Feb 102016

I love you graffitti

How’s your self-love level? If you’ve struggled to love and approve of yourself, chances are you’ve created a list of personal qualities  you like, love or approve of.  They may be physical: eyes, smile, height, weight, physical conditioning. Or, perhaps they’re spiritual or emotional qualities that influence the way you move through the world. It’s easy to love your loyalty, your compassion, or your enthusiasm, but what about the rest of you? What about your talent? Your writing or other creative endeavors?

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Sometimes making (or even reading) those lists can make us cringe, bringing up concerns about being “stuck up,” selfish, or self-centered. Those thoughts can make it difficult to stay enthusiastic about your list… especially the ones that tell us we’re imposters or talentless hacks. That’s when we really need to send some love to that inner editor.

What is healthy self-love? I think it requires a level of honesty and humility that allows us to see and accept our positive traits and the ones we don’t enjoy so much. We’ve learned that some of our yuckier traits can be an invitation to grow and change, an idea that works pretty well… until we bump into that critical voice inside. You know, the one that tells us we’re somehow less than others? The Inner Critic. The Inner Editor. The Bully in Your Brain. Yeah. That one.

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That’s when we start zooming around the web, reading up on the most popular Inner Critic management techniques. You find coach after coach, author after author offering tips and tactics to silence that inner voice. Get rid of it, kill it off, once and for all.

And, if you’ve followed that advice, you’ve probably had yet another interesting discovery: with most those strategies is, if they work at all, it’s not for long, is it? Efforts to silence the Inner Critic simply bring it back, stronger than it was before.

So what’s the answer? What does it take to get that voice to behave? Love. Unconditional love and radical self-acceptance. It’s true. As much as that naggy voice doesn’t feel good? It’s an important part of us, an inner warning system. To get to a comfortable level of self-love and self-acceptance means we’ve got to find a way to love that voice, too.

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Andrea Patten has managed to love her inner editor long enough to publish  The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace With the Noise in Your Head a little book full of big ideas about how — and why — you can learn to love “that voice.”   The Inner Critic Advantage is now available on Amazon.




 February 10, 2016  Posted by  E, Happiness, Inner Critic, Thinking  Add comments

  15 Responses to “Love and…. Your Inner Critic???”

  1. Love your message to love ALL of who we are, Andrea, including our inner critic. Such an important practice!

  2. Yup yup yup! When I can love her, that judgy harpy nag, then my relationship to life and each breath is so much better. Same with the state of my health. When I can love this moment and the next despite pain and frailty, woohoo, watch out! I love this and the stand you take and how you keep expanding upon it. Go you!

  3. Reframing our inner critic as a friend with information is useful because it takes the power away from it. I like to notice what my inner critic is saying and see where I learned that and then choose whether that statement is useful for me to continue to tell myself. Nurturing myself is my path to self-love and as others have said is very healing!

  4. It’s a life long journey, defeating the inner critic. It always seems to find something! Self love truly is the way to win time and time again. I see it as allowing myself to be where I am, without judgment. Great post!! xoxo

  5. Great post – the inner critic never goes away…it’s just about how to handle it and not buy into it being real.

  6. This is a great companion piece to my rereading and restudying The Four Agreements. Thank you, Andrea, for bringing the self-loving truth to my morning.

  7. I love your work and I love this post Andrea! We have to learn to channel that energy and use it for us rather than against us! xo, Reba

  8. My inner critic needs a carrot every once in a while to just calm down. When it comes up, I tell myself “I appreciate your opinion, but I’ll do what feels good to my heart instead.”…and bam it stops. Have been doing it for years now. 🙂

  9. That’s right Andrea… love yourself enough to stop paying attention to those voices. Great article!

  10. The biggest thing, for me, has always been this idea that a little bit of well placed self-love does not make me a narcissist. Having dealt with quite a few narc in my life, who all spend half of their time trying to convince the people they abuse that they abuse that they are innocent, but instead their abusees are the real problem, it is easy for my mind to slip and question “am I acting like a total narc right now?” My logical brain says ‘no, I still have empathy–there is an appropriate amount of self-love that is required to be a functioning human-being’. But it is a struggle, and I see it as a huge obstacle in me embracing everything in my professional life fully.
    Thanks for the post!

  11. I love the idea that your inner critic may, in fact, be a part of your intuitive knowing…if you’re willing to listen to her with an open-mind, let her have her say, consider her warnings and any adjustments you might realize are healthy, then thank her and move on without getting bogged down into a cycle of self-deprecation. Great post, Andrea!

  12. Andrea, I agree Self-Love is key to our well-being. Love is the Universal healing suave.

  13. As much as I try, my inner critic keeps beating me up at times! Reading your book for some tips on learning from her. Not getting rid of her, but making her a little more quiet!

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