© 2013 Doris Helge, Ph.D.
Does your inner critic work overtime during the holiday season? Explore the warning signs below to discover if you’re experiencing an Inner Critic Holiday Attack.
CONCERN ABOUT FAMILY HOLIDAY EVENTS
ANXIETY ABOUT PROFESSIONAL HOLIDAY EVENTS
“SHOULDING” ON YOURSELF
STRESS OR SELF-DOUBT ABOUT GIFT BUYING
HOW IS YOUR INNER CRITIC ATTACKING YOU?
Which of the above questions created the strongest dread, anxiety or even a knot in the pit of your gut? Do you see how our expectations and “shoulds” invite our inner critics to taunt us? Our insecurities and the ways we drag the past into the present encourage our inner critics to blast us with fear-driven comments like:
TURN HOLIDAY STRESS INTO FUN AND RELAXATION
Your holidays don’t have to wind-up your worrywart and stress you nonstop. Would you prefer joyful, relaxing holidays and being loved, supported and respected for being Your Authentic Self? Discover how to set boundaries and meet your needs so you can contribute your special INNER gifts and talents in an authentic way. If you’re ready to replace fear, insecurity, stress and self-doubt with greater confidence, joy and success during the holiday season, enjoy the proven tips below.
Set and Maintain Boundaries
Your inner critic has convinced many of you that setting boundaries will require being rude. During the perfectionistic push to achieve “the perfect holiday,” most people forget that healthy boundaries benefit everyone concerned. All of us need to know where we stand with each other and how we define acceptable behavior. If you’re honest about your needs, I’ll respect you. I’ll also trust that you’ll be honest about other parts of our relationship. Your truthfulness will create authentic interactions. Instead of stumbling around, trying to ignore a bloated elephant lying in the living room, we’ll connect at a core level, even when we disagree.
Holiday reminder: Establish your Not-to-do list. Do not agree to carry more than your share of the holiday load. If you agree or are required to be around someone whose behavior makes you cringe like you’re hearing fingers scratch a chalkboard, calm your inner critic immediately. My clients set a firm intention like: “I’ll stay for ___ minutes and give this person my full attention. Then I’ll stand my ground and politely depart / go into another room / take a walk, etc.” These clients tell me their inner critic never has an opportunity to hammer them with nasty comments because they’ve owned their power to manage their own lives.
Discover the Benefits of Strengths-Based Language
When your inner critic’s putdowns deplete your confidence and self-esteem and escalate your anxiety, notice the power of small shifts in your self-talk. Examples:
Reduce Your Stress With Humor
Most of us act like we have delight-deficiency disorder during the season of joy. Since laughter dramatically decreases stress, remind yourself to chuckle at the ways we adults have conditioned ourselves to scurry around with furrowed brows as if Santa were judging our performance nonstop.
Your inner critic will calm down when you say “No thank you” to perfectionism. Just remind yourself, “None of us will ever be perfect. Being perfect would be so boring!”
Talk it Out
Express your needs to other people instead of expecting them to mind-read your stress and become a fairy godmother. Since altruism feeds the giver even more than the receiver, you may be surprised when people you would never have expected to help you volunteer to lift your heavy load.
Please remember: When you say, “I need for you to help me _____” you’re saying, “I’m worthy of assistance.” You’ll feel empowered. Your inner critic’s negative self-talk will shift from “My needs don’t matter” to “I deserve help, too.”
Use Your Intuition to Stop “Shoulding” on Yourself
When you hear self-talk peppered with “I should,” immediately stop and ask yourself:
If you’re unclear how to access your intuition when your inner critic attacks, read the related section of the book, “Conquer Your Inner Critic.” This tool is so important because your intuition will uncover the illusions your inner critic is trying to convince you are true.
Soothe Yourself with Self-Care
Constantly burning the candle at both ends guarantees that you’ll become crabby or ill. If you don’t want to sniffle through a chunk of your holiday season, get your Zzzzzzs. If you can’t find time to get a massage or take a walk, sit quietly for just a few minutes and imagine that you’re totally relaxed. Since your mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what you imagine, you can easily flood your body and spirit with blissful feelings of relaxation. You’ll then enjoy a calm, confidence that will melt your inner critic’s flame like cold water on a fire.
You can also elevate your mood with aromatherapy when you’re busy. Since lavender calms and bergamot stimulates the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, both of these can shrink your inner critic to a teeny, tiny voice you can hardly hear.
Boost Your Self-Compassion and Self-Acceptance
Whether you’re worried about personal or professional holiday events and gift giving, it’s doubtful anyone else will judge you as harshly as you judge yourself. My clients are always amazed to discover, as soon as they make peace with their inner critic and stop judging themselves, the people whose criticism they most feared, including family, bosses, coworkers, parents, partners, children and clients, stopped hurling negative comments.
If self-acceptance, relationships or listening to your inner voice challenge you, your inner critic will continue to plague you. Read the bestselling book, “Conquer Your Inner Critic.” Hire a certified coach to help you transform your inner critic into an inner cheerleader. You’ll be so thrilled when other people radiate your bold new level of self-love back to you.
© 2013. Excerpted with permission from the Bestselling Book, “Conquer Your Inner Critic” by Doris Helge, Ph.D., named “One of the Top Ten Coaches in America.” With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Doris has a proven track record of helping you Create Your New Life Story. Download your free ebooks and see helpful videos at www.InnerCriticSolutions.com.