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  • Writer's pictureMr. Change Agent

Taming The Inner Critic Part 3

Our inner critic is full of negative thinking.

There is a saying, “If we can name it, we can tame it.” The trouble is we keep thinking the same negative thoughts over and over and they cause us to jump right into our negative response. It happens so fast that we don’t even pay attention to the root belief. That is why we are spending the time in these first three sessions to help us get in touch with what we are really believing.

Why? Because, if we can name the negative thinking we can change it. We can begin a new story. Take a look at some of the false assumptions and beliefs we can have.

There are two types of trauma that we can experience from childhood. The trauma of commission that is from something bad that happened to us that never should have happened – or the trauma of omission, that is trauma from missing something that should have happened and did not. Both traumas can produce injury to our human spirit and lead to false assumptions and beliefs. And these traumas hurt and unfortunately the events are interpreted by immature, non-rational brains of children. Therefore the emotional memories full of false assumptions and beliefs about ourselves. Over 1/2 of our population has had lingering emotions and wounded inner self-beliefs due to trauma and attachment pain.

False assumptions due to past injury or trauma

Here is the PROBLEM. The left rational part of our brain TRIES to explain WHY we had trauma. Unfortunately, the only brain we had when we were younger was the brain of an immature child. Therefore the rationale of why trauma happened to us results in DISTORTED THINKING. This results in all kinds of lies about ourselves. This distorted IMMATURE thinking creates DISTORTED EMOTIONS and prevents us from bonding like we should with others so the cycle continues.

Check off the distortions that you have wrestled with in the past.

[ ] I am broken

[ ] I don’t deserve love [ ] There is something really wrong with me

[ ] People cannot be trusted [ ] If people really knew me they would reject me

[ ] Nobody cares [ ] My sins are worse than other people’s sins

[ ] God won’t forgive me for… [ ] I don’t need anyone

[ ] God doesn’t hear me [ ] Nothing works for me

[ ] I can’t trust anyone [ ] If I let them, my feelings will overwhelm me

[ ] I am not worthy of love [ ] People don’t really care, they just fake it

[ ] People always disappoint me [ ] Nothing ever works out for me

[ ] God doesn’t answer my prayers [ ] People are mean and critical

[ ] People will disapprove of me [ ] People will try to control me

[ ] God really doesn’t love me [ ] God doesn’t care about the way I feel

[ ] Something is very wrong with m

We can also negative thinking as a result of not fulfilling our various maturity needs

Need to be lovable, to be loved unconditionally, if not I must perform and please ___ I am defective, bad, unwanted, inferior, or invalid in important respects; or that one would be unlovable to significant others if exposed. ___ I must avoid criticism, rejection, comparisons, and blame; because I am self-conscious and ashamed of my perceived flaws. ___ I must isolate myself from the rest of the world because I am different from other people not part of any group or community. ___ Excessive surrender to the control of others in order to avoid anger, retaliation, or abandonment. ___ A belief that I either have failed, will inevitably fail, or is fundamentally inadequate relative to one’s peers, in areas of achievement. ___ A belief that I am stupid, inept, untalented, ignorant, lower in status, less successful than others, etc. ___ A belief that I should be harshly punished for making mistakes. ___ A minimizing or neglecting the positive or optimistic aspects of my life.

Need to be accepted, if not I have fear of rejected, abandoned ___ An excessive focus on voluntarily meeting the needs of others at the expense of my own. ___ A need to gain approval, recognition, or attention from other people ___ A need to fit in, at the expense of developing a secure and true sense of self. ___ The avoidance of the disapproval by others, a feeling of shame, or losing control of one’s impulses. ___ A belief that I must strive to meet very high internalized standards of behavior and performance, usually to avoid criticism. ___ A pervasive, lifelong focus on the negative aspects of life (pain, death, loss, disappointment, conflict, guilt, resentment, unsolved problems, potential mistakes, betrayal, things that could go wrong, etc.)

Need to be safe, if not safe then I cannot trust, take chances or be myself as God has created me ___ Others will intentionally hurt, abuse, humiliate, cheat, lie, manipulate, or take advantage of me by either their deliberate actions or neglect. ___ Our desire for a normal degree of emotional support through nurturing care, empathy, and protection will not be adequately met by others. ___ The suppression of one’s preferences, decisions, and desires. ___ The suppression of emotional expression, especially anger. ___ A belief that my own desires, opinions, and feelings are not valid or important to others.

Need to belong, if not then I have social issues, cannot be sociable or must cling to others ___ Belief that I am unable to handle everyday responsibilities in a competent manner, without considerable help from others ___ An exaggerated fear that imminent catastrophe will strike at any time and that I will be unable to prevent it. ___ That I must have excessive emotional involvement and closeness with one or more significant others (often parents), at the expense of my individuation or normal social development.

Take a look at the belief that you checked off. What maturity needs to they belong to?

How can you go about satisfying those needs in a legitimate, healthy way?

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