Understanding and loving our inner critics

Tired of the Inner CriticI’ve done a few pages and blogs about our inner critic which focus on standing up to the old recordings in my head. Today I want to focus on understanding and loving our inner critics.

We all have that voice inside our heads that tell us how crappy our work is or that we aren’t doing enough. What if that part of us is trying to protect us from getting hurt and not just judging us? That part of me tries to protect me from criticism by telling me to keep busy and not to trust my authentic self. It want me to conform instead of being a leader because it was born from the insecurities of someone close to me.

My purpose isn’t to place blame on the person who spawned this part of me who is scared of making mistakes, but to help me understand this part of me. It’s very easy to except those voices (that are programmed by others) and not go deeper into understanding why/how they came to be. Now that I have identified my inner critic, spent time with it, and went deeper to understand it, I can say it’s hold on me is almost gone.

Altered BookWhat seems scary or dark inside you are parts that haven’t experienced unconditional love. My inner critic was helped into being from a person that didn’t really have a secure loving childhood. They learned that the world has rigid rules and they were blamed for many things. The only way to gain control in their life was to control others so they wouldn’t be challenged. It came out as angry authority and that caused me to be scared most of the time.


I did try to be what “good” was, but I have a strong desire to be authentic – always have and that got me into a lot of trouble growing up. This was a perfect environment to experience the life lesson of not feeling like I’m enough. This seems to appear in many people’s lives in one way or another. We have to get to the point in knowing that we are enough but were living with those who were struggling with this deep hurt.

image0I have learned along the way that most personality issues stem from not loving ourselves. There are so many messages in our society today that basically say – don’t value yourself, instead value the opinions of others. Putting other people first seems noble, but it’s just the way we are programed.

How are we really going to know how to love others if we don’t practice on ourselves first?

inner critic love letterToday I wrote my inner critic a love letter. I know it’s just trying to keep me from getting in trouble/hurt. I made it to protect me when I was little so now I’m releasing this part of me.

I thanked that part of me for doing all it could to help me conform, be a people pleaser, and a perfectionist. I don’t need it any more because I am supposed to be a rebel no matter what that brings.

Can you start practicing understanding where your demanding inner critic comes from? Don’t go inside with the mindset of blame, just loving understanding. Write your critical parts love letters when you are ready – it took me years to get here.

With much love, Cathy

4 Comments on “Understanding and loving our inner critics

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice to just purge all the bad from our past and only have the good. We would possibly be less critical of ourselves, but at the same time without the pain we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the good. Great post! Love your journal backgrounds and pages.

    • I’ve come to the realization that I am not the person I was yesterday (or even a minute ago). This has calmed my urge to feel shame about my past. We all do the best we can and I’m getting better at practicing self compassion. It would be so much easier to erase the icky from our past so we wouldn’t have to work at loving ourselves.

  2. Amazing artwork and a powerful post! Wonderful advice to all of us that judge and criticize ourselves harshly.

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