Quieting the Inner Critic

Me: I’m feeling a bit anxious this morning.

Brutus: You’re so stupid. You will never make this work. You are setting yourself up to fail. You are a mess. You are so disorganized. You have no idea what you are doing. You are going to embarrass yourself and your entire family. You can’t trust yourself or your crazy ideas.

Me: Oh….ok. I guess I’ll just sleep.

Imagine saying these things to your kid. Your best friend. Your lover.

Imagine how you would feel if someone said these things to you.

They are words worth a prison sentence for cruelty and at best are dream crushing.

And yet, this is how I was talking to myself in my own head this morning.

Why do I do this? Years of therapy and countless conversations with friends, and I know that these words are the fear and insecurity of my Inner Asshole or IA (term coined by Jennifer Pastiloff in her book On Being Human. Read this book, it is brilliant and moving and so very smart.)

My IA’s name is Brutus. Brutus keeps me safe from following my dreams. He protects me from making mistakes. He makes sure that I don’t stretch too far and that I don’t disappoint myself. Brutus is big, mean and very loud. He’s a bully of the highest order and he’s very convincing and persuasive.

I created Brutus at a very young age to protect myself. He is a part of me. A part that I accept and acknowledge..

Today, instead of going back to bed, I had a different response to Brutus.

Me: Hi Brut, I see you. I know that you are there to keep me safe from harm and disappointment. I know, deep down in your grisly heart, you want to protect me. But my darling, you need to sit down and breathe. Have a cup of tea. Meditate. Whatever you do, just be very, very quiet. Because today, sweetheart, I am going to kill it. I am going to rock this day. I am going to show up and work hard and be real. Today, I am going to ignore your warnings and be brave. I am going to try new things and move outside my comfort zone. I reject your warning and your methodology for talking to me with such vitriol. I reject the premise that I am not enough. Today, I am going to ignore you. I’m choosing to be brave.

What do you call your Inner Asshole? How to you tell him/her to sit down and shut up? I’d love to hear your strategies!

If you need help quieting your Inner Asshole, reach out. I’m here to help and serve.