You’ve seen it in dozens of cartoons: the main character has an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, and they’re both trying to convince her to do what they want.
It’s all too easy to fall into a similar situation in the real world, except the “devil” is that little voice in the back of your head that is constantly complaining about and criticizing everything you do, and it is all too easy for the “angel,” your sense of self-esteem and professionalism, to be drowned out in the noise. So how do you get your inner devil to disappear, and feel like the successful, accomplished person that you really are? Here are five steps that might help:
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
Here is always somebody ready to criticize every little decision that you make – and sometimes, that person is yourself. But it can be even harder to receive criticism from others, because we care what other people think of us and don’t want to look foolish in front of them. Sometimes criticism can be constructive and helpful, but all too often it feels like a way to tear us down.
The best way to deal with such criticism is to remember that you have done your best, and that is more than the person knocking you can say.
If she could have accomplished it herself, she would have; but because she could not, she is trying to undermine you. When you know in your heart that you have done the right thing, you can ignore the words of someone who merely wishes that she had the bravery or skills to do the same.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein
We learn from every experience that we have, and although it sometimes seems difficult to understand, the little voice in the back of your mind may be trying to teach you to see that.
Look at the results of your actions honestly, for better or for worse, and think about what you can learn from them. More often than not, the results will be positive.
Although we can be our own harshest critics, we can also be our biggest cheerleaders, and our wisest teachers. Maybe that little voice is trying to remind you that you can take the experience you have gained in the past and use it to be very successful in the future.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anaïs Nin
Most people don’t care about what you do. It sounds harsh to say it so bluntly, but it is a human tendency to be self-absorbed. Often when people find something to criticize or judge in you, it is mainly because they see the same quality in themselves.
In other words, the problem isn’t you, it’s them.
The best way to avoid this situation is to choose your partners and friends carefully, for the admirable qualities that you see in each other, and to remember not to take others’ angry words personally. They will hurt themselves far worse than they can ever hurt you.
“Delete the negative; accentuate the positive!” – Donna Karan
No matter how bad a situation seems to be, there is always a positive side, even if that is only that you have the chance to learn from it. Remember also that even a person who has hurt you has their good points, and if you can teach yourself to recognize them you will be happier and in a better emotional state.
Don’t worry about the hurt that they’ve done you – by ignoring any negative aspects you can then turn your skills toward facing the challenge and resolving the situation in the creative and professional manner of which you are capable, while they are still caught up in the negative part of the problem.
“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” – Mark Twain
Someone once said that laughter is the best medicine, and it even helps to improve a troublesome situation.
Nothing can seem quite so bad when you can laugh at it, and disassociating yourself from the situation enough to see the humor that is always underlying all the darkness will make things easier. With a laugh, you can relax and step back from the situation, enough to perhaps see a new way of handling it that will lead to success.
The critic in your head will encourage you to take everything too seriously, so that every problem becomes impossible to fix and every mistake turns into a catastrophe.
If you can learn to laugh at yourself as much as at the challenges that you face every day, then you have recognized the truth: there is no problem that is so drastic that you cannot fix it, and there is nothing anyone – including your critic – can say that can bring you down completely.
Marianne Williamson once said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate”.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’Actually, who are you not to be?”
You deserve to hear the words of the angel on your shoulder, not the devil in the back of your head trying to cut you down.
With these steps if you want to learn a fun way to restructure your inner devil into an inner angel shoot me a mail, I’ll be happy to speak about your inner “devil” with you!