Renaming the Critical Voice: Our self “Injurious” thoughts
We all have a critical voice. For us to achieve success in any area of our lives, we have to learn how to manage it. Which means, knowing when to listen to it, when to ignore it, and when to unpack the real meaning behind what it’s saying to you.
The last, the unpacking the meaning is important because when our critical voice is being vicious, it’s not only freaking us out but it’s actually doing damage to our psyches and…our health.
Every cell in our body knows what’s happening at all times. Every system, (immune system, respiratory system, lymphatic system, digestive system, etc, etc,) communicates with each other continuously.
And they hear what you’re saying inside your head. They hear that critical voice, too. Which is why self loathing thoughts are dangerous to our health. These thoughts literally do damage to us and are therefor ‘injurious’ by nature.
So…how do we determine when to listen to those thoughts and what to listen for?
When dealing with survival thoughts, our critical voice is an excellent advisor. ‘Yes, look both ways before crossing the street’, ‘Don’t stick your finger in the electric socket’, etc.
But when our critical voices start telling us we are useless, a failure, too fat, or too old…we need to take a look at those thoughts and see what’s really the driving force behind them.
“I’m useless”…What is the point your critical voice is trying to make. Said another way, what is it trying to stop you from doing? Is it protecting you from something by stopping you before you even try?
And, more importantly, when in the past have you ignored it and succeeded despite its claims that you are doomed to fail?
I always suggest writing our thoughts down. So, pull out a pen and a piece of paper and write out your critical voice’s story. We’ve all got a bunch of them but for now, pick one story and write it out completely.
Then, reread it and ask, “what is this really about?” Usually it’s about fear of something but knowing what that fear is about will help you understand yourself better. And you can actually approach your critical voice from a different perspective.
Because, that voice will never go away. It WILL change it’s stories from time to time (i.e. “I’m too young” could become “I’m too old”). But knowing its main purpose or drive will help you to discern if this is a self injurious thought, or something to truly consider.
So again, write your thoughts and ask what they’re really saying. What is the real truth behind the vicious, tyrannical critical voice. And then decide if these thoughts are helpful, or self injurious.
The more you practice this, the easier it gets! And I’d love to hear from you on this!
And, if you want extra support with this, get in touch and we’ll unpack it together.