I don’t know his name

ugly inner criticI don’t even know if it’s a male or a female, but he feels male. You’ve met Annie, my inner chimp – now try meeting my inner critic.

He sits on my shoulder the whole time. Sometimes he’s quiet, but more often he’s whispering in my ear. Nasty, snide comments that wear me down. You’re useless. You’re a waste of space. You can’t do anything right. Yes, things seem ok at the moment, but just you wait. They’ll soon show you up again for what you really are. They won’t be fooled for long.

And at this point I was going to share with you some of the things he says. But I went back and deleted them. Why? Because I can’t bear them. And because I can’t bear to share them, not even to laugh at. Because deep down inside I’m afraid they’re true.

The perils of rejection as a child? Chemical imbalance? The truth? Who knows.

I guess I know what a mid-life crisis is like. It’s the point when you realise that you’re probably at least halfway through your life, achieved nothing, worth nothing, and unlikely to ever do anything worthwhile. It’s the point when you make a last-ditch effort to make a change, and deep in your heart know that you’ll never make it anyway, so it’s pointless. It’s the point when you desperately try to think of a way to make the rest of your life count for something, so that at least when you get the end of it you can say I did that.

OK, it’s time for him to go back in the box. I’m not interested in listening to him. I’m going to go back to ignoring him again, or if he gets too loud, I’ll shout back at him. I’ll treasure the moments that make me feel good, and use them to help me brush off the less pleasant moments. I’ll encourage the voice on the other shoulder, the one that tells me that I am worth the effort, that I am capable, that sometimes it is other people at fault and not me.

And I’ll ignore his whispering that the good times are just illusions. I can choose which voice I’m going to listen to, and I choose to listen to the positive voice, not the critic.

At least for today.


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1 Comment

  1. Ahhhh, so your inner critic is male too šŸ™‚



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