How To Manage your Inner Critic with Shadow Work

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Since I’m a child I have a little self-critical voice in my head. It notices when I do something wrong, when I did something that I shouldn’t, when I should have done something that I didn’t, when I feel awkward, when I failed, when I’m not perfect. And instead of inspiring me and motivating me to become better, it puts me down to the point where I rather don’t do it out of fear to be criticized.

Sounds familiar?

Many people are struggling with an inner critic, an inner voice that tells them that they're not good enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, or (fill in the blank) enough. Some are more aware of it, for others it happens mostly on a subconscious level.

Throughout my spiritual journey I have been working on releasing this inner critic, layer by layer, but it still manages to come back up, and especially in situations where I’m not consciously aware of it, it can even control my thought process. I knew it was time to try something different.

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This is how I successfully do shadow work on my inner critic:

Shadow work means facing one's fears so that you become aware of them and gain control over them. It is part of our spiritual journey towards unconditional love.

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One of my favorite quotes in the movie Dr. Strange (highly recommended!) is this:

"We never lose our demons, we only learn to live above them."

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So while I was trying to lose my inner critic for years, it is actually not what is necessary for me to do. I needed to learn to live above it. To not let myself be controlled by it.  Instead of running away from my "inner critic demon", I needed to confront it. To face it. Every time it comes up. No running away, no trying to hide, no ignoring. I needed to fight. This confrontation is necessary in order for me to live above it.

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However, I wouldn’t go into a confrontation without some protection.

So I asked my spirit guides, how can I protect myself from my inner critic? And the word: “Forgiveness” came up. My best weapon of protection against my "inner critic demon" was

Forgiveness.

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Interestingly, this correlates with Astrology. My South Node is in Virgo. The South Node shows what innate talents we have but also innate shadow sides that we have taken on from our past lives and that we are now meant to rise above. Virgo’s shadow is being overly critical, anal, and judgmental. This is my "inner critic demon". At the same time it gives me my talents: Virgo’s light is having an eye for detail, a gift with words, and a desire to help others and fix things. My North Node is in Pisces, the opposite sign of Virgo. The North Node shows what talents we are meant to increase and what will guide us on our journey through life towards our Highest Good. And guess what: Pisces’ light is Forgiveness. The North Node’s light is our weapon of protection against our South Node’s shadows. 

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So, now that I knew that Forgiveness was my ultimate weapon of protection against my "inner critic demon", this is how I used it:

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After a day of trying to finish up the February Horoscopes for The New Face Model Magazine, I criticized myself for not having it done by now. The words just didn’t flow, and it was hard to put the abstracts together. I felt blank. My "inner critic demon" gave me a hard time. Then I thought, maybe I should just do it tomorrow morning. Maybe then I’ll be inspired. I wrote the publisher and asked if it’s ok to send them over the next day.  She gave me a time until when and I agreed. However, even though, I had the deadline rescheduled, my inner critic was still lingering around. So I used my weapon of protection by writing down:

I forgive myself that I didn’t finish the horoscopes today. 

I wrote down even more until my inner critic was quiet. It was almost like, every time it tried to shoot at me, I healed it. It sends me darkness and I turned it into light. Just by writing these words:

I forgive myself for…

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Now I was at the point where my inner critic was silenced but still, in order to rise above it, I needed to heighten my own frequency. So I added some self-love. I wrote down:

I am proud of myself for…

And I wrote down everything that I felt great about doing. It seemed funny to be proud to have had healthy breakfast or to do laundry, but I wrote it down anyway. Anything I could think of.

Then I closed my laptop and went on to do other things. (I think I ended up cuddled up with my husband and our cat Miss Googoo)

After a few minutes of beautiful energy recharge I got up and went downstairs again to get a drink. I saw my laptop and opened it. I clicked on the horoscope document.

And I started writing.

Writing, writing, writing. The words were flowing. Everything seemed so easy and effortlessly. I was connected, a channel of words, and I just let my hands do what they knew best – write.

In a relatively short time, I was finished with all twelve horoscopes. I did it. I sent it to the publisher that night. Just a couple hours after I asked her if it’s ok to send it to her the next day.

See what happened there?

My "inner critic demon" made me feel bad that I didn’t finish those horoscopes, that my inspiration flow wasn’t there… and bla bla bla. Instead of inspiring me, it was actually holding me back from getting it done. But when I used my weapon of protection and I forgave myself, gave myself love for the things I did do successfully today, let go of it all… I went with the flow and finished it up that night. Easy and effortlessly.

You can read them here:

Click above for full-size picture or download the full magazine NEW FACE MODEL MAGAZINE here

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This is a way to manage your inner critic. I can only recommend this technique whenever you feel stuck.

(Great for writer's/creativity blocks or before an interview/date/etc.)

I actually used it right before I wrote this blog post. I wrote: “I forgive myself that I didn’t write a blog post today.” And I let it go. After a few moments I started writing this post.

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We never lose our demons, but we can learn to live above them.

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And it feels damn good if we do.

What are your inner shadows that you’re struggling with and how are you rising above them?

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Love & Peace,

Hanna

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P.S.: If you're interested in learning about your shadows  and finding a way to rise above them, feel free to contact me here.