Growing up with emotional trauma due to critical, unloving parents, creates the perfect platform for further trauma. For those of us who have an ‘inner critic’ or ‘nasty gremlin’ telling us constantly that we arent good enough, that we aren’t smart enough, that we won’t succeed and the list goes on, any slight criticism or rejection in the present can trigger our childhood trauma. We literally ’emotionally flashback’ to the time when our parents told us ‘we were a failure’ or ‘ were too sensitive’. The intensity of this flashback feels as real and painful as it did when we were younger.
A boss criticising our ability at work, a partner telling us they aren’t happy with the way we cook or a friend rejecting us, can lead to devastating feelings of worthlessness. This happens because we instantly feel like we are’not good enough’ or ‘deserving’. Our inner critic causes us even more harm than the initial criticism. If we are approval junkies and constantly need approval from other people to feel good about ourselves, then we will be let down a lot.
The most important type of approval we need is our own. We have to practice self-love and self-acceptance. We have to minimise ‘the inner critic’ or try to ignore what is said. We have to tell ourselves that it is ok to be imperfect and that when criticised it isn’t the end of the world. We aren’t ‘bad’ or ‘a failure’ but our behaviour might just need improving in certain areas. This takes hard work and perseverance and there isn’t a quick fix solution to completely destroying our inner critic. It is possible however, to minimise the intensity of our emotional flashbacks by reassuring ourselves that ‘ we are enough’.