Human beings are designed to avoid pain. When we were cave men/women, we needed a part of our brain to alert us to danger. We needed to know that if we were picking berries and a saber tooth tiger was nearby, we needed to avoid that situation big time!
Our bodies and minds are literally hard wired to protect us from danger, by causing us to either run or fight. In today’s world, most of us are not nose to nose with tigers, thank goodness! But, the danger that is unavoidable in each and every one of our lives is emotional pain.
Emotional pain happens to every single one of us, without exception. And when we feel the unavoidable pain of conflict, disappointment, failure, and shame, our hard-wiring kicks into full gear. We want to run away from the discomfort by withdrawing or numbing, or fight it by blaming and justifying.
What most of us are not taught, is that the way to truly feel calm, centered, balanced and happy is to be willing to use our fear and pain to teach us about ourselves.
Instead, we habitually distance ourselves from the uncomfortable feelings and vulnerability. So, we reach for the wine, or the Oreos, yell at our kids, or blame our parents, spouse or someone else for causing our feelings. Often we shut down and withdraw from the very people who mean the most to us.
We can actually use our fear and pain to teach us that which we most need to heal. This is where the magic happens. This is where we can find the self love that has been so elusive. This is where we can create the truly intimate and fulfilling relationships we crave. You need to be willing to ask yourself the question, “Why am I really feeling this way? What’s this situation triggering in me?”
This is where we learn how to distinguish the autonomous voice of our Inner Critic from our true self. This is where we discover the power to transform our life. We can learn to distinguish the voice of our Inner Critic that habitually repeats faulty beliefs we developed as children, as well as the unhealthy parts of our identity that keep us disengaged from a the possibility that life has to offer. Our Inner Critics tell us that we need to overcompensate for our fear and pain by trying to fix, control or perfect life. It tells us to keep our heart closed so we don’t get hurt.
The irony of life is that while we are keeping ourselves at a safe distance, and trying to look like we have it all together, we miss what we are really craving: the deeper emotional connection with ourselves and the people we love.
Learning to distinguish the voice of our Inner Critic is the first step towards accessing this deeper connection. It takes a willingness to examine our fear and our pain. But, I promise you this: the willingness to learn how to Dethrone Your Inner Critic from her reign is the key to the life that you dreamed of.