Inner Critic vs. Inner Coach
Your inner critic loves to talk, warning you of all the terrible consequences of everything you do. Your inner critic speaks from your past and selectively recalls only things that went wrong – when you failed that exam, when you under qualified for a job you wanted, when you didn’t get the date with the love of your life. So your inner critic tries to make your present and your future safe and problem free by wrapping you in a cocoon and persuading you to take as little action in the present as possible so that you don’t trip up. And all the negative conversations you have with your negative critic make you feel miserable and stifled in that cocoon instead of all warm cozy and safe. And that’s not the worst. Your inner critic is quite prepared to use nasty tactics to hold you back from living out your dangerous dreams for yourself. It distorts and stretches reality so that it focuses only what you can’t do or be. Your inner critic is not afraid to speak its mind and tell you you’re not good enough, you’re too fat or too stupid.
The good news is that you have an inner coach, cheering you on to have a go and celebrating your progress. The inner coach speaks from your future. That version of you who knows how it all turns out and is bursting to tell you everything is going to be just fine! Yes, you had some hard challenges along the way and even periods when you felt deeply unhappy or frustrated. But your inner coach looks back along your life and sees a great deal more to celebrate – lots of fun and growth and love and happiness. Even what you thought were catastrophes turned out to be blessings in disguise. For example, being turned down for that job you wanted may have resulted in a total career change where you discovered your true calling. And how lucky the love of your life didn’t agree to that date, because you then went on to meet the real love of your life, someone who you didn’t at the time, find remotely interesting.
The job of your inner coach is to encourage you to create a great future by taking positive action in your present. Your inner coach wants to tell you that you can trust yourself, because as long as you take positive action everything will be okay. You can work out how to deal with any false steps along the way and, instead of feeling miserable and stifled wrapped up in all that cocoon, you can feel energized and free, breathing fresh air and looking forward to your next adventure.
You may not even know that your inner coach has a voice you can trust – you may simply let your inner critic run on autopilot so that your inner coach never gets a chance to fly the plane. You can get far better results in your life if switch the roles so that your inner coach is the captain of the plane and your inner critic has a turn only in support and under strict supervision!