Within the last month or so, while teaching a class I spoke to addressing the thoughts of the self critic while practicing. I didn’t even think before I said something like, “Don’t try to push the critical thought aside, accept it and wrap it with a hug” It sounded completely cheesy as it came out, and I just smiled at my own inner critic.
Brené Brown through her writings & presentations recently introduced to me how self criticism is a way that our limbic (animal) brain protects itself from outer threats. It’s a part of the brain that we need to keep us safe and the only thing we can control is our response to it. So instead of trying to stop your inner critic, recognize that it’s trying to protect you and decide you’ll use your thinking brain to figure things out.
So what about those times that you miss this step and over react to an unreal or lower level threat? I’ve recently gained a new perspective on the difference between guilt and remorse. Guilt comes along with the idea that you’re inherently bad, punishment is needed and unfortunately it tends to lock in the negative pattern. Remorse however, comes from empathy and understands that your actions are not in align with your principals. You are more likely to change the behavior when you experience remorse. So it’s okay to have remorse that you didn’t respond to your inner critic very well.
Take a moment to evaluate your own patterns of self criticism and see if this might help you find some ease or direction. Dive deeper by practicing mindfulness meditation. You can find guided meditations on the insight app or podcasts by Tara Brach.
Wishing you more smiles and less worry.
Another yoga teacher recently responded to my Instagram post where I asked what people do to energize themselves. As a fellow introvert, she commented that she was reading Daring Greatly by the fire. I’m not sure why, but I jumped on ordering the book. It’s the first book in a long while that kept my interest intensely and really hit me in the feels. I’m still digesting everything, but am watching Youtube presentations by the author, Brené Brown, as a result. I watched one that I posted to my Facebook page where she talks about trust. When I had time, I went back and watched it again to take notes. Her translation of her research on vulnerability is providing a shift in me that I have yet to fully take in, but it’s the self evaluation I’m needing.
One of the components she talks about in how to build trust is reliability. I think it’s natural for us to think of someone else and think, yes I don’t trust them because they don’t do what they say they’ll do. However, Brené excellently spins each concept of trust back to oneself. After all, without the ability to trust ourselves, how can we love ourselves. Without self love, how can we expect others to love us. So, can you trust yourself to be reliable? Do you do what you say you’re going to do over and over and over again? Not for others, but for yourself. I don’t. I fail miserably at this. I say I’m going to practice yoga and meditate more often. I say I’m going to start swimming, play on my Indo board….I say I’m going to start blogging regularly. I say, I say, I say. I never looked at this as being reliable to myself. I’m sure many of you can relate. We’re available and reliable to others, but not to ourselves. I don’t know how long the road will be to change this, but I definitely want to build trust in myself so I can enhance my relationships in my life and improve my self love and compassion.
Please share your struggles and successes with being self reliable. We would love to learn and grow together.
May you have less worries and more smiles. (I say this at the end of every class I teach and I mean it sincerely every time)