Friend of E2W Angy Tsafos - Handling Your Inner Critic
Katie.Dix / 30 Jun 2020
About Angy Tsafos
Having studied Business and IT, I started my career in professional services and proceeded to spend many years working as a successful consultant in Banking. This included risk management, business analysis, program management, managing teams etc...All these years helped shape and define me and really led me to where I am today. The journey was enriching but not always easy.
After having my daughter, I thought long and hard about my career as I felt that there was something missing. I decided to spend my time away from her doing something that truly inspired me. Supporting other women through their challenges so that they can thrive is a passion that I no longer wanted to push aside.
Angy is now a mindset and life coach as well as an energy healer at The NET Life . She is really passionate about helping women believe in themselves and lead a positive life away from stress, anxiety, self-doubt, self-criticism and people pleasing.
Her focus is to nurture and empower women to love and trust themselves so that they can operate from a place that is steeped in their values and feel worthy. Her deepest wish is for her clients to have the confidence to own their inner power and to recognise that they have all it takes to lead the life they aspire to.
Handling Your Inner Critic
We have all at one point or another been subjected to our inner critic. She has the bad habit of popping up every time we are doubting ourselves, making mistakes, feeling a bit low or outside of our comfort zone. She is the faithful companion that we wish we didn’t have. Believe it or not our inner critic is actually well meaning. She is really there to protect us from getting hurt. Unfortunately if we do listen to it along the way, our inner critic will keep us small by ensuring that we are always playing safe and preventing us from challenging ourselves and embracing new experiences.
Recognise that your inner critic is there
The first step is to recognise that your inner critic is here and that she is the one talking to you, this is not the real you. I have found it really useful to give it a name as it really helps me see my inner critic as someone who loves telling stories/porky pies and I have no qualms in putting her back in her place. I have called my inner critic “Mildred” and funnily enough I found out that a few other women used the same name for their inner mean girl at an event that I attended last year. Apologies if your name is Mildred, it’s really nothing personal.
So when Mildred starts listing all the things that I did wrong or would not be able to do, I greet her and thank her for caring about me and then I promptly ask her to shut up and go sit in the corner.
Proceed to treat yourself with kindness. If this doesn’t some easily to you, then imagine that your best friend or your child came to you and shared these thoughts with you. What would you say to them to lift them up and support them? What words of encouragement do you need to hear right now? Don’t hesitate to tell yourself these words. Trust me it gets easier the more you practise this.
Reframe the negative voice
Change Mildred’s negative comments into something positive. For example if your inner critic has said “You don’t know what you are doing. You are such an idiot. just give up already”, change it to “I have never done this before, so it’s ok that it’s taking me longer to complete. I am learning and I am doing the best I can. It will get better. I can do this.” . You can change it to a shorter affirmation that you can repeat to yourself until you feel better. I personally love affirmations and I use them all the time when I need a boost.
Ignore and distract yourself
Do not act on what your inner critic tells you to do. Their advice is very rarely the right one to take. So ignore it and distract yourself by doing something else (preferably something you enjoy doing) or focus on the task at hand by being mindful. For example notice the colours around you, pay attention to how your body feels, how your legs feel against your seat, really listen to the voice of the person talking it you, notice the colour of their eyes etc. This is all about breaking the flow of negative comments that Mildred has to share.
These are tips aimed at helping you tackle your inner critic quickly when they show up. It will help you respond to it but not eliminate it out of your life forever. Remember that your inner critic will always be present in some way or another just because it is trying to keep you safe in the only way it knows how to. If you do pay attention to what your inner critic tells you over a period of time, you may however notice a theme indicating that there is a deeper mindset challenge to overcome. For example, analysing our inner critic can sometimes help us identify perfectionism, fear of change, people pleasing habits etc. When this happens, you may need to dig deeper to really get to the core of what is troubling you in order to address it appropriately. Tackling your inner critic does take time and effort. It’s all about constantly being aware so that you can apply the techniques you have learnt. Practise makes perfect – so keep going even when it feels tough!
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