My promise to myself for 2011 is to feel good and have more fun. This means becoming more aware of the constant chatter of my mind - and especially its criticism.
Hal & Sidra Stone, authors of Embracing Your Inner Critic have a handy checklist for helping you to identify when the Critic has take over your brain. Knowing when the Critic is afoot can help you turn down the volume on this inner voice - and get back to enjoying your life.
(I keep these posted on my file cabinet in the event of a lack attack.)
The Top Twelve Traits of the Inner Critic
1. It constricts your ability to be creative.
2. It stops you from taking risks because it makes you fear failure.
3. It views your life as a series of mistakes waiting to happen.
4. It undermines your courage to change.
5. It compares you unfavorably with others and makes you feel "less than."
6. It is terrified of being shamed and so monitors all of your behavior to avoid this.
7. It causes you to suffer from low self-esteem, and possibly depression, because it tells you that you are not good enough.
8. It can make looking at yourself in a mirror or shopping for clothes miserable because of its ability to create such a negative view of the body.
9. It can take all the fun out of life with its criticisms.
10. It makes self-improvement a compulsive chore because it bases the work on the premise that something is wrong with you.
11. It doesn't allow you to take in the good feelings that other people have toward you.
12. It makes you susceptible, and often victim, to the judgments of other people.