I've spent a lot of time, since finally learning the skill of self-compassion during My Year of TED, trying to get to know her better and find a way that we can work together. I think I might have mentioned that I did some shadow work with her a little earlier this year, which was a fantastic process.
The thing is that our inner critic has our best interests at heart! As hard as it is to believe, this voice thinks it is doing something positive for us - it just has a weird way of doing it; or does it?
Randy Pausch's lecture
I was making jewellery today, so I took some time out to listen to some TED Talks, and to re-listen to Randy Pausch's Really achieving your childhood dreams lecture. It's been a number of years since I first listened to this talk, and it still makes me cry - I dare anyone to listen to this talk and not tear up a little bit.
Before I go any further, if you have not watched this talk then please consider putting it on your "things I must watch" list. It is an hour and sixteen minutes long, but you will not regret it. He gives you the back story at the beginning; I won't go into any more details.
Anyway, I've watched this talk two and a half times previously, but for some reason this bit leapt out at me today:
When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care.It leapt out at me today because I thought about the inner critic - the role mine thought she was playing, which is likely to be the same role that yours is playing. She thought that being critical was the best way to keep me on track, and to make sure that I didn't become too confident (read arrogant).
Sure you have critics in your life that are not being helpful, their commentary comes from a place of envy and fear - but what if you were to shift to consider your critics as people who care enough to speak up?
When you think of it this way, does it alter the way you view your inner critic, and the external critics in your life? When you realise that criticism is how they are showing that they care about you, and that they still think you're worth helping, does it change that relationship at all? Just intrigued to see if this quote speaks to anyone else too.