Article: How to Harness Your Inner Critic

Here is another great article from Karen Young of www.heysigmund.com. The article is about how to harness your inner critic, using it to promote self-change rather than letting it tear you down. The concept Karen describes is actually quite similar to surrendering to our anxiety because anxious thinking is really just a very mean critic.

Karen gives a great example about trying to cut back on sugar. We've all been in that situation or something like it. Inevitably we slip up and have sugar when we know we shouldn't. And there's a whole conversation we have with our inner critic in that moment, things like "you'll never quit sugar" or "what's the point?" or if you're feeling particularly friendly "okay, well starting Monday...." Now if you think about it, those are some of the same types of things we say to ourselves in our anxious moments too!

Instead of barreling down that road to nowhere, Karen suggests not berating yourself about eating the sugary treat, but instead taking a moment to acknowledge what is happening - you like sweets, you're going to eat that treat, you're going to enjoy that treat, and then you're going to move on with my day. And more often than not, just taking that little bit of time to surrender and acknowledge what's happening, may make you decide not to have that sugary treat after all. The same practice of surrendering helps in those moments when our anxious brain is bombarding us with those "you can't do this" or "what if..." thoughts. Give Karen's method of having a little conversation with yourself in which you describe what is about to happen, and you may just find it helps you surrender in those anxious moments.