How to Get Those Haters to Help You Grow

Madeline Johnson discussing the benefits of listening to your inner critic to help you grow.

We all have a voice in our head that is critical, judgmental, and disapproving of ourselves. Rarely does it ever champion you onward or applaud you for good work. Typically it sounds like the voice of one of your biggest haters.
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Now, that voice can be soft and it can be loud and sometimes we choose not to listen.  We may hear it in specific situations (triggers) or with specific people. Sometimes, however, that inner voice is constantly giving us unsolicited commentary and incessant chatter, becoming part of what Buddhists would call our Monkey Mind.
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When you begin to listen to your inner critic what you will hear is a voice with messages composed of ideas, beliefs, emotions, and thoughts that try to manage your experience by telling you when we’re doing something right or wrong.
But this morning, I had an idea. It was inspired by a book that I am reading, Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul.
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The inner critic is acquired and internalized as young children and as we grow, and it continues to develop throughout our lives. Read more on GoodTherapy.org.
My idea involved listening to my inner critic because I wondered if she has some valuable things to share. Not everything, but maybe some pearls of wisdom to help me grow.
For example –
Voice of my inner critic (sometimes my mother, father or grandmother):
You are rushing and your work is so sloppy.
My interpretation:    Maybe I should slow down and pay attention to the details?
My inner critic (my daughter Aja):
Your voice is so annoying. You sound so bossy and bitchy.
Translate to:     Why don’t I slow my speech and soften my tone a bit so others are more responsive?
Inner Critic (my bat-shit crazy ex): You’re too serious and intense for people. You’re no fun.
Well, how about I lighten up a bit and stop trying to control everything around me?
Listening doesn’t mean agreeing with what the critic says all the time. Accepting it doesn’t mean taking on its criticism. Embracing it doesn’t mean believing that its judgments are fair or accurate.
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Art by @brookeshaden

Author: Madeline Johnson

I help health, fitness, nutrition and beauty businesses grow. Specifically, businesses building things to make us look and feel great, so that includes fashion, tech and spas too. I have two sites, one about marketing and brand building, which is mj.works and another UndisputedOrigin.com which I started to inspire everyone to become the very best they can be while leading more purposeful lives filled with gratitude and greatness. Both sites include studying and curating the very best experts and masters for improving performance, achieving success and living a thoughtful and intentional life. I am also obsessed with how technology can improve our health, fitness, nutrition, meditation and mindful practices while reducing stress and creating calm amidst the chaos of modern existence. Both sites are about my interest in self-discovery and personal growth.

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