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Chapter Three - Introduction to my Inner Critic

One thing that always tends to get on my nerves is when I hear people talk about defeating, silencing, bashing their inner critic. It conjures up images for me about going to war with a part of yourself. It’s a part of yourself. And what I have learned while exploring Internal Family Systems where there is a belief that the mind is naturally multiple and that is a good thing. All parts are welcome. And that inner critic part is there to keep you from physical and emotional harm, from embarrassment, humiliation...

Whilst it is recognised that the inner critic is there for a reason, it does stop me doing things that I should be doing. So I need to learn how to work with that inner voice, not fight it.

It wants to keep me safe,

  • Being too successful

  • Being too visible

  • Being too much for people that they will not like you

My inner critic is people-pleasing, rude, judgmental, ingratiating and fearful. I’m so glad that people can’t hear what goes on inside my head!

I’ve named her Mrs Norris (Filch’s cat in Harry Potter), as she’s always lurking and sneaks up when I am about to do something scary. She’s mean and rude.

There have been some benefits of having Mrs Norris. She’s been by my side while I’ve been a good student and got all my qualifications and to become a chartered psychologist. She keeps me on the unsustainable perfectionist and people pleasing wheel, so I overly polish everything and keep my opinions to myself.

She’s kept me safe. She’s kept me small. She’s kept me silent.

I am looking forward to learning more about how I can work with Mrs Norris and learn how to help others better with their inner critics.

Imagine what the world would look like if more awesome humans were playing bigger.

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