Make Friends with Your Critical Voice

What does your critical voice tell you?  Does it tell you that you’re not good enough?  Does it scold you when you make a mistake?  Perhaps it tells you that you’ll screw things up.  Or that you’ll never succeed, because you never have…

The power of your critical voice might be so strong that it stops you from truly living your life.  Maybe you’re not going for that job you really want, because the voice tells you you’ll never get it.  Perhaps you avoid social situations, or intimate relationships, because your critic warns you of rejection.

Maybe it’s that chronic critical whisper, that makes you want to hide your creative works.  Or worse, it stops you from creating them at all.

The more you listen to your critical voice, the more you will believe it. When you believe it,  you won’t question it.  And, because you believe it, you will continually behave in ways to prove that the voice is right.

What if, instead of bowing to the power of  your critical voice, you could befriend it instead.

What if you could  make peace with your critical voice  — and ask it to work for you, instead of against you.

As with all friends, to make friends with your critical voice, you must first make an effort to understand it. From both personal and professional experience, here’s what I know about the critical voice inside:

Your critical voice re-circulates old beliefs about yourself.

Your critical voice repeats what other people told you about yourself.

Your critical voice is not your true voice.

Your critical voice is trying to protect you.

You use your critical voice as a way to stay safe.

You are more powerful than your critical voice.

Your critical voice targets the exact places that most need your compassionate forgiveness.

When you truly understand your critical voice, you can begin to see the ways it has tried to protect you from getting hurt. For example, when you believe you’re not good enough, or that your work isn’t good enough, it’s easy to hold back.  Holding back is an effective way to stay safe.  Exactly what your critical voice wants.

Unfortunately, our own critical voice is far more critical than most people would ever be.  And, holding back when you feel discouraged, can feel worse than courageously stepping forward.  In the end, believing in your critical voice will hurt you more than taking risks.

Next time your critical voice tries to discourage you, take a moment to acknowledge her.   Stop to say: “Hello, I hear you. Thank you for keeping me safe.”  Breathe deeply, and allow her words to release.

Next, tell her some of the the encouraging words you’d like to hear instead.  Practice pivoting from critical words to the encouraging words.  It takes time, but with practice, it will become easier and easier to believe in yourself.

Remember that your critical voice targets your most hidden, insecure places.  These are exactly the places that need the most encouragement, the most compassion, the most understanding.  More criticism won’t help — it will only trigger more holding back.  Shift from discouragement to encouragement, and  you will find your courage.

Bottom Line – your critical voice wants to keep you safe.  Honor this, by finding ways to make risk-taking feel safer.  Stop trying to please the critics.  Stop listening to the naysayers.  Instead, surround yourself with encouraging people.  Share your work with people you trust.  Talk to yourself in encouraging ways.  Use techniques such as EFT and guided meditation to help you feel better about yourself.

To learn more about my Tame Your Inner Critic Mini Program, click here.

In Courage,

Marian

P.S.  Share this with someone you’d love to encourage.

My Top 10 Stress Busters

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Stress can happen anytime, anywhere.  And, these days, it’s easy to walk right into it.  From finances and job obligations, to family and home, you might be dealing with an abundance of stress triggers throughout your day.

Of course, as a Certified EFT Practitioner, I always recommend using EFT Tapping to ‘deactivate’ persistent stress triggers.  It’s amazing how EFT can help shift the overall stress load in any given situation, even if nothing else changes.

But, life happens.  And, no matter how ‘zen’ you are, stress happens too.  What’s more, the stress hormone cortisol triggers blood loss from the thinking part of your brain,  and will interfere with your ability to think most effectively.  What’s crucial is to  release stress as you go, to prevent stress from building up until it manifests as pain, or emotional unbalance.

Releasing stress on a daily basis will help you keep your energy and nervous system calm and well balanced.

Here are my Top 10 Stress Busters (in no particular order) :

Meditation —   Meditation has been shown to  activate the body’s relaxation response. Starting the day with a short 10-20 minute meditation will help create  a peaceful tone for the rest of the day.

Exercise — Workouts such as cardio, yoga, and strength training help increase feel-good endorphins, our body’s natural pain relievers.  Moving and stretching your body will also help release tight muscular tension and stress.  Be sure to stretch before and after your workout to increase flexibility and prevent injury.

Tulsi Tea — Tulsi Tea is made from the adaptogenic herb Holy Basil.  An adaptogenic herb works as an  anti-stress agent.  Holy Basil helps regulate serum cortisol levels and has been found to reduce anxiety and emotional stress.  Organic India offers Tulsi Tea in a variety of delicious flavors.  Mountain Rose Herbs sells Holy Basil in bulk.

Magnesium Bath —  Magnesium is crucial for a number of bodily functions, including the relaxation of body and mind.  It’s widely available in a variety of foods.  Magnesium, however, is easily depleted.  Tight muscles or  a stressed mind might be symptoms of deficient magnesium.  A bath or foot soak in Epsom Salts, or any other type of magnesium salts, will help you replenish depleted magnesium.

Deep Breathing —  Remember to breathe, deeply.  Deep breathing promotes your body’s relaxation response.

Heart Breath — Breathing from your heart takes you out of stressful mind-chatter.  When activated, your heart actually has the power to help your brain  relax.  Click here to download a Heart Breath Audio.

Laughter — Laughter helps oxygenate and relax your body and mind.  Laughter increases endorphins and reduces cortisol   Laughter feels really good and can act as a carthasis to release trapped emotions.   Take laughter seriously !  Watch funny movies, comedy shows,  funny animal Youtube videos, and talk regularly with people who make you laugh.

Binaural Beats — A type of audio-therapy — music embedded with different wave-length frequencies — which helps reduce stress and anxiety.  When listened to with headphones, binaural beats will help entrain brainwaves into a deeper, more relaxed state.

Nature Walk — Nothing like sunshine and fresh air to boost your mood.   Simple, and very powerful.

EFT Tapping — EFT Tapping is one of the best techniques to reduce cortisol, the major stress hormone.  Just tapping on your karate chop point, while breathing deeply, can help calm frayed nerves.  For illustrated EFT Tapping Instructions, click here

Choose a few  of your favorite stress-relief techniques to keep in your ‘back pocket’, and  use as often as needed.  It’s amazing how good it feels to let go!

In Courage,
Marian

 

FREE TRAINING:  Overcome the Fear of Shining in Your Business So You can Do What You Love. Click here for download.

 

 

Let Go of Resistance

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I’ve come up against a lot of resistance lately.  Especially with my work. This happens sometimes. Problem is, if I stay in resistance, I will get very little done beyond my already-scheduled appointments.  Been there, done that, too many times.

Luckily, it’s because I’m so familiar with resistance, that I’ve taken the time to look at it more deeply.  And, I’ve been able to create techniques and systems to help myself get out of it.

In my quest to overcome resistance to my work, I’ve learned a great deal from the activities which I don’t resist as much.  Such as my morning meditations.  Or my regular Daily Burn workouts.   Or any other activity that I do on a consistent basis to improve my life.

It’s not that these activities are always enjoyable. In fact, I have, and sometimes still do, resist them.  But most of the time I show up without giving myself an out.  Sometimes I truly enjoy myself.  Sometimes I don’t. But I do it anyway.

And I began to see.  It’s the showing up, no matter what, that brings the results I’m looking for.  Before long, the showing up becomes a habit.  A habit I don’t think about.  An activity I don’t worry about, or resist, because I know it’s worth it even if I don’t love every second of it.

To me, resistance feels like energy. Dark and heavy.  It looks like an ever expanding wall, building up between me and whatever  I’m avoiding.  And so often, if not always, once I let go of the resistance, and take action, I feel amazingly empowered.

Resistance is a feeling which distorts our perception of the activity we’re resisting.

Resistance is usually laced with fear, dread, and anxiety.  It doesn’t feel good.  When we feel this way, it’s hard to see clearly. What’s important is helping ourselves let go of the resistance in order to move into productive action.

Here are a few things you can do to reduce resistance:

  1. Throw yourself into an activity without over-thinking it. Just show up and allow yourself to navigate through, knowing that you are making progress.
  2. Use EFT Tapping to clear resistance. EFT will help you release negative feelings associated with the activity you’re resisting.
  3. Take small action steps in the direction of the activity you’re resisting. Sometimes we resist taking action because our action steps are too large. Make your action steps manageable.
  4. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Making progress can be tedious, uncomfortable, and irritating.  Keep going.  It’s the progress you’re looking for.  The dream you’re going for.  That’s what it’s all about.
  5. Change your scenery. If possible, do your work in different setting.  Or change up your environment.  The point is to get out of the energy of resistance.

For EFT Tapping to Help you Let Go of Resistance, listen here:

 

Download Now

Enjoy!

In Courage,
Marian

FREE TRAINING:  Overcome the Fear of Shining in Your Business So You can Do What You Love. Click here for download.

4 Steps to Stop Fear in Its Tracks

Woman finger pushing domino of red fear word falling, isolated on white.

Fear.  I know it well.  As a solopreneur, I frequently face fear when I think about what I can do to grow my business. Fear can easily stop me from taking productive action —  if I let it.

Whatever type of work you do, whether it’s for your job, your business, your home, your family, or your creative life, fear can have the power to stop you in your tracks.  It might stop you from starting a creative project, or exploring a new opportunity.  It might hold you back from promoting yourself and your business.  It might keep you stuck and unable to move forward.

Whichever way fear gets in your way, it’s important to take steps to manage your fear, before it has the chance to stop you.

Here are 4 Steps to Stop Fear in Its Tracks, before it stops you.

Step 1 Recognize when you’re in fear, or hiding from fear.  Recognize what fear does to your body and mind. Recognize how it tries to influence your actions.  Once you’ve recognized your fear, get as clear as you can about the target of your fear, in other words, what are you really afraid of?

(BTW– Fear loves to hide, read more about  its 3 favorite hiding places. )

Step 2 Embrace your fear.  The majority of fear comes from past experiences.  One of my clients is a talented singer, but was fearful of singing in public.  This was a result of a childhood experience when someone made fun of her. By embracing the younger, very disappointed place within her, she was able to release her fear.  She now performs regularly on a variety of stages.

So next time you’re feeling fearful about doing something bigger and bolder, embrace yourself with compassion.  Allow yourself to sense the younger part of yourself that may have felt afraid or hurt in a similar situation.  You may notice that a mix of emotions come up.

Step 3  Release the Fear.  EFT Tapping is a quick, effective way to release fear.  Anything that helps to lower cortisol, such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation will also help. Below, at the bottom of this post, you’ll find a brief tapping EFT audio to help you release fear.

Step 4  Activate Your Courage.  The final step in the 4-step process is to activate your courage.  Once  you’ve used a technique such as EFT to release your fear, you’ll feel more relaxed.  This is the best time to take action.  Taking action will help you develop your courage.

Right now, decide on 2-3 small action steps you will take in the next week to help you move forward.  Get your momentum going, and your courage will grow.

Below is the Tapping for Fear audio. This audio includes a brief EFT tapping round to help you release fear around a creative or business-related project.   If you’re new to EFT Tapping,  click here for illustrated instructions.

 

 

Download Now

In Courage,

Marian

FREE TRAINING:  Overcome the Fear of Shining in Your Business So You can Do What You Love. Click here for download.

What Do You Expect?

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Really, what do you expect?  There’s an energy in your expectations, which will affect your behavior, and eventually lead you to attract what you expect.  So, be mindful of your expectations.

Expectations come from past experiences, most often childhood.  For example, if you frequently heard the word ‘no’ when you asked for something as a child, you might refrain from asking for things directly. Expecting to hear a ‘no’, you might find yourself cushioning your requests in an effort to make them sound sweeter.  Or, perhaps you avoid asking for things all together.

If you consistently got rejected by a group of friends, you might expect to be rejected in your current social situations.  This expectation might cause you to act shy, or ‘not yourself’ around other people. This type of behavior can lead to even more rejection, since people won’t be able to get to know you in the way you want to be known.

Expectations such as “work is hard”, or “there’s never enough time”, or “I’ll never get ahead”, will contribute to negative feelings, such as anxiety and fear. These negative feelings will make things feel hard, and zap your motivation, and your ability, to get things done.

Expectations can be tricky, since they’re so often proven right.  Because we see the proof, our expectations seem like indisputable facts. And if they’re indisputable facts, how can we change them?

The key here, is to realize that expectations are merely thoughts about the future, seen through the lens of past experience. 

So, even if we might not be able to change an indisputable fact, we can change both our thoughts, and the lens through which we see our future.

The bottom line? We can change our expectations to help us get what we really want.

How to change your expectations:

Be open to the possibilities. Things might turn out differently than you expect. You can’t be certain about what will happen in the future, so be open to different possibilities.

Rewrite your expectations. Write down a list of your most prominent negative expectations, and rewrite them to be more positive. For example — Change “I’ll never succeed” to  “Wouldn’t it be great if I succeeded at that.”  Don’t force a positive expectation that doesn’t feel true.  Instead, rewrite your expectation as a possible desirable outcome.

Notice your positive expectations. What do you consistently expect?  Do you you expect a great workout?  Do you expect a productive work time?  Do you expect a pleasant conversation with a certain friend?  Watch what happens with your positive expectations.

Keep a positive expectation journal. Expectations love proof. Note what happens as a result of shifting your thoughts.

Visualize.  Close your eyes and imagine a desirable outcome. As much as possible, get into the ‘energy’ of the scene using your emotions and senses.  Visualization will help you change your beliefs about what is possible.

Change your expectations and you will change everything.

 

In Courage,

Marian

 

To clear the old lens through which you see your future, contact me to learn how EFT Tapping can help.

My New Podcast!  Courageous HeartBeats.  Listen on iTunes.