Do you experience self-criticism, self-judgment, and self-doubt more often than you would like? Do you find it hard to accomplish new tasks and go after what you want? Are you tired of feeling small, hesitant, and unworthy?
If you’re ready to cast off the negative self-view that holds you back and fosters your inadequate sense of self-worth, then you’ve come to the right place.
A person’s ability to positively or negatively shape his life through his subconscious opinion of himself is inarguable.
This subject is so central to my confidence practice that I wrote an entire book about it called OMOS: On My Own Side. This book is an excellent resource for those of you just beginning your journey toward greater confidence. Through reading it, you will be introduced to a deep study in how to truly enjoy your relationship with yourself so that you can free yourself from chronic insecurity and learn to adjust your mindset toward self-love. If you haven’t yet read it, I recommend checking it out via Amazon or Audible.
In the meantime, let’s look at one powerful tool you can use to begin that adjustment toward greater self-assurance, starting today: I like to call it reclaiming your inner authority.
Many of us have a less-than-ideal relationship with our inner critics. We allow them to control our lives by convincing us that we can’t do anything right and that our opinions and ideas don’t matter. We allow them to scold us like they’re our critical parents, and obligingly, we cower to them like timid children.
Since these patterns are imprinted on us from a very early age, they become so deeply conditioned that they play out automatically in every aspect of our lives.
Whether you’re at work or confiding in a loved one or socializing at a party, your inner critic sneaks into your thoughts unexpectedly and makes you feel like a paralyzed little kid who can’t defend himself.
So, how do we flip the script so that we regain control of our thoughts and send our inner critics running in fear?
The first thing you must do when our inner critic starts to attack is to remember that you are the one who has the authority in your own mind.
Let’s try an exercise: stand up right now and shake your body out (don’t hesitate or refuse the action—procrastinating is just your subconscious mind’s way of keeping you from doing something that scares you). Once you feel loose and physically powerful, think of a moment when your inner critic might be coming at you, full tilt (a confrontation at work, a romantic engagement, a tough conversation, etc.).
Now, let that inner critic show its face, and see what qualities it has. Is there a specific face? Is it an outline or a full image? What is the quality of its voice? What kind of language does it use? How do you experience this being, and what is its relationship to you in terms of physicality and proximity?
Once you’ve made a study of this entity, turn it away from you and imagine that it is spewing its hateful rhetoric at a little kid. Really commit to this imagery of your inner critic berating a small child—hear its words and take in the innocence of the child.
If you were watching someone tell a six-year-old that he was no good and would never amount to anything, how would you feel? What would you do?
Really consider this scenario: if a child were being verbally attacked by someone, you’d be outraged! You’d step in immediately to intervene on the child’s behalf.
That intrinsic need to stand up in defense of the downtrodden is a powerful urge in all of us, and it is this inborn warrior that we need to access whenever our inner critic comes to call.
Now, bring that inner critic back into your mind and turn it back toward yourself. Let it begin its tirade of insults, and then call it out for the spiteful monster that it is. Hold out your hands and say out loud, “Hold on a minute! Don’t talk to him/her that way! You can be scared or angry or upset—that’s fine—but no one talks to him/her that way.”
For the first few times that you engage in this exercise, you should really confront your inner critic out loud. Once you’ve engrained that strength into your self-confidence, you can do it internally whenever you see it coming into view.
Another trick that I like to use (in combination with accessing our own power through confrontation) is to symbolically take the inner critic’s power away.
Take a moment and close your eyes. Now, bring your inner critic back into your mind’s eye and imagine it getting smaller and smaller; quieter and quieter; further and further away. Imagine that it no longer has the ability to touch or affect you. If it helps, you can imagine it shrinking into a petulant toddler in the middle of a tantrum.
Now, is THAT the voice you’re giving all of your power to? Is that the sad little minion that you’re going to allow to control your life?
If you’re really going to take control of your life, then you must take responsibility as the captain of your own ship. You must claim your strength, stand tall, and face your demons head-on with authority.
You are the one steering the ship; you are in charge; you determine the direction of your life—everything else is just noise.
You have the power to defeat the oppressive, tyrannical voice in your mind. You can liberate yourself and bring your authentic truth into the world . . . and I will be here to help you whenever you need it.
Please share your thoughts and questions below. How is this practice changing your relationship with your inner critic? What imagery helps you to overcome your fear of your inner critic? How is this daily practice helping you? If you’d like to take this practice further, please visit OMOSbook.com, where you can also sign up for a 10-day FREE rapid OMOS training (normally valued at $197). This also includes an audio guide from the book in which I guide you through the practice of reclaiming your authority and reinforcing more powerful mental habits.
Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.