By Joshua BenAvides On Thursday, April 14 th, 2011 · 7 Comments · In , ,

“3 Simple Steps To Unleash The Power, Clarity And Wisdom Of Your Inner Critic”

Most people don’t realize this, but your Inner Critic can be a source of tremendous power and clarity. Most of the time we resist it. Sometimes it even feels like this inner critic “shouldn’t” be here.

Yes, you know what I’m talking about. It tends to come up in those exact moments where you just wish you could have total and unshakeable belief in what you’re doing or who you are.

Yet, it appears. It’s there. And believe it or not, it’s providing a service that most people (especially entrepreneurs) aren’t taking advantage of. The point of this week’s newsletter is to give you a simple, proven and repeatable process to take advantage of this incredible source of wisdom.


Unleashing Your Hidden Power

What if you could take something that has, up until now, made you feel powerless and frustrated and turn it into a source of power and clarity?

Well, before we do, let’s make an attempt to understand a little more about “who” or “what” the Critic really is and what is its role.


The Critic


The Critic tends to throw people off because of its focus on problems and failures. It operates from what is referred to as a “problem frame” or “failure frame” (in NLP).

A major problem with criticisms , according to Robert Dilts (one of the leading-edge thinkers and developers of NLP) is its use of linguistic generalizations. That simply means, it makes generalized judgements such as: ”This idea will never work” “That’s not a realistic plan” “Nobody wants what I have to offer”.

One of the challenges with generalized statements like these are that you can only agree or disagree with them. It’s either a “Yeah, you’re right” or “No, I disagree”. And that’s why criticism tends to create conflict and polarization if you try to disagree with the Critic.

What’s worst is when your Inner Critic turns from criticizing your ideas to criticizing YOU, your identity. This is the difference between saying “That idea is ridiculous” and “You are ridiculous for even having that idea.”


The Shift


A powerful and resourceful idea to always keep in mind is that criticism, like ALL OTHER BEHAVIORS, is positively intended.

The true purpose of your Inner Critic is to evaluate your output. It analyses your ideas and plans in order to find out what could go wrong or what to avoid. It tends to come through in the form of “what would happen if…[problem occurs]“statements.

In order to elicit the power of your Inner Critic we need to transmute the negative statements ( linguistically and judgmentally) into positive statements of positive intentions.

Most criticisms from your Critic usually carry a negative judgment and negative statement generally focused on what you don’t want. For example, “Avoiding confusion” and “becoming clearer and precise” are two ways of describing a similarinternal state. Different words, different focus, but same intention.

One focuses on what you want. The other focuses on what you don’t.


The First Step


So the first step is to positively reformulate your Inner Critic’s judgements/statements from a negative focus to a positive focus.

For example:

“Waste of time” is actually wanting to “Use your time and resources wisely”.

“It’s unrealistic” is wanting to “Make sure your plans are concrete and achievable”.

“Too hard” is actually wanting an “Easy and comfortable way of doing this”

“Fear of failing” is actually a “Desire to Succeed”.

Do you see how this works? The question is:

What Positive Intention Is Behind Your Inner Critic’s Statement?


Next Step


Once you’ve reformulated the negatively focused statements into positively focused statements, you next want to extract the power of this new focus and turn it into a question.

So for example:

“Waste Of Time” is wanting to “Use your time and resources wisely”. So the question becomes “How can I make sure I use my time and resources wisely?”

“It’s unrealistic” is wanting a “concrete and achievable plan”. So the question becomes “How can I make this plan more concrete and achievable?”

Doing this will refocus your attention and place you into a more resourceful and powerful position to create what you want. In business and life, this is invaluable. Because as long YOU are here, so is your wonderful Inner Critic.

We all truly have the wisdom to succeed at anything we do. We just need to learn how to make peace with our selves, integrate and align every “part”of ourselves, and become fully congruent with what we desire.


Now To Recap


Here are the 3 steps we went through above and that you can use from now on to extract the powerful and useful advice that your Inner Critic has to offer:

Step 1: Ask yourself, what is your criticism or objection?

Example: “I’ll mess up my presentation”

Step 2: What is the positive intention behind that criticism? What are you attempting to achieve through your criticism?

Example: “Make sure I communicate clearly and present confidently”

Step 3: Since that is the real intention, what is the HOW question that needs to be asked?

Example: “How can you make sure that you clearly communicate the points you want to make and present yourself confidently?”

Here’s to releasing all limitations!


PS. Thoughts? Questions? Leave your comment below and let me know what you think of this process and I’ll reply personally to your comments. Create an awesome day!


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