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Not Today

Our biggest a scourge to us all. How do we quiet its boisterous voice and remind ourselves of just how far we have truly come?

If you had to point out your biggest critic, who would it be? If you’re like most people, you answer with ‘yourself.’

And that fact is so aggravating at times. I mean, at least if it was someone else, you could let some steam off, roll your eyes, and keep it moving. But when you are your biggest critic, well, we never say, “Can you believe the nerve of my conscious and subconscious mind? Telling me I’m not good enough, should have done better, and oh yeah, that last meeting/conversation/project/fill-in-the-blank…totally cringe.”

Picture this: you have to speak in front of a crowd, and your knees are literally shaking behind the podium. Do not critique your speech and delivery to shreds. Instead, praise yourself for having the courage and temerity to write a speech in the first place, and going one step further in having the guts to actually get out of the chair to deliver it.

The internal critic is always with us, every second of every day.

How do we quiet its overbearing, boisterous ways? If you listen closely, you will notice that its voice quiets when we do something well, or are involved in activities that bring us joy, or encircle ourselves with the right type of people.

That devil of a critic—it has a very short memory. Miniscule, even. Quickly and efficiently, it erases or minimizes the accomplishments we have attained or the skills and abilities that have propelled us to where we are today. So easily we forget the hurdles large and small we have overcome, the resilience we personify when in the face of adversity, the goals and achievements we have met one by one.

Don’t let the critic wipe your hard drive.

In any given day, a myriad of activities and tasks seizes your attention. Do not let busyness steal the memory of all you are. Remind yourself of where you are now versus where you were. How your responses to triggering events have evolved. How your thought process has progressed. What you have done for others and for yourself. How much of an integral part you are to home life, family, friends, the workplace, or the overall community.

If you believed the internal critic, none of that would have been possible. None of it. Because you are not good enough, could have definitely done that better, and what were you even thinking when xyz happened?

The internal adversity is a scourge to us all.

Remind yourself of your own value and what you have accomplished.

For those of you who utilize planners, great place to start. Find a place to write down achievements or to give yourself kudos. It can be daily, weekly, or monthly, but do not put limits or definitions to what the achievements are. Yes, it could be a promotion or a successful project. But some days, getting out of bed is a herculean task. Having the strength to get out of bed when the world beats you down is an achievement of the highest order.

When the decibel of the internal critic starts to rise, flip back through and read your accomplishments. The daily wins or the monthly progress. You, my friend, are amazing!

A planner is just an idea. A jar that collects slips of handwritten notes works just as well. Or a journal or ‘There’s an app for that.’  But find a way.

Find a way to remind yourself of your value, your worth, your path, your way of facing each and every day that has come to pass. And when that infernal critic comes around, you will have a retort ready.

Not today, not today.

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