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How To Silence Your Inner Critic And Become Your Own Best Friend Through Self-Compassion Part Two

Build Confidence…


When we learn to accept all of our experiences in this way we build what Tami Simon, the founder of Sounds True, refers to as ‘unconditional confidence’. ‘Unconditional confidence’ is a principal which is well known in meditation and refers to the confidence we possess once we know that whatever experience we may face, we are able to manage it by fully being with it unconditionally.


This ‘unconditional confidence’ enables us to take risks in life and love because we know that whatever the outcome, we will be able to manage it. In all honesty I often fight and struggle against unpleasant and painful feelings (like I’m sure so many of us do) which is why I am so eager to practice being more aware of my pain, breathing into it and accepting it, thereby developing more ‘unconditional confidence’ – an asset which would be invaluable.


Don’t make your inner critic the enemy…


Dr. Kristin Neff, author of the book ‘Self Compassion’ says that in order to achieve true self-acceptance and compassion we must first be compassionate and understanding towards our inner critic, rather than simply viewing it as the enemy. In Dr. Kristin Neff’s interview in the Sounds True series she goes onto say…


“Before even thinking about fixing the problem so to speak, one of the key issues is letting go of self-criticism as the problem… We need to have a lot of self compassion for our self critic, this voice, this constant nagging voice saying you’re not good enough, you need to do more of this, you need to do more of that… It actually comes from a desire to keep ourselves safe, to keep ourselves from being rejected, to maintain social relationships…


It actually comes from a place of care for ourselves but it’s been twisted and we think that if we criticise ourselves we’ll be able to control ourselves and force ourselves to be the person we want to be that will be safe and loved and accepted. So you first have to have compassion for this voice that’s trying to keep us safe through self-criticism, trying to motivate us and realise that it’s not that effective and then you can bring in the compassionate voice that says ‘you know I want to keep you safe too, but I’m going to do it through kindness and care because it’s actually a lot more effective’”   


We also need to accept that we struggle to accept ourselves, rather than beating ourselves up for our lack of self-acceptance or failing to accept that we find accepting ourselves hard.


Stay tuned, next week learn how to manage your inner critic, learn from your emotions and change your perspective.


Do you have unconditional confidence? Is it a life skill you’d like to develop? Do you try to fight your inner critic? What do you think would happen if you were compassionate to your inner critic, as Dr Kristin Neff suggests? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.


Further Resources:

‘Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation’ by Tami Simon and Bruce Tift (pre-order on Amazon now)

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