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The "Two Coaches" Metaphor.

Being kind to the inner critic inside you.

What's your inner critic like?

I don't know about you, but for me, mine tends to be judgmental, telling me that I haven't done enough, that I'm still not productive enough, or even that I am sometimes utterly inadequate at my core.

Our inner critics can really seem like one of those angry, sports coaches that just keeps yelling at us, wanting us to be more, more, more.

However, we know from coaching literature that critical and judgmental coaching is far from optimal.

In fact, it only leads to players feeling demotivated and dropping in their performance in the long run.

Now, how long have you had this harsh inner critic for? Oh, probably just your entire life right?

Me too.

No wonder we might be feeling a bit deflated and exhausted at this point.

However, we know from coaching literature that critical and judgmental coaching is far from optimal.

Well, what we can do is cultivate a compassionate voice for ourselves.

Just like Coach B, we have to learn to tell ourselves that we've already tried our best, that we can tackle it again tomorrow, and to start to recognise when it's time for us to rest and heal.

Now, if you are able to that, then great! But some of you might find your inner critic arguing back.

Maybe it's telling you that you're just kidding yourself, that you're being "soft", or even that you don't deserve any kindness.

Well, here's the trick. Learn to listen to its concerns too. Speak to this inner critic and ask it what it's afraid of.

Ask it:

"What do you fear might happen if we let go?"

Sit there quietly and let it speak.

You'll probably find that it's harshness actually comes from a vulnerable place, genuinely worried for you and was just trying to protect you.

Then embrace it too, just as you would to a saddened or worried close friend of yours.

So it can be at peace knowing you've got this from here on.

Be well okay?


(Credit: Two coaches metaphor by Russ Harris - Trauma Focus ACT with a twist on IFS)

1 comentario

24 ago 2022

I truly like the simple humble soft language like teaching a small child lovingly.... Your words, narration is filled with love and care. Can be felt.. This has been me for decades and now have been struggling with change. Gel to be a part of this world but couldn't change. Earlier hated myself and like you said, my inner critic has been this way all my life, so just trying to change, understand her intention. Psychology helps to actually understand those parts, emotions that we felt but never speak or understand.. And hence assumed were wrong, improper... Would love to read more from you.. Soon.. And if possible connect. Thank you 🙏❤️

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