What is your inner critic saying to you?
Do you have one? We know we both have one, that voice you hear when it whispers, ‘You’re too old to wear that’ or ‘You’ll never be able to achieve that’ or even ‘Why would anyone like you?’ This insidious voice is known as our ‘inner critic.’ The website www.PositivePsychology.com shares this description about our inner critic – ‘Our inner critic can be a cruel and deeply damaging force. Its strength and impact determines our overall mental wellbeing. The destructive voice in our heads is never satisfied and can soil and spoil anything we may achieve, no matter how impressive. It magnifies the negative, spreading discontent and worse in our lives. Fortunately, there are numerous effective strategies for weakening its power.’
Working for Hope Trust we get to see people at the best and worst times of their lives – when all is well and when it is most definitely not. One recurring observation as to how much Hope Trust, and other local organisations can achieve, centres around what people believe about themselves. Confident people, willing to try new things can thrive when opportunity knocks on their door. Less confident people thrive less well if they are more reluctant to have a go. People with very low confidence and self esteem can appear stuck, unable, or even unwilling, to have a go, take a chance – whatever the right phrase is. Reading about this ‘inner critic’ made us wonder whether this might be the reason for those differences? Yet that last phrase ‘Fortunately, there are numerous effective strategies for weakening its power’ gives us hope. The first step is to establish whether, or not, you recognise this whole concept in the first place! If you do, then you can begin to deal with it by not letting it define you. This inner critic is always negative, so suppose it was a friend, would it be the sort of friend you’d like to hang out with? If the answer is no, then perhaps the journey of starting to ignore it can begin.
Life throws many challenges at us; from growing up, school, education, our first job, relationships right through to retirement and older age. The great news for older people in Felixstowe and the surrounding villages is that you have Hope Trust to call on, along with many other organisations, charities, church groups, as well as friends and good neighbours. Perhaps we can help you find a next step, or even the first step in a new chapter of your life, but you may need to tell your inner critic to ‘shut up,’ you may need to be brave and be willing to see for yourself what we, and others, have to offer. Our promise to you? We are here, we are open, the kettle is always just about to be switched on, you will be made welcome, we will listen and who knows, perhaps instead of a grumpy, negative inner critic voice instead you will hear a positive voice that talks of hope, opportunity, fun and friendship – it’s up to you.