While it’s not something talked openly about in “polite” conversations, here’s one thing that everyone in the world has in common-the inner critic. It is found in every hard-held opinion and judgment, in every comparison, in the loud inner voice or the nearly inaudible buzz that fills up inner space. Its effect is felt on a personal level when you feel stuck or find yourself procrastinating on something really important. It’s also at the core of many interpersonal conflicts and unresolved racial, ethnic and religious/secular relations.
There is no question-how any of us experience ourselves is intimately related to the amount of internal life space the inner critic takes up! Whether you work hard to bolster your sense of worth, or carry a certain resignation that simply being enough will forever evade you, the inner critic is activated. It can’t help but affect your relationship to yourself and others, the decisions that shape your life, how you do life, and how you lead. Left to operate on its own, it exhorts a heavy price that’s ultimately paid by a scarred and deadened soul.
With such profound consequences, it presents perhaps some of our most significant opportunities to open our eyes to the truth of who we really are.
Here’s the eye-opener for those of us who focus our intentions and energy on being more conscious and aware: while it can show up under any and all circumstances in life–
the Inner Critic becomes particularly activated and accelerated when an individual is on the path of real change and growth.
If you ask, “What can I do to make a positive difference in my own life and in my interactions with others?” one of the most tangible and potent places where you can put your energy is in changing your relationship to the inner critic. While the critic can continue to be active, you can learn to decrease the amount of power you give to it. As you do so, you make room for your more authentic inner guidance and authority.
Not surprisingly, the Enneagram offers enormous insight into the inner critic as another element of the personality structure and its relationship to the experience of inner authority that is possible for people dominant in each type. When your relationship to the Inner Critic shifts, you have more energy and momentum for your life purpose and more room for what your soul and heart are destined to express.