of the critic is, to know it’s purpose is to acknowledge the reason it exists. By understanding the purpose, you can opt for a more integrated way of honoring the inner critic and it’s purpose. For example, if your inner critic’s purpose is to keep you financially secure, you might put a plan together to ensure financially security while you pursue your dream. By putting a financial plan together, you fulfill the inner critics purpose in a way that is integrated with you and your dream instead of in conflict. The more in harmony you are with all parts of you, the more you will accomplish. Try it out, you may be surprised with what you find!
Coaching is something that has cropped up more and more recently. As some of you may have seen, even Scott Baio has a life coach, to help him get ready for marriage and a baby. What is the appeal of having a coach? I think the appeal of a coach is the bias for action. A coach will help you identify the gap between where you are today, and where you want to be in a given area of your life (or particular circumstance). By helping you identify what you want and then guiding you through removing obstacles that stand in your way, you can make great strides towards the goals you have identified. Some people innately function this way, coaching themselves through this process, others of us can’t see the forest through the trees, and therefore its can be helpful to have a coach give you a different perspective on what you’re seeing. If you have something your trying to tackle, big or small, try out a coach!