My inner critic’s name is Miss Prudence. She’s awesome, and because she’s a control freak I have strategies to keep her in her place. For a long time she got really too big for her britches, and while I have always been on task, ahead of schedule and under budget, thanks to her, she’s not really a fun person to hang out with. I found out that I can be a tiny bit late on occasion and even cancel an appointment and the world continues to spin without interruption.
How do you know if your inner critic is out of control in your life? She’s a vital part of you, it’s not that you want to permanently lock her in the closet so you can relax and eat Twinkies every day. The easiest way to check in on this part of you is to stop and listen. (I wanted to write "stop, drop and roll, but Miss Prudence says it doesn’t make sense.) Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
1. Is there something I really want to do that’s highly impractical? (That’s your Miss Prudence talking to you.) You’re finally old enough; be impractical now and then. Or often.
2. Is there something you want to do and you know you’d look like a total weirdo if you attempted it? Time-out for inner critic. Go and skip down your street. Sign up for hip hop or Italian classes.
Miss Prudence says to remind you that trying things that will make you look absolutely foolish is actually good for your self confidence and expands your comfort zone. Go figure.
3. Is there something you’re dreading to do but you know you should? Should’s are dangerous. Really take a look into the situation and see what would really happen if you just didn’t do it. And look into, "who" says you should.
4. Is there something you’d like to do but you know you’re too old? Then it’s definitely time to do that one. (Caveat: if you’re over 60, wearing the string bikini is probably not a good idea, unless you’re staying home in it.)
5. Is there something you’d like to do but you know you don’t have time for it? That is a huge message for you. Tell your Miss Prudence that since it’s summer time, you’re going to relax the standards a bit. You can always get your nose back to the grindstone after Labor Day, if you want.
I trust that no one under 25 is reading this, it’s really not appropriate for that age group.
Living the good life involves embracing so many paradoxes. (Miss Prudence says the plural of paradox should be "paradoxi" but that’s just her.) I just happen to know that if you’re reading this, you’re a SUPER high achiever, and I also know that you’ll probably achieve EVEN MORE, if you loosen the grip just a teeny tiny bit.
This is the kind of thing I’m going to discuss in my free teleclass next week. If you haven’t read about it, click here to do so.
Meanwhile, I’m going to make a Mai Tai for Miss Prudence and relax a bit. Why don’t you share one of your own "chill" strategies?