Using Your Inner Critic to Your Advantage

Using Your Inner Critic to Your Advantage

For most of my twenties, there were so many things I didn’t want to be true about myself.

I believed I was quite unlovable, which was my excuse for not trying to be worthy of love in any way. I believed I’d always struggle financially, so I made no serious effort to earn more, to save more, or to build multiple streams of income.

I believed that life was harsh, that people didn’t like me for being skinny, kind of ugly, and not nearly as charming as everyone else, so I lived in a state of perpetual fear — I somehow expected the world to decide that I wasn’t worthy of living on this planet anymore and send me off to spend the rest of my life on the dark side of the moon.

All information indicated that I was right: the women in my life either didn’t want to be involved romantically with me or left me after a couple of months. I always struggled to earn enough to pay the bills. I didn’t have that many friends.

Life was a pain. Hell was other people. And I was but a shadow traveling through life at the speed of your average bus, sometimes a cab or an Uber.

But the most insidious thing about limiting beliefs is not that evidence points to them being true, but rather that we go out of our way to prove that they’re true.

In other words, we try our best to become the prophets of our own destiny by sabotaging our lives. We try to rig the game, not so we can win, but because we don’t want to go through the trouble of having to design and craft a self we can be proud of.

One day I realized that a man’s limit is his belief system and that I couldn’t achieve more because of all the things that I thought I was not.

Everyone, no matter their level of success in life, struggles with their inner critic.

It’s just how it is.

Most of my twenties were controlled by the debilitating beliefs that are often the side-effect of a too harsh inner critic. I was often paralyzed by fear. Wrecked by insecurity. I struggled with high-functioning depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

I had to listen to this persistent voice inside my head telling me that I wasn’t good at anything, that it wasn’t worth it to even try.

This ultimately led to me becoming so mentally and emotionally fragile that I couldn’t even look people in the eye when talking to them.

It’s a sad but melancholic truth that I had become a whisper, a shadow of a shadow.

I didn’t know how to use that negative voice to my advantage. I kept trying to silence it, but to no avail. The inner critic is there to stay, and no amount of self-help or therapy can ever make it go away. Success won’t silence the inner critic. Love won’t even turn down the volume a bit. Positive affirmations, Tony Robbins shouting greatness in your headphones, none of them can truly silence the inner critic.

This demon is here to stay.

And the truth is that you don’t want it to go away. You get rid of your demons, your angels will soon abandon you as well.

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