Skye Thomas

Skye Thomas
Writer, Rebel, and Soapbox Ranter

Monday, June 01, 2015

Who Is The Inner Critic? - Looking Up Newsletter (May 1 2015 issue)

May 1st, 2015
Looking Up Newsletter

Hello everyone,

I am currently researching Carl Jung for a paper in my psychology grad school program. Fascinating stuff. We only hear such small tidbits of these people’s lives and of their contributions to their field of expertise. If you want some meaty and interesting summer reading, I highly recommend reading biographies of William James, Carl Jung, and/or Abraham Maslow.

take care,
Skye Thomas

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This Month's News of Interest:

May 2015 Monthly Horoscopes

The new May horoscopes were posted to the website a couple of weeks ago. Here are the links...

If the new horoscopes do not show up, please click on the “refresh” button within your browser.

The free (generic) annual astrological overviews have been posted to the website...

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Skye Thomas is the CEO of Tomorrow's Edge, an Internet leader in inspiring leaps of faith. Her books, articles, and astrological forecasts have inspired people of all ages and faiths to recommit themselves to the pursuit of happiness. To read more of her articles, previews of her books, and her astrology forecasts, go to To read more about Skye and to read archives of this free weekly newsletter, go to

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Quote of the Week:

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. - Bill Gates

It is unfortunate we can't buy many business executives for what they are worth and sell them for what they think they are worth. - Malcolm Forbes

An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he's in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots. - Charles Kettering, Inventor

Feature Article of the Week:

Who Is The Inner Critic?

Imagine yourself in one of those old-time scary movies. You are making your way along a path through the jungle. You are on your way to some important event that cannot be missed. In order to get to where you are going, you must pass through the dark scary unknown section of jungle along the trail. It is dusk and the trees and vines of the jungle surround you, adding to the smothering darkness. You nervously tiptoe along. Those of us at home watching this movie would know to be frightened for your safety because there would be some scary music playing in the background to help set the scene.

As you plot your way along the jungle path, you unknowingly step on a twig causing it to snap. The sound is sharp and loud, compared to the previous quiet of the jungle. At the sudden noise, a huge group of monkeys in the trees start screeching and screaming! They scream until they scare all the birds away. You did not know there were monkeys and birds hidden in the trees. Now they have both rushed off in a sudden whirlwind of noise and chaos. Nothing bad really happened, but the suspense and the sudden doomsday warning and screaming of the monkeys caused you and the birds to jump out of your skin!

Our inner critic is very much like one of those monkeys in the trees sitting quietly until it is startled and then it suddenly screams out its warnings and convinces us we are in danger. We all have one of those monkeys on our shoulder. His job is to scream out warnings, “Watch out for that lion! He’ll eat you! Don’t jump off that cliff, you don’t have wings and cannot fly like a bird!” The inner critic means well, but can become overzealous and too fearful.

The inner critic typically begins during childhood. Unfortunately, most of us have had parents, siblings, teachers, friends, and enemies tell us that we are not good enough. They laughed when we told them our childhood dreams. It is not always said directly to our faces; sometimes it is a subtle undercurrent. Maybe you lived in the shadow of a perfect older brother and your parents forgot to cheer on your successes too. Maybe your parents did everything for you as if you were incapable of doing anything for yourself. Maybe you lived under the rule of a perfectionist, so everything you did was critiqued with a cold critical eye and nothing you did was ever quite good enough.

The inner critic is that voice inside your head that tells you that you are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough, pretty enough, or strong enough. It nags and natters at you to the point that your self-confidence and sense of bravery is destroyed. You are convinced that the voice is correct and that you really do not have what it takes to live out your favorite dreams. As time goes on, you quit setting meaningful goals. You become resigned to a life of mediocrity and dullness.

However it starts, the inner critic gathers proof that it is doing the right thing by protecting you from making foolish leaps of faith. It will find proof of your inability to succeed. Every time you give up and quit, the inner critic files that away in its memory as proof yet again of your smallness. Years and years of layers of proof and validation, coupled with the lack of a strong support system of cheerleaders, strengthens the inner critic until it overpowers your own sense of drive and purpose. Your fears disguised as common sense now rule your life.

Critics are not necessarily bad. They analyze and report back the results of their critique. The inner critic believes that he is protecting you. It is his job to keep you from doing harmful or foolish things. In the caveman days, he would have told you that you could not outrun the lion so you should leave it alone. He would have told you not to try swimming in overly deep and dangerous bodies of water. The inner critic is supposed to analyze your talents, traits, and abilities and then determine whether or not you have what it takes to accomplish whatever whim you are entertaining. At an enlightened balanced level, he keeps you safe and out of trouble. In overdrive, he immobilizes you and keeps you from doing anything unorthodox or adventurous.

Look at the most common phobia in America – public speaking. The idea of standing up in front of an audience and giving a speech is feared more than dying! How can that be? What is it we are afraid of? People will laugh at us? People will think we are stupid? People will be so bored that they will fall asleep and snore through the speech? We will forget what we were going to say and just stand there with a blank look on our face? This is an illogical and invalid fear. There is no real danger in failing at public speaking, so why fear it so much? Immobilizing fear should be reserved for those things that are truly dangerous. With a fear of public speaking, the inner critic is in overdrive and is simply freaking out over something that is relatively minor in the big picture of the human experience. Sometimes, we need to ignore our irrational fears.

At other times, you may decide that your inner critic is telling the truth and you should heed its advice. For example, you might think it would be cool to own a restaurant, but you are afraid of failing. Upon evaluation, you come to realize that you do not know anything about running a business or even how to run a restaurant for that matter. You are a great cook and love serving your delicious home-cooked food to guests, but that is not enough to make you a successful restaurateur. Okay, great, so get lessons, training, hire a business coach, and learn how to do the parts that you do not already know. Educate yourself; make resolving the real challenges creating those fears your first steps towards eventually owning your own restaurant. Just because you do not have all of the tools and knowledge today does not mean that you are never ever going to have the tools and knowledge needed to succeed at your dream. Yes, the fears in this example are valid and logical fears, but they do not have to mean giving up and quitting your dream.

Your inner critic makes an evaluation about you based on past experiences, factual knowledge accumulated, assumptions, and beliefs that has been fed into it over the course of your life. If you have a history of support and success, then your inner critic is probably balanced and logical. If you have a history of being ridiculed and of failure, then your inner critic is probably doing its best to save you from any further pain. Avoiding disappointment, pain, and frustration is a logical course of action, but in doing so you stop yourself from possibly achieving greatness. You are so much more than your inner critic’s opinion of you. You are forever capable of growing, learning, training, expanding, and contributing your unique set of talents. You are capable of deciding for yourself whether or not your inner critic’s fears are valid or invalid. Don’t let a hyperactive fearful screaming monkey stop you from living a full and interesting life.

Need someone to talk to about life's challenges?
Skye Thomas is available for life coaching.

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