I know plenty of people who struggle with meditation. They’ll say something like it doesn’t interest them, they can’t sit still, or they gave it a go and it didn’t work.
It might even be true.
But for many people, they don’t like coming face-to-face with that voice inside your mind. You know the one I mean – the one that whispers horrible things to you about your looks, talents, successes, failures, prospects and worthiness to keep breathing.
The sorts of things you’d never say to another person, even your worst enemy.
It’s always there, anticipating your mistakes, just waiting for the chance to laugh at you.
So if this voice, or the deeper well of anxiety and insecurity it comes from, won’t leave you alone, then it’s time to take control.
But you don’t gain control by fighting it.
Think of this inner critic like a neighbouring kingdom… with an enormous army. Much stronger than yours. If you fight it head on, not only will it not work, but you’ll hand it even more real estate and power.
How would you fight such an adversary?
With kindness and curiosity.
Don’t think of these as soft. It takes real strength to say, with full kindness, “really? I don’t think that’s true – what makes you so sure?”
Especially to someone attacking you, and even if that someone is you.
These can give you control over the volume… or maybe its air supply. If you’re patient, you can starve it out.
But you’re right to not want to settle for that.
After all, I bet it’s been hassling you for a long, long time. Driving it from its home – your head – is too good for it.
It’s about time it compensated you for it.
Why shouldn’t it? Should this, the worst tenant of all time, be allowed to live anywhere rent-free? Especially some real estate as valuable as your noggin?
Maybe it’s time you demand your inner critic starts paying its share. And not just paying rent from now on, either. It owes you plenty of backpay, not to mention all the damages it needs to cover.
There’s no need to evict it. Show it mercy, bring it into line and put it to work.
Because this voice sure is creative. It used to have fun concocting the worst-case scenarios for you.
So use that creativity. Make it devise best-case scenarios instead… with a plan to get there.
And you know it’s persistent, so use that too.
If it wants to keep scrutinising your life, let it find the ways you’re doing well. Allow it to offer constructive suggestions for improvement.
Heck, you can put a leash on the inner critic and walk it round the block if you want.
After all, it’s yours. No one else can tell you what to do with it, not even that voice.
Silencing it frees up a surprising amount of mental resources. That alone makes you feel smarter, faster, cleaner and happier. When you turn those resources to your own needs, you feel even better.
You can begin that simple self-improvement technique now.
And enjoy its benefits for the rest of your life.
If you really want to take your mind to new places? To improve more you dreamed possible?
You might want to read about this mind training program: