That Darn Inner Critic

At a recent conference, standing in front of her peers, Maria had a moment of panic: she found herself wondering why she thought she could impress these people in any way; that if they only knew, she’d be exposed as a fraud.

Never mind that she’d been in practice for over 40 years and was well respected in her field.  In that moment, she felt like a phony, an outsider, unable to belong.

It also didn’t matter that she was mature, astute, and knew what was going on. At least, it didn’t stop the voice – the inner critic.

Our inner critic is powerful – awesomely so. Unchecked, it can and will run our lives. Even Maria’s awareness and experience couldn’t stop it.  But, that awareness did alter its power.

We all have an inner critic, but it isn’t same as being that inner critic. You might say that our inner critic is that part of us that keeps us safe. Some call it our lizard brain. It’s a pre-logic part of us that we share with all other animals. Its only function is to keep us safe. As a result, it sometimes ends up undermining us in order to protect us from shame and possible failure.

That darn inner critic isn’t bad. It isn’t something we need to get rid of. In fact, we never could – nor should we. But it is something we can learn to use in a way that works for us and for it.  Think of it as a little person who is under our protection. That little person lets us know right away when it’s feeling unsafe. When that happens, if we pay attention to it and are aware of it, we can learn to heed what it’s feeling and take action that makes it feel safe again.

Back with Maria, she reassured her inner critic by reviewing what she’d done to prepare for her talk. She’d done a lot, really knew the topic, and had something to say that she knew would interest her audience. That calmed her critic. In fact, what began as fear and anxiety suddenly turned into excitement.  That little critic of hers – in that moment – became her ally.

Self-Compassion

Quote of the Week

We are all failures- at least the best of us are.”
― J.M. Barrie

 

Announcements

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up atwww.thejoyofliving.co.

 

That Darn Inner Critic

At a recent conference, standing in front of her peers, Maria had a moment of panic: she found herself wondering why she thought she could impress these people in any way; that if they only knew, she’d be exposed as a fraud.

Never mind that she’d been in practice for over 40 years and was well respected in her field.  In that moment, she felt like a phony, an outsider, unable to belong.

It also didn’t matter that she was mature, astute, and knew what was going on. At least, it didn’t stop the voice – the inner critic.

Our inner critic is powerful – awesomely so. Unchecked, it can and will run our lives. Even Maria’s awareness and experience couldn’t stop it.  But, that awareness did alter its power.

We all have an inner critic, but it isn’t same as being that inner critic. You might say that our inner critic is that part of us that keeps us safe. Some call it our lizard brain. It’s a pre-logic part of us that we share with all other animals. Its only function is to keep us safe. As a result, it sometimes ends up undermining us in order to protect us from shame and possible failure.

That darn inner critic isn’t bad. It isn’t something we need to get rid of. In fact, we never could – nor should we. But it is something we can learn to use in a way that works for us and for it.  Think of it as a little person who is under our protection. That little person lets us know right away when it’s feeling unsafe. When that happens, if we pay attention to it and are aware of it, we can learn to heed what it’s feeling and take action that makes it feel safe again.

Back with Maria, she reassured her inner critic by reviewing what she’d done to prepare for her talk. She’d done a lot, really knew the topic, and had something to say that she knew would interest her audience. That calmed her critic. In fact, what began as fear and anxiety suddenly turned into excitement.  That little critic of hers – in that moment – became her ally.

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

 

Imperfectability

Imperfectability

The last time giving a talk, or holding a party, or hosting an event, or even simply having friends over for dinner.  Noticing one person in the room who looked disapproving, feeling you somehow failed because you didn’t gain that person’s approval – or possibly interest – even if everyone else loved it.

Those days you feel a failure because you can’t silence every critic, delight every customer, and interest every person you approach. Then when the inevitable happens – when someone misunderstands you, or has the wrong impression of you and simply won’t give you a chance – you take that on as something you failed to catch. That it’s somehow on you, and that you have the power to change it and get that person to like you.

The truth is that perceived dislike has nothing to do with you. People have their reasons for feeling dissatisfied, or disliking something or someone. The reasons are mostly emotional and personal, and if it’s directed at you, that likely means you were in their line of sight at the time.

A sensitive man just got yelled at by his mother; then you come along, strangely like his mother in some indefinable way, and he finds a reason to dislike you.  A woman you’re slightly acquainted with is regualarly bullied by her boss, and takes it out on the first person she can. You, as it happens. Or, what you have to offer simply doesn’t interest the person you want to interest, and never will.

Whoever you are and whatever you have to offer, it simply can’t interest and delight everyone.

If what you are trying to perfect isn’t giving you joy, then it’s an addiction – the addiction of imperfectibility, as defined by Seth Godin. And like every addiction, no matter how much you do it, it will never satisfy you.

So what’s the antidote? Re-focus.

Re-focus on what you truly like to do.  If that happens to be striving for perfection for its own sake, great! But if that striving is about trying to gain approval from someone who you aren’t likely to get it from, stop! Walk away. And focus on something important to your sense of joy. On something that feeds your soul.

And don’t worry about that other person. They have their own journey.

Teach girls bravery, not perfection

 

 

Quote of the Week
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
― Salvador Dali

Announcements 

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up atwww.thejoyofliving.co.

 

Imperfectability

Imperfectability

The last time giving a talk, or holding a party, or hosting an event, or even simply having friends over for dinner.  Noticing one person in the room who looked disapproving, feeling you somehow failed because you didn’t gain that person’s approval – or possibly interest – even if everyone else loved it.

Those days you feel a failure because you can’t silence every critic, delight every customer, and interest every person you approach. Then when the inevitable happens – when someone misunderstands you, or has the wrong impression of you and simply won’t give you a chance – you take that on as something you failed to catch. That it’s somehow on you, and that you have the power to change it and get that person to like you.

The truth is that perceived dislike has nothing to do with you. People have their reasons for feeling dissatisfied, or disliking something or someone. The reasons are mostly emotional and personal, and if it’s directed at you, that likely means you were in their line of sight at the time.

A sensitive man just got yelled at by his mother; then you come along, strangely like his mother in some indefinable way, and he finds a reason to dislike you.  A woman you’re slightly acquainted with is regualarly bullied by her boss, and takes it out on the first person she can. You, as it happens. Or, what you have to offer simply doesn’t interest the person you want to interest, and never will.

Whoever you are and whatever you have to offer, it simply can’t interest and delight everyone.

If what you are trying to perfect isn’t giving you joy, then it’s an addiction – the addiction of imperfectibility, as defined by Seth Godin. And like every addiction, no matter how much you do it, it will never satisfy you.

So what’s the antidote? Re-focus.

Re-focus on what you truly like to do.  If that happens to be striving for perfection for its own sake, great! But if that striving is about trying to gain approval from someone who you aren’t likely to get it from, stop! Walk away. And focus on something important to your sense of joy. On something that feeds your soul.

And don’t worry about that other person. They have their own journey.

Announcements 

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

 

Plan for the worst, and expect the best

I am preparing for an event that is really important to me. It’s happening in 2 days.  I’ve been preparing for it for over a month – the script, the choreography, the support, the presentation, the materials. And lately also the mess-ups and last-minute re-arrangements.

Today, a few things happened that forced me to make different arrangements, and that put my schedule off.  One thing I’ve noticed and others have pointed out to me is that I habitually spend the few days before an event running around non-stop, until I fall into bed at around 3am.

Every time! No matter how much I’m prepared, I end up in a panic the 2 or 3 days before the long-planned event.

Why?

Because I lose perspective. I get wound up. I worry about anything I might have missed and that will surely show up and create a crisis. I plan for the worst, and expect the worst.  And, all I have to do to transform the built-up self-imposed stress into confident relaxation and preparedness is change the second part of that sentence:

Plan for the worst, and expect the best.

What reality are you creating for yourself?

 

Quote of the Week

Know that everything is in perfect order whether you understand it or not.”
― Valery Satterwhite

Announcement

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up atwww.thejoyofliving.co.

Plan for the worst, and expect the best

I am preparing for an event that is really important to me. It’s happening in 2 days.  I’ve been preparing for it for over a month – the script, the choreography, the support, the presentation, the materials. And lately also the mess-ups and last-minute re-arrangements.

Today, a few things happened that forced me to make different arrangements, and that put my schedule off.  One thing I’ve noticed and others have pointed out to me is that I habitually spend the few days before an event running around non-stop, until I fall into bed at around 3am.

Every time! No matter how much I’m prepared, I end up in a panic the 2 or 3 days before the long-planned event.

Why?

Because I lose perspective. I get wound up. I worry about anything I might have missed and that will surely show up and create a crisis. I plan for the worst, and expect the worst.  And, all I have to do to transform the built-up self-imposed stress into confident relaxation and preparedness is change the second part of that sentence:

Plan for the worst, and expect the best.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Would you do it tomorrow?

tomorrow

 

I belong to a few organizations that require lots of volunteer work. For some years, I wondered if I had a neon sign on my forehead saying “Ask her!” . Then I slowly came to realize that that neon sign was internal, always saying “Yes” when my schedule was already full. Wanting to be liked that badly.

Then, I came up with a plan of action to turn this unproductive behavior around.  First, I let myself sit in awareness of the number of times I do this daily. I learned how to delay my “Yes” response long enough to give myself a chance to say “No”.

It worked many times, but certainly not all the time.  Then I heard an interview with Laura Vanderkam, author of Off the Clock. Ms. Vanderkam is a time management expert, who often found herself doing the same thing. What she noticed is that it’s a lot easier to say “Yes” to something that’s months away, because it’s almost as if we believe that event won’t really happen, or that it will happen with someone other than ourselves.  Then the day turns up, and we wonder why we ever agreed to it.

Her strategy? Ask yourself “Would I do this tomorrow?” Instead of thinking and believing that the event is something you can put out of your mind, imagine how you’ll feel about it if you were suddenly teleported to the day before the event.

How would you feel? I can think of some events I’d want to be a part of. I can think of others I would rather not. In doing this mental exercise, I realized something: those I want to be a part of are things I want to do because I want to do them; those I don’t want to be part of are things I believe would please others.

Say no to say yes

Quote of the Week

Sometimes “No” is the kindest word.

― Vironika Tugaleva

Announcements

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Would you do it tomorrow?

tomorrow

 

I belong to a few organizations that require lots of volunteer work. For some years, I wondered if I had a neon sign on my forehead saying “Ask her!” . Then I slowly came to realize that that neon sign was internal, always saying “Yes” when my schedule was already full. Wanting to be liked that badly.

Then, I came up with a plan of action to turn this unproductive behavior around.  First, I let myself sit in awareness of the number of times I do this daily. I learned how to delay my “Yes” response long enough to give myself a chance to say “No”.

It worked many times, but certainly not all the time.  Then I heard an interview with Laura Vanderkam, author of Off the Clock. Ms. Vanderkam is a time management expert, who often found herself doing the same thing. What she noticed is that it’s a lot easier to say “Yes” to something that’s months away, because it’s almost as if we believe that event won’t really happen, or that it will happen with someone other than ourselves.  Then the day turns up, and we wonder why we ever agreed to it.

Her strategy? Ask yourself “Would I do this tomorrow?” Instead of thinking and believing that the event is something you can put out of your mind, imagine how you’ll feel about it if you were suddenly teleported to the day before the event.

How would you feel? I can think of some events I’d want to be a part of. I can think of others I would rather not. In doing this mental exercise, I realized something: those I want to be a part of are things I want to do because I want to do them; those I don’t want to be part of are things I believe would please others.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters [link to latest newsletter that’s published in website ] for an sample]. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up [link to www.thejoyofliving.co/7day-meditation/ ] for my insider newsletter, click here [link to www.thejoyofliving.co/7day-meditation/ ] .  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Bringing out the best of each other

 

There are many studies available that predict a longer and happier life if you are in a contented relationship. The biggest reason, it seems, is that this kind of relationship brings out the best in us because we feel supported, safe, and valued.

I’m in a healthy, supportive and loving relationship. My partner and I support each other in a number of ways:

  • We have a genuine regard for each other. One sure indicator that a relationship is over is if one partner feels contempt for the other. That feeling of contempt means that one is no longer open to seeing their partner in an intimate, connected way. And that means the relationship is over. Mutual regard can’t be forced, but is a bottom-line necessity for a healthy relationship.
  • We are genuinely interested in each other’s point of view, whether that point of view is different from each other’s or not. We want to know and appreciate both our similarities and our differences. It’s often the differences that enrich our lives. Without that, we can’t grow.
  • We support each other’s growth and development. This means that we feel free to criticize constructively, and to challenge each other. That kind of challenging can only happen when we trust that our partner cares about us and wants the best for us.
  • We support each other’s dreams. We know what those dreams are, and we help each other achieve them, rather than judge or compare their dreams to our own.
  • We tell each other the truth. No lies, not even white ones. You know when you’re being lied to, and you can trust that your partner does too. Ultimately, telling lies – or not speaking up when you should – undermines mutual trust in one another, and will eventually destroy intimacy.

The February, 2019 issue of Psychology Today has an article titled The Michelangelo Effect that speaks of the positive impact of our intimate friends, especially our partners. Well worth a look.

What you don’t know about marriage

 

 

Quote of the Week

When someone loves you, the way they talk about you is different. You feel safe and comfortable.”
― Jess C. Scott

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters [link to latest newsletter that’s published in website ] for an sample]. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Bringing out the best of each other

 

There are many studies available that predict a longer and happier life if you are in a contented relationship. The biggest reason, it seems, is that this kind of relationship brings out the best in us because we feel supported, safe, and valued.

I’m in a healthy, supportive and loving relationship. My partner and I support each other in a number of ways:

  • We have a genuine regard for each other. One sure indicator that a relationship is over is if one partner feels contempt for the other. That feeling of contempt means that one is no longer open to seeing their partner in an intimate, connected way. And that means the relationship is over. Mutual regard can’t be forced, but is a bottom-line necessity for a healthy relationship.
  • We are genuinely interested in each other’s point of view, whether that point of view is different from each other’s or not. We want to know and appreciate both our similarities and our differences. It’s often the differences that enrich our lives. Without that, we can’t grow.
  • We support each other’s growth and development. This means that we feel free to criticize constructively, and to challenge each other. That kind of challenging can only happen when we trust that our partner cares about us and wants the best for us.
  • We support each other’s dreams. We know what those dreams are, and we help each other achieve them, rather than judge or compare their dreams to our own.
  • We tell each other the truth. No lies, not even white ones. You know when you’re being lied to, and you can trust that your partner does too. Ultimately, telling lies – or not speaking up when you should – undermines mutual trust in one another, and will eventually destroy intimacy.

The February, 2019 issue of Psychology Today has an article titled The Michelangelo Effect that speaks of the positive impact of our intimate friends, especially our partners. Well worth a look.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters [link to latest newsletter that’s published in website ] for an sample]. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .