Some time ago I came across a profound quote that went something like this: no one person speaks harsher words to myself than I do.
It resonated with me. I mean, really resonated. If there was ever a quote that I could associate with, it would be that one. I didn’t like it one bit. Why is that?
Good question. So I prayed and meditated about it…
For starters, I used to believe those lies my harsh inner critic (HIC) told. Let’s call her HICk, as in hick, which, for my purposes are defined as a person who is regarded as unintelligent and provincial. Perfect for that voice!
Even though I don’t believe what HICk says anymore, she still has a sneaky, subtle way. She tries to assert herself in many, if not all, the situations I find myself in. It’s like she gets off on torture.
Along my journey, I have figured out a few tricks to nix the HICk and here are some I want to share:
- It helps to remember that we are all in the same boat. Every single one of us has a HICk. Not one soul is immune. There is nothing wrong with you.
- Take note of what is happening. Are you trying something new or expanding your horizons? Way to go! HICk loves when we are out of our comfort zone and, if allowed, feeds off our uncertainty.
- How are you feeling? Fear is not always a bad thing. Use your fear as a guide and make peace with it. HICk hates that. There is nothing wrong with you.
- Think about how you’d speak to a friend. For example, did you say something out of character and the painstaking commentary is blowing up in your head? You wouldn’t call your BFF an idiot or a loser, right? Right! Don’t let these stray thoughts run rampant. Keep them in check.
- Are you avoiding something or numbing out? That could be your HICk holding stomping on your dreams. Pray on it. Meditate about it. Deep down, you know that God has your back and you will overcome. You trust His promises.
- Let’s say you just tanked a major assignment or project, what now? Feel it! Cry, talk, journal, exercise— do whatever you need to do— allow yourself some time to grieve. You’ve got to feel it to heal it!
- Then when you are clear-minded and level-headed, regroup and ask yourself: where did I make the mistake/s? How can I do it differently next time? What did I learn? How can I grow from this? Do not let HICk back into this conversation. She will try.
- Bottom line: HICk just needs you to take control. And you can keep her contained with your own powerful thoughts. You can stop her dead in her tracks and say enough!
Another thing, and this is the most important, the closer I get to God, the more able I am to drown out HICk. God gives me strength and confidence. Always. He wants us to love ourselves and be our own cheerleader so we can shine and live out our best lives.