What??? Am I really suggesting that your Critical Inner Judge can be a friend instead of a foe? For many, the Inner Judge is a troublesome part of self who launches inner attacks that make you feel ashamed, guilty or deficient in some way.
So, how could that critical angry-sounding Inner Judge possibly become a friend? Wait until you hear Sophie’s story!
Sophie, a coaching client was in the middle of learning and practicing The 8 Key Abilities of Extraordinary Selves; she had been wrestling with her own Inner Judge.
Extraordinary Selves are self-actualizers who live in a world of continual internal satisfaction and outer success. Do you want to be an Extraordinary Self? Sophie did.
Over the years, Sophie had become a perfectionist living in fear of her Critical Inner Judge and its attacks. What bad feelings she had when it attacked! She became a perfectionist to avoid bad feelings when everything didn’t go just right.
Sophie complained about her Critical Inner Judge and the terrible feelings it brought: She never felt good enough. Her Inner Judge even cursed at her when she made a mistake.
On her new path of transformation to her “Extraordinary Self,” Sophie identified a very Limiting Belief she had been holding. She believed:
If she could be perfect enough, her Inner Judge would stop attacking and criticizing her with harsh inner language.
Of course, no matter how perfect she became, she still feared making another mistake; she stressed over needing to reach another level of excellence to avoid feeling bad. She never felt good enough.
That “Self-Defeating Belief” generated lots of opportunity for more self-attacks! No matter how hard she worked, bad feelings still surfaced.
Sophie wanted her Critical Inner Judge to disappear so she could become more of her Extraordinary Self. She asked me how to do that – how to “disappear her Critical Inner Judge.”
”Over the years, thousands of people we taught in Extraordinary Self programs had learned to transform their Critical Inner Judge into a Caring Inner Coach. Sophie wanted that, too.
Here are the steps we’ve used with thousands of others (and Sophie, too.)
- First, we asked Sophie to imagine and then draw a picture of her Inner Judge, and write down the words her Inner Judge says. This step helped her to see her Inner Judge as a physical manifestation of an internal part.
- Next, during deep relaxation and visualization, we created a mental connection between Sophie and or her Inner Judge – as if they were two separate people who could talk to one another. It was just pretend, but it worked!
- Then, we took time to explain the origins of the Inner Judge. It had developed long ago, during childhood and now worked like an internal representation of the voices, language and tone of her parents when she was growing up.
In the past, the Inner Judge had developed negative ways of motivating (through pressure, guilt and shameful feelings).
Often, the Inner Judge used the same techniques our parents used to pressure and punish us when we were not living up to their expectations. In addition to negatively motivating us, the Inner Judge often held us back – meaning to protect us from possible danger, failure and hurts.
In other words, our Inner Judge became our boundary guard, motivating us forward and holding us back, all based on what was happening. Unfortunately, the Inner Judge hurt us, too. It’s methods were harsh.
We needed to teach it new and better ways to motivate!
So, we taught Sophie (and others) how to negotiate and “make a deal” with the Inner Judge – using the argument that the critical methods the judge used were often self-defeating. Those methods hurt too much and interfered too much and in many ways prevented success.
- We instructed learners to ask the Inner Judge to replace its harsh methods with a different kind of help – more compassion, support and encouragement.
The result of this internal negotiating was that the Inner Judge agreed to change. When given a new purpose and methods, it began to act like a “Caring Inner Coach.” Soon, instead of making her feel bad, Sophie’s Inner Judge began to point out what she needed to learn so that she didn’t fail and could maintain good feelings instead. She no longer needed to live in fear. She just needed to learn new ways to navigate inside and out.
This helpful, resourceful learning-focused approach created Win-Win satisfaction for both the Inner Judge/Coach and Sophie. It worked the same way for our other learners, too.
Practice is Essential
We guided Sophie (and others) through the process of transforming her Critical Inner Judge into an Inner Coach. Sophie practiced visualizing future scenarios to make sure her new Inner Judge/Coach would stay more helpful and less harmful than the old one who tortured her.
After a few weeks of practice, Sophie reported to me that she talked to her Inner Judge/Coach frequently, even several times in a day. Strange as that may seem, it worked.
Eventually, her transformed Inner Judge/Coach convinced Sophie that she did not have to be perfect after all. She was just fine. Imagine that!
Her Inner Judge/Coach began to say things like,
“Sophie, notice I am not beating you up because you made a mistake or said the wrong thing. I didn’t make you feel bad!
“Now, I’m reminding you that we are all fallible human beings. We all make mistakes. What is important is to focus on learning to not make the same mistake again. That way, you can move forward with less stress.
“You don’t have to be perfect to please your parents or even your old Critical Inner Judge. (An impossible task anyway.) You simply need to be ‘good enough’ to please yourself! You are already okay the way you are and you can learn and grow and develop where needed.”
This new change in Sophie was only one of an interlocking set of Extraordinary Self Key Abilities that when internalized, provide both inner satisfaction and outer success on a daily basis.
No longer held down by negativity, pressure, guilt and shame, her stress reactions lessened. As Sophie transformed, her relationships improved as did her business.
If you are intrigued by Sophie’s story and want your own changes, contact us or register today for one of our Extraordinary Self Transformation Programs. Our proven Programs will guide you step-by-step
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