THE BLOG

There She Goes Again

05/04/2015 02:47 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2016

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Have you met your Inner Critic? You know, the voice that berates you all day and night. The one who keeps telling you you're too this and too that and not this enough and not that enough.

Consider this: if you can hear her talking, who is talking and who is listening?

Ah yes, my wise colleague. 'Tis You listening to your IC as she jabbers on and on demanding your attention. IC's love attention. It feeds them and keeps them active and energetic. Attention to IC's is like oxygen to us humans.

Chances are, you react to your IC in one of three typical ways: fight with her to convince her she's wrong, agree and beat yourself up, or try your darndest to ignore her.

Here's a secret. The trick to disarming your inner critic is to acknowledge her. Not agree, disagree or debate. Simply acknowledge.

An example:
You've just had a business lunch and on the way out, while you're schmoozing the client, your IC is telling you that you "shouldn't have eaten that fettuccine. It's loaded with gluten and carbs and it's going straight to your thighs. And by the way, your skirt is tight enough on your thighs, thank you very much."

Do you:

Tell her your skirt is tight because it just came out of the dryer, darn it!
Tell her she's right. You're a loser.
Speak louder to your client until he starts looking at you funny (because you're trying to drown out your IC).
Try this:

Oh, there she goes again.
It's a simple acknowledgment of the fact that your IC is blabbing again. It is NOT recognition of WHAT she's blabbering about. The content of her blabbering is fluff. It's icky, bad for you, medicine tasting cotton candy. There's no need to identify the content at all. At all. Merely stating "Oh, there she goes again" in a calm and neutral voice is the key to disarming this internal terrorist. It's a calm way of communicating "I hear ya but you've got no power over me. I know you're just a sad and lonely critic; you're not Me."

Try it out with any IC commentary:

You're such a slow runner; everyone else will get there before you.
There she goes again.

You're so worried about how your hair will look in this humidity. God, you're vain.
There she goes again.

You didn't get that promotion because you're not smart enough.
There she goes again.

As her critiques escalate, your response stays neutral and disarming. I swear it disarms her. It takes practice and commitment to stay neutral and disengaged from her commentary; the rewards are priceless. It becomes muscle memory to simply acknowledge and move forward with whatever it is you're doing.

Suddenly your background theme changes from criticism to "Go for Greatness!" This is another neutral statement that doesn't mean you're not terrified or excited, it simply states that you're going for it. It eliminates pressure and judgment and let's you, well, Go for it!