Taming the Negative Self-Talk

By Karen Beals | March 06, 2018

I love it when blogs write themselves. The attached video on our inner critic really needs no explaining. It demonstrates beautifully what happens to creativity when we listen to our “Inner Critic.” We ALL have that voice. We talk about this voice in our retreats and trainings at Tuthill. It’s known by several different names: “Inner Critic;” “Gremlin;” “Saboteur;” “Monkey Mind;” “Trickster.” You may even have your own name for it. It’s that voice that has us doubt ourselves. It shows up, especially, when we try something new or take steps outside of our comfort zones. Expect it to show up.

There are so many instances in my life where I caved in to that inner critic. I remember when I was about 19 and I had gone out to Colorado for the first time for a wedding. I fell in love with the mountains. To this day, Colorado is my favorite state in the U.S. I wanted to move out there and was all set to do it. My family had friends out there with whom I could have stayed. I was ready. Until I wasn’t. I listened to that voice. I can spend hours wistfully looking back with thoughts of “if only.” That doesn’t serve me.

More recently, my inner critic was absolutely blaring, along with flashing strobe lights, when we rolled out the first Tuthill Our Way retreat in November. Matthew (my fellow Tuthill coach) and I were largely responsible for creating the retreat. In addition, one of the participants had the last name of “Tuthill,” and our CEO was at the Back of the Room observing and, at times, participating. How did I get through the retreat with everything that was rolling around in my head? I wish I could say it was easy. I had to intentionally keep my focus on the participants and what I wanted for them. I also had to let go of my expectations (there is a saying that ‘expectations are pre-meditated resentments’). I needed to stay present and I had to be vulnerable. With each piece of feedback that we received on the retreat, I kept holding my breath.

We did it. I exhaled.

Where and when does your “inner critic” show up? How do you distinguish between THAT voice and the voice of your intuition or the voice of self-confidence and creativity? What happens in those moments? Start noticing what is different. What are your choices in those moments?

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