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  • Jennifer Hanft

POW - Silencing Your Inner Critic

Looking at POW’s list of workshops, Silencing Your Inner Critic definitely stood out to me most. Why? Because over the years I have struggled with my own inner critic, with daily doses of pessimistic outlooks, and drowning depressions. So I was more than happy to sit down, front and center, to listen to the pearls of wisdom from Ana Ontaneda, WIB Alum and former President.

We all have that nagging voice that seems to make us think twice about ourselves, our actions, and our feelings. You can’t do that because you’re too stupid. You’ll never be recognized for your work because nobody cares. You are pathetic. She’s mean, loud, and always there. She’s so persistent that sometimes you find yourself believing her, but you know what? She’s a LIAR. If you give her the power, she will make you feel miserable, unmotivated, and defeated. The key thing to remember is that YOU are in control. Figure out your pattern. When does she come out most? What does she say? Is there a trigger? If you are able to identify the underlying problems, you’ll be able to work with her and tell her to quiet down because she’s wrong.

In essence, be mindful of your thoughts. Put-downs that hinder your greatness or distort your perception are not things you want to focus on. Instead, we want to turn those thoughts into constructive criticism. Once you start changing the way you think, bringing it from a negative helpless standpoint to a more positive one, you will be able to improve yourself and shut your inner critic up.

Source: http://thedreamcatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/innercriticcomic.jpg

If there’s anything I’ve learned both in the workshop and my own experiences, it’s the following:

1. Love Yourself

The first step, before anything else, is to learn how to love yourself. Before you can love anything or anyone else, you should always put yourself first, and appreciate everything. Yes, that’s right, everything. The good, the bad, the quirks, and the flaws. Start everyday with gratitude and you’ll find that each day will only get brighter.

2. You Are Your Own Worst Enemy

It’s the ugly truth. We often judge and critique our behavior, actions, and feelings in the worst ways. In order to improve and feel better, we must learn to stop that and support ourselves in all we do. If we don’t do well, we find ways to be better. Never ridicule yourself with your faults, flaws, and weaknesses. Trust your yourself and refer back to #1 if need be.

3. Cut Out People Who Drag You Down

Remember this, don’t save a spot for someone in your life if they don’t make the effort to be part of it. You deserve better and you need to let go of people who only bring you down. Surround yourself with people who support you, who thrive on your success, and who believe in you - even if you don’t always believe in yourself.

4. Do Things That Make You Happy

Follow your heart and chase your dreams. Don’t ever let anyone else decide what path to take. You are in control and you are the only one who should pave the way to where you want to be.

5. Life Does Its Own Thing

Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned and that’s okay! We have to learn to accept the things that cannot be changed, let go of the past, and evidently move forward. Being able to adapt to the ever changing world around us will ultimately result in a happier you.

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