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How to Manage Your Inner Critic: Tips From Life Coach and Author Shanna Covey

Every creative has to deal with his or her inner critic sometimes. In today’s Design Your Life, Shanna Covey tells us what’s really going on with that ugly voice in our heads and how to respond to it. Shanna is a coach and the author of A Call to the Heart: Shifting Out of Ego Into Spirit.

You know the feeling that you have when you’re about to embark on a new project, work with a new client or try something that’s outside of your comfort zone? First you’re excited about trying something new, but then that inner voice speaks up and doubt creeps in. One minute we’re pumped, ready to move forward; the next minute we’re pummeled with self-doubt, paralyzed with inaction. It happens to all of us at one point or another.

The part of you that wants to express itself through your personal contribution to the world is stemming from the truth of who you are, in your most honest, creative form.

This inner voice can be absolutely crippling. But it doesn’t have to be.

That inner critic you hear is the voice of fear — the part of our nature that thrives on psychological (and physical) security. The ego hates change and will fight back against it.

An example: If your ego feels secure working for someone else, doing what they want you to produce, the mere contemplation of going out on your own and producing your own work incites fear, since this threatens the ego’s security.

Apply this idea to your creative work. How is your ego seeking security by not letting you move forward with your dream projects, your art, etc.? Does it require the feedback of others to know if it’s good enough? Can you know yourself independent of outside feedback? Can you drop this fear-based identification?

Dig deep and try to determine what aspect of your self-image is being threatened.

The part of you that wants to express itself through your personal contribution to the world is stemming from the truth of who you are, in your most honest, creative form.

It’s scared that the truth of who you really are will dissolve it. And it will…which is what makes fear a racket of ego’s own making.

You were born to shine; you just have to remove the blocks to the shining soul that you already are.

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