How to Transform Your Inner Critic

Some things can’t be explained, and a little mystery is a good thing.

That’s what I love about working with Jill Prescott.

Disclaimer: Jill is a good friend and I love her madly.

That’s not why I’m writing this.

I want you to know about Jill because working with her is life-changing. I’ve worked with many coaches, healers, and mentors over the years, and very few have had the impact I’ve experienced with this woman.

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer

I’m writing this because Jill is one such human being, and I know what awaits those who register for her new program, Embrace Your Humanity.

It’s about acknowledging and transforming your inner critic.

Yes, we all have at least one, and too often it can feel like it’s living your life instead of YOU living your life.

Self-help advice like ‘love yourself’ and ‘don’t listen to that voice in your head’ is useless when you’re caught up in the inner critic’s world of judgment and negativity.

That’s where Jill comes in, and if you let her, she’ll guide you from that place of judgment to a new reality called self-love.

Here’s her story.

You've been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. - Louise Hay

How to Transform Your Inner Critic (and embrace your humanity)

 I’m interested in people falling in love with themselves.

I’m convinced if that happened the world would change dramatically and instead of being surrounded by fear, self hate, anger and regret we would embody peace, love, grace and joy.

Sounds like utopia right?

Well what if you simply started with you?

By now, we all are aware that we must start with ourselves if we have any hope of transforming the world around us.

Through much personal growth, and downright determination I’ve come to realize that the very first step on that journey is to find out what’s really going on inside your own head.

You may be surprised if you slow down and just listen for a minute. When I did what I heard was “well that was dumb” and “idiot” and “DO NOT leave. This is as good as it’s gonna get for you”.

Turns out I was dealing with an Inner Critic. Several, actually. And as I began to dig deeper into this topic I realized it’s an epidemic.

You can find 2,419 books by typing Inner Critic into the search engine on Amazon alone! Two thousand, four hundred and nineteen books. Wow.

So I bought about half of them and started reading. (a slight exaggeration.)

Symptoms of the Inner Critic:

  1. Sleeplessness
  2. Can’t make decisions
  3. Afraid to leave a job/relationship/group of friends that you know isn’t working for you anymore
  4. Stress and anxiety

How many can you relate to?

There are a lot more, and I put a check mark beside about 90% of them.

I lost my shit for a while when I got the full impact of what was going on. It was scary as hell.

For those that don’t know me, I’m not quite 5 feet tall and under a C-note in weight. I don’t fall over too easily, and when I do, you can bet I won’t stay down for long.

I rallied and got to work. It started while I was in a program Sandi offered a few years ago, and while the inner critic conversation was a small part of the overall program, the impact it had on me was profound.

It had such a massive impact that I started teaching my clients how to work with it, turning it from inner critic to inner guide.

The shifts people experienced were nothing short of miraculous, and it started by being willing to listen to and face what I had been telling myself all those years. I had continued suffering long after the initial trauma as over.

Through this work, I took back my life.

I started saying “no” to the things and people who were not right for me.

I saw my value and stopped being dominated by the nonsense going on in my head.

Did it end the negative self talk completely?

No, but that’s normal, and a part of being human.

“A destructive thought process exists within all of us, and we are plagued to varying degrees by an internal dialogue that is harmful, restrictive, and at its ultimate extreme, self-destructive.” – Lisa Firestone

What’s unusual is how quickly I now catch it. I can look at where it came from, and decide if it’s something I can use to my benefit or simply let it go.

That’s what I want for you.

 

* Jill has generously offered a spot to one of my readers. To qualify, please visit this post on Facebook and tell us how you think this program would help you.

 

The Making of a Promise

I love words. They inspire me to go past the surface to explore origin and meaning.

For the meaning we give things changes everything.

Meaning also changes due to external forces like society, culture, and evolution.

Meaning makes all the difference to what and how we create in life.

Promise vs. Challenge

When I first created The 100 Day Promise, I had a clear intention, and I knew what I wanted to deliver.

I was initially inspired by the idea of a 100 day challenge, but something about it didn’t feel quite right.

So I turned to my dictionary, where I found that the origin of the word challenge was not as inspiring as I thought.

chal·lenge

: a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength; from Latin, to accuse falsely, rebuke

As an Aries, I love a good challenge, but I also resist feeling dominated. The older meaning of the word challenge was what I’d understood energetically, and why I resisted the word.

Then I read the origin of the word promise.

prom·ise

: from Medieval Latin, literally, to send forth into the future; a declaration made about some act to be done or not done

“to send forth into the future” – this phrase sent a shiver of positive energy up my spine, and I wondered what it would be like to give myself 100 days to send a promise into the future.

Not as a commitment to act every single day, but as an intention to create the future.

That intrigued me, and formed the basis of The 100 Day Promise. 

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Why 100 Days

Mother Teresa said, “Life is a promise. Fulfill it.”

Break that down into manageable bits, and you have a life made up of many promises.

Each promise is a seed planted in your consciousness, that with the right amount of time and nourishment, comes to fruition. 

Each promise deepens your relationship to your word and your capacity to create change.

“Reality making is reciprocal. You make it, while it makes you.” – Deepak Chopra

In the world of personal development, we’re too often inundated by challenges and blueprints; 21 day programs that promise to [fill in the blank__________]. 

Sometimes they fail because these programs don’t live up to the hype.

Sometimes though, they fail because we move on, failing to implement what we’ve learned. 

Is that a failure of commitment or a failure of inspiration? 

I looked for an answer, and a possible solution. I wanted a new way of being that could empower our intentions in the world.  Continue reading

Lessons from the Birth Canal

As I wrote this post, Deva Premal chanted in the background; a prayer to Ganesh, remover of obstacles. This chant has been my constant companion the past month as I prepared for the business of birthing.

Creating. Launching. Birthing.

And exhausting – for it feels like I have given birth, and been birthed at the same time.

Yes, I love a good paradox.

ges·ta·tion  n.

1. The period of development in the uterus from conception until birth.
2. The conception and development of a plan or an idea in the mind.

In this case, the gestation period was two years.

In this case, the gestation period was two years.

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but…life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

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The Transformation of You

 

a new beginning and
all possibilities exist.

imaginal cells resting
inside their cocoon.

cocoon hanging from a branch

resolve is not needed
in this primordial goo.

just rest, trust,
and patience.

one cell,

two,

then many.

a you unlike any other.

the imaginals know
what to do and…

what

not

to do.

the newness of you will
emerge when ready.

a chrysalis falling away…
exposing, releasing.

imaginal you,
the end result assured.

more you than ever before.

Butterfly hanging from a branch

more fully your Self

more fully alive.

this you, not you,

yet perfectly you.

the past is done.
your cocoon, self-imposed,
no longer needed.

take flight.

 

A Graceful Transformation

 

Fear,
It creeps in
from the past,
impacting the future.

Stop. . .
breathe.

Facing fear,
master alongside
leading the way.

Scared,
and stopped
by the past.

By a story,
from long ago.

A belief limiting
what’s possible.

Until I said
enough. . .
and a new possibility
arose.

Until I said
YES to moving
forward.

Stop. . .
breathe.

Sink,
into the unknown.

Gratitude washes ashore.

 

 

A deep well of appreciation for Jason Sugar of Breakthrough Adventures for his joyful spirit and passion for transformation. Learning how to scuba dive was a someday dream held hostage because of the old fear. Until now.

 

On Owning Your Truth

 

The dream…

A Roman theatre filled to capacity. the Roman Colisseum at night

Me, waiting backstage for the cue to walk out and introduce the keynote speaker.

And then…

I become the keynote.

I look out, afraid – not of speaking, but of not getting the words right.

Afraid that my message will be unclear.

That is terrifying.

And then…

I wake up, heart racing, message choking me in its intensity.

Everyone has a truth, uniquely their own even if the message is not yet clear.

Your work is to first, own that truth and then discover how to share its message.

“A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life.” – Hermann Hesse

My truth – I am a waker, here to rattle your cage. Even though, quite often you pretend there is no cage.

It’s not always comfortable, but that matters less than owning your truth.

For in owning what has been with you, a part of you your whole life, you claim that which is yours alone.

Yes. You have your truth.

Maybe you resist it, or make it wrong preferring another truth.

Someone else’s truth is compelling. Yours might seem hard or impossible in comparison.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle

I can relate, for my truth carries the weight of “Who the hell do I think I am?”

I am a waker. I own it, even though the message is still a work in progress.

You are born with your truth, and when you think back over your life you’ll find evidence for its existence.

Times when you were reprimanded for speaking it.

Times when you felt crushed by the weight of it.

Times when you knew without a doubt you were here to share it.

It’s why you’re here.

And since this is not a new message I am conscious of the truth and the irony.

You have a kernel of truth inside, longing to be expressed in a way that only you can deliver.

Right here, right now, share it.

The truth is yours, but the journey can be ours, together.

 

As It Is Spoken, So Shall It Be

 

How many times have you heard the childlike incantation abracadabra?

A phrase used by magicians, it’s actually from Aramaic. “Avra K’davra” meaning “As it is spoken, so shall it be!”

Puts a new spin on it, for in those words is a very important message. . .

Your speaking creates your reality. 

store window, Portland, Oregon

I don’t mean that in some new agey way, or wistful longing for a someday dream.

I mean, your speaking creates your reality – how you feel, how people respond, your energy, etc.

Every time you open your mouth you’re creating.

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” – J. K. Rowling

Speaking is generative, and every word that comes out of your mouth creates.

I’m tired. I’m busy. I can’t. 

What world did you just create?

I’ll do it. Let’s meet. I’ll figure it out!

How about now?

What if you really got the power of “As it is spoken, so shall it be?”

Now what would you say?

 

Over to You:

What do you have the courage to create in your speaking today?

 

 

Rise Up and Choose

 

You have two options: 

1. The discomfort of taking action now

OR

2. The pain of your ‘someday’ thinking

 

Choose.

Anything else is avoidance.

Day 11 of Project 137

“Love what you want.” – Danielle LaPorte

 

You have everything you need to rise to the occasion.

For it is an occasion.

Dress up.

Open up.

Rise up,

and choose what you most want. 

Rise up and choose.

From Head to Heart (unleashing the courage within)

 

“The greatest act of courage is to be and to own all of who you are – without apology, without excuses, without masks to cover the truth of who you are.”  – Debbie Ford

Courage is Contagious

You know that thing you do when you make a snide remark and then laugh it off with, “Just kidding”? What would happen if you actually were responsible for the fact that you’re not?

Because in that moment, as you say those words, you’re really not kidding, are you? You just don’t have the guts to say what you want to say, so you back pedal.

You don’t have the confidence to be who you are and say what you want to say. Not much a surprise as you probably weren’t brought up to express yourself in this way.

No. Instead you were told to be nice, get along, and for God’s sake, do not rock the boat.

It takes a helluva lot of courage to grow beyond this conditioning; to live without apology and without  excuses. But the alternative – wearing a mask – is unbearable.

Before you react, I’m not advocating turning into an asshole. I’m acknowledging that it’s not an either/or spectrum with nice on one end and jerk on the other.

We all have a dark side and there’s no point in pretending otherwise. However, you also don’t have to let it dominate your life, ie: becoming the jerk or suppressing it, ie: showing only the nice, often superficial mask.

This is an invitation to live without the pretense.

To take off the mask and be true to yourself.

To unleash your courage like a contagion gone viral! 

Since reviewing Debbie Ford’s book Courage, this has been on my mind, a lot.

Debbie writes to ignite your confidence and reclaim your courage, you’ve got to step into your highest vision of who you are. But mostly, you’re so used to living in the past and the stories of who you are, you can’t see the vision. It’s hidden from your view.

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Courage and Overcoming Fear with Debbie Ford

 

Years ago I read Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford, and I remember my surprise at realizing that someone was actually shining light on the parts of ourselves we try so hard to hide.

In her latest book Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self Confidence, she goes deeper right from the start as she asks,  Courage, book cover

“How many times have you felt yourself shrink?”

“How many times have you kept your mouth shut when you wanted to scream loudly, or handed over your power to someone who didn’t have your best interests at heart?”  

“How many times have you told yourself, ‘I can’t. I’m not strong enough. I”m not courageous or confident enough to be all that I desire to be?”

Because truth is, every day you’re confronted with situations that trigger thoughts like these, and the accompanying self-doubt.

Confronted too by opportunities and choices, hundreds of them, that can make you feel confident and strong or weak as a shrinking violet. Every one, a choice.

Are you owning that responsibility or living as a victim to it?

She writes that, “when we lack confidence, we feel unworthy of having what we want, of speaking the truth, of making decisions that improve our lives. When we feel weak, helpless, or powerless, we lack the strength to ward off the thoughts of defeat, negativity and fear that fill our minds and prevent us from moving forward and living in harmony with our deepest desires. ”

Courage provides steps to increasing confidence, and the possibility of living to our fullest potential.

“True courage comes not just from feeling confident and strong, but from being the honest, authentic expression of yourself.”

Debbie shares her personal journey with cancer, the wake-up call she needed to help her see where she herself had become stuck in life. Her raw honesty and vulnerability as she shares her story are rare traits, and make for a compelling read. Using the metaphor of a warrior, she digs deep to share the wisdom gained from confronting her own dark side while igniting the warrior long suppressed inside.

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