End the avalanche of negative self-talk

Self-blame, negative self-talk, the endless blows of the inner critic, and the relentless self-shame that can hijack our minds and torture our hearts can effectively poison our self-confidence to face and derail any hope of recover from stress and trauma. .

I offer 14 very practical and very useful exercises to push back the inner critic (even change his role to that of internal advisor) from a recent webinar sponsored by NScience: Ending the Flood of Embarrassed Self-Conversation: How to Effectively Respond to Inner Criticism. Although it is designed for doctors, the whole webinar is offered in very simple and accessible English and will be useful for anyone at any stage to change their relationship with their inner judge / bully / gremlin.

These are the basic principles that provide the context for benefiting from this work:

Internal criticism is universal

The inner critic is an easily recognizable inner part of our greater Self that is archetypal, universal. Every human being experiences some form of negative self-talk, some form of self-judgment, or harsh self-criticism from time to time, some days all the time.

“Who do you think you are? You will never get anywhere. No matter how hard you try, no one will like you or remain your friend. “

Whatever particular message you hear inside your own head, everyone on the planet is vulnerable to being ashamed and blamed for what we call the inner critic or inner judge or inner gremlin or inner harassment. We all have this experience at one time or another, some days all the time.

The underlying origin of our inner critic is ours Need to connect with cable

The reason we all have an internal critique is that all human beings have an innate biological need to connect with other human beings for survival and well-being, physical survival, and psychological well-being. This is universal. It is connected to every human brain.

Our first experiences in relation to other human beings around us shape our sense of security, connection, protection in the world and our sense of self as worthy of acceptance and love for ourselves, for other people.

The connection encourages …

When all is well, these early and lifelong connecting experiences can foster a sense of inner security and well-being. We become aware and accept ourselves as worthy, acceptable, and esteemed human beings, and we face the challenges of our lives from this secure inner foundation.

If the first experiences of a lifetime of connection did not go so well, over time we come to doubt our self-esteem, our acceptability, our kindness, our ability to meet the challenges of our lives. effectively and resiliently.

dollar gill R1lBOCUNHRU unsplashThe disconnect threat configures the behavior

Because every parent, every tribe, every culture must teach their children how to behave in the world for them to survive, both connection and the threat of disconnection are used to teach these skills and shape these behaviors.

Here’s what you can or can’t do, here’s who you can be or can’t be, to win and keep our love and protection.

This is what you can do or not do or this is who you can be or not be who will threaten this connection, make us abandon you, dismiss you or forget you, have nothing to do with you.

Every culture; this is universal.

Guilt and Shame

Love, acceptance, and compassion are used to convey and maintain that connection. Guilt and shame are two very powerful emotions used by all cultures to communicate the threat of disconnection. If you do something wrong, you will be punished with disconnection. IF YOU ARE SOMETHING BAD, you will be abandoned or distanced. Shame and guilt can cause a kind of terror in the nervous system and psyche. I’d better not do or do anything bad or bad or I’ll be punished or abandoned.

We are ashamed — we blame ourselves first

And the fear of evoking messages of guilt and shame externally from the people around us, can begin to evoke those same messages within our own head. We begin to feel ashamed or blamed for not doing or not doing the things that will make us disconnect from the people we depend on to survive, for well-being.

Neuroplasticity

The reality of neuroplasticity in the brain is also innate, also universal. This means that any experience will cause the neurons in the brain to turn on, repeated experiences, repeated neural triggers. If we hear negative, critical, critical, and guilty messages over and over again, the repetition of these messages develops and strengthens the brain’s neural circuits to repeat them again. So similar experiences are likely to trigger similar messages, even without us wanting to.

Inner criticism as part of the greater self

It is the repetition of these messages that gives rise to the mental phenomenon that we anthropomorphize as an inner critic. We attribute these messages to a character or inner part of ourselves as if we had a life of our own separate from who we are. The characterization of inner criticism as part and only a part of our larger self — the inner family system, the inner committee, the inner orchestra — is essential to being able to notice, disidentify, and work on it from the conscious consciousness and compassionate acceptance of our greatest self. .

An inner critic is not our fault

This is important.

Given our need to connect and the need for our parents / culture to protect, and considering the power of the brain to create repetitive patterns …

… creating an inner critic IS NOT OUR FAULT. It is a relief to know that we are not a bad person to feel bad about ourselves!

It is our responsibility to hold back from internal criticism

Given our ability to make wise and conscious decisions about our responses to life’s challenges and crises, and our internal reactions to them, it becomes our responsibility (responsiveness) to learn the skills to change our relationship with inner criticism, step back. in their messages that would derail our resilience and our self-confidence to be resilient.

See Linda’s original piece here, where you can also find out about her other offers to restore resilience.

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