How to Defeat Your Inner Critic
I’m not sure how powerful your imaginations are, but I want you to imagine a troll trapped inside your head. The troll is kept inside of a cage where all you have to do is keep an eye on it so it won’t escape.
At first glance, the troll appears to be an innocent creature that minds its own business. You have no idea why it has to be kept in the cage, but you continue watching over it.
Eventually, you drop your guard because all the troll does is sit down and watches you. So as a result, you decide to work on a Lego house project that you’ve been thinking about lately.
But the moment you let your guard down and try to build a Lego house, the troll comes from what seem out of nowhere and tears it down. You’re not sure how the troll escaped the cage nor do you know why it destroyed your Lego house. All you know is that as you stand there in utter defeat, you hear the troll’s irritating laugh, indicating that you failed to keep your Lego house safe.
You’re then discouraged from building another Lego house because you can still remember that troll’s gruesome’s laugh. The troll is delighted with what it has done because you let your guard down and it saw it as an opportunity to destroy whatever you considered precious. You then realize why the troll has to be kept in the cage.
I’ve worked with enough people to know how powerful the inner critic can be to deal with. People inner critics might be different types of trolls, but they’re all easily recognizable. You might have a troll that likes to make fun of your appearance. You might have a troll that likes to remind you about your failures.
The trolls we keep inside our heads are creatures that are kept inside of a cage because the moment they get released, they attack us with self-doubt, criticism, and anxiety. They represent all the times you wanted to try something new but was confronted with memories of the past where you failed at something. They criticize you for not being special enough or if you’re not superior to others.
Although people may want to exterminate the troll that’s caged inside their head, we can never get rid of it nor should we. Like an untrained pet, our inner critic can become our greatest ally once we learn how to recognize it and what to do when it gets out of control.
Our inner critic will often try to fight for the position of authority over our body and to fight against it, people often turn to sex, drugs, alcohol, and compulsive eating. We search for distractions that’ll take our mind away from the constant battle we have with our inner troll. But once you become a master of your inner troll, you take control of your life.
Understanding Your Inner Troll
Despite how horrible your inner critic can be, it’s actually trying to protect you. Your inner troll wants you to survive and flourish in the world. Your inner troll wants you to find love, obtain wealth, and fulfill your heart’s desires.
But it’s overly protective and wants to make sure you don’t get criticized from other people for doing something stupid. Your troll is afraid once people judge you for doing something wrong, they’ll reject you and you’ll be alone forever.
And because your troll doesn’t know its boundaries, it’s going to do whatever it can to stop you from making mistakes. Whether it’s bashing your self-esteem, reminding you of the past, and conjuring false assumptions, it’ll do whatever it can to stop you from going forward.
Troll Attacks and How to Deal With Them
Throughout the day, we have many moments when the troll within ourselves decides to blast us with nasty criticisms. It wants to destroy your pride, ego, confidence, and self-worth all for the sake of “keeping you from looking silly.”
If someone criticizes you, that only gives your inner troll more ammunition that can be used against you. Even outsider influences such as advertisements, magazines, or movies can discourage you because the troll sees it as an opportunity to compare your life to other people.
Despite where the source of our criticism come from, it’s nevertheless a difficult battle to overcome. Many people who I’ve dealt with usually turn to writing as a source to escape their troll’s enslavement because it’s a form of distraction that erases negative thoughts.
If you don’t enjoy writing, you can choose something else such as reading, playing video games, or exercises. Normally whenever someone is attacked by their inner troll, they’re in the environment that’s quiet and subtle. Examples would be lying in bed at night and sitting alone somewhere.
When your mind relaxes, you begin dwelling about life and your inner troll sees it as an opportunity to attack. The troll logic will be now that you’re alone, you’re at risk of remaining that way. It’ll then force you to question your life decisions.
You’ll ponder what mistakes you made and if you’re as good as people who have it all. It makes you tell yourself, “What’s wrong with me,” or “If I never made X or Y mistakes, my life would be different.”
The inner troll wants to create false inner beliefs that’ll prevent your self-confidence from rising off the ground. But the next time you’re about to criticize yourself for something silly, look at the meaning behind that message.
Is what you’re telling yourself really a fact? Sometimes you have defend yourself by repeating what your troll says to you to see if it makes sense.
A harsh reminder my troll likes to give me is the fact I don’t have that many close friends. Although that’s a fact I’d rather not hear, I remind myself that I have had many close friends in the past and I’m capable of being a sociable fellow.
All it takes is a matter of action or initiating contact with someone I haven’t spoken to for a while. If you’re still struggling with convincing yourself that you’re stronger than your troll, straighten your posture and perform a “power” prose.
Power posing lowers your stress hormones and can lead to a more confident behavior. You feel in charge of yourself and that you’re in control of the wheel. Avoid leaving your back hunch if you notice any negative creepy thoughts lurking into your zone.
How to Put a Leash on Your Troll
Underneath it all, the troll is usually afraid of being unloved, abandoned, and helpless. It wants to ensure that others will approve of you, love you, and be there for you when you need them. One of the best methods of learning to work with and handle the troll is to understand where it comes from. Go beneath the criticisms of your troll and
understanding how and why the troll was born.
You must remember the important role that your troll had to play in protecting that very young, vulnerable, unprotected, and sensitive child that you used to be. Remember how that troll manipulated your decisions every day of the year. Understand the way your troll tries to trick you into giving up because that’s the same troll who’ll continues living within you today and forever.
The troll remembers the pain you felt when your feelings were hurt because Sandy dumped you for Charlie. It remembers the humiliation and shame that you experienced and how terrible that was. It remembers the hurt when people laughed at you, when your mother screamed at you in front of friends, when your father laughed at the drawing you made for him. It will do anything to help you avoid that pain, even if it means destroying you. It will do anything to avoid repeating that pain!
When we really go underneath the attack, we finally get to the vulnerability that lies at the heart of the inner troll. Then we hear its voice, sounding totally different, telling us how bad it feels about our eating and how frightened it is of illness and how confused it feels by all the conflicting information that is fed into it.
You see that the troll is really asking you for help because it feels so overwhelmed by the world and its demands and requirements. Then you find that as you learn to take care of the troll you’re also learning to care of your self-esteem.
When you uncover the underlying meaning of these attacks, it no longer hammers at you in the same way. You learn to handle the underlying problems about which your troll is concerned with, and you learn to care for the troll in a new way.
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