How To Transform Your Inner Critic Into An Inner Coach — And Be Your Own Spiritual Guide

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Whether you realize it or not — we all have an inner critic.

The inner critic has good intentions. It wants to keep you safe. Unfortunately, it can become a problem because it wants to limit you to only doing what is familiar.

You will notice that the negative voice of the inner critic gets louder whenever you are doing something new.

But your inner critic can become your inner coach and help guide you toward the choices and challenges that help you grow and become the person you want to be. It can guide you toward deep fulfillment and happiness. 

You just need to learn how to recognize to that inner voice — and transform the negative self-talk into something positive.

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Here are three steps to help you focus on your inner coach (and quiet your inner critic):

Step 1. Recognize when the inner critic is speaking.

Until you become more self-aware, you won't likely notice the negative voice because it is all you hear. You are convinced this is the truth, so why fight it? 

You will know the inner critic is talking because of the loud, impatient, demeaning, hostile and judgmental voice.

For more, see the list below where I offer concrete tips for how to tell the critic from the coach inside you. 

Step 2. Notice when your inner critic is active.

Once you are aware that the inner critic is actively affecting you, choose to have a conversation with this part of yourself.

Give reassurance that this part of yourself is capable of taking care of every part of your being.

Step 3. Give your inner critic a name.

When you do this, it becomes much easier to converse with this part of you. Be kind to this part of yourself because it wants to keep you safe.

An excellent way to quiet your inner critic is by inviting it to use its energy for positive things, such as reminding you to slow down and breathe.

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The Enneagram can help you to find your inner coach.

The modern Enneagram is an ancient tool that can help you to live with a more significant presence.  What is presence? Presence allows you to be in the here and now without getting caught up in your ego structure and helps you to inhabit your body, heart and mind.

You feel warm, open, quiet, safe, and joyful when you are present. 

You have a home base which is your Enneagram type. Once you learn your type, the Enneagram provides a spiritual map to help you connect with your true self. The more you connect with your essence, the more present you become.  

Are you ready to move from listening to the inner critic to the inner coach?

As you connect more with your essence, the more you can connect with your inner coach.

Here are five ways to tell your inner critic voice from your coach

1. Your inner coach is honest.

You get into trouble when you are not honest with yourself. Maybe you are trying a new career to please your spouse, and you know it is not for you deep in your heart. Maybe you pretend you are fine when you are seriously depressed. Whenever you are not honest with yourself, it takes you in an unhealthy direction.

You have probably met people who say they are fine when you know they are not. You won't go for help until you admit you have a problem. It takes a lot of energy to ignore pain and dysfunction in your life. Are you ready to move from listening to the inner critic to the inner coach?

Your inner coach will help you to be honest with yourself and help you to acknowledge when you need help. With practice, your inner coach will help you to catch yourself lying and wake you up to the truth.

2. Your inner coach is curious.

Your inner coach will encourage you to be curious about yourself. Instead of getting down and angry with yourself, your inner coach will encourage you to be curious about what is happening within you.  

The more curious you can be about yourself, the more curious you can be about others. When you are curious, there is no need for you to put yourself or the people you love and care about down.  

Are you ready to move from listening to the inner critic to the inner coach?

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3. Your inner coach is corageous.

When you present by inhabiting your three centers of intelligence, you will know deep within yourself what you need to be about in life.

You will learn what you are being called to live out, no matter how scary it may feel. You will know what you need to do and what is the first step you need to take. 

You will find a deep inner confidence within you. You will be able to do things you never dreamt that you were cable of doing. You will surprise yourself over and over again.

4. Your inner coach is hopeful.

The wisdom within you will help you to be genuine, honest and hopeful at the same time. You will deeply connect with your heart, connecting with the life force around the world.

You will feel rooted in the world and cosmos through your body and feel connected to the universe through the medium of your mind.

You will know what you need to do and have faith the world can change when everyone does their part. 

You will notice that people who are grounded in their inner wisdom can see the bigger picture. People that hone in on this skill can see better ways to work together and share an energy that motivates others into action.

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5. Your inner coach is a risk-taker.

When you are grounded in essence, you can see the strengths and gifts within yourself that you have ignored.

You learn to take wise risks and do things you would have never done before. Maybe you finally challenge a friend or family member's biased opinions and points of view. Maybe you will be more generous with your money and volunteer for organizations that share the same values.  

Maybe you will take a lower paying salary to do more meaningful work. Perhaps you will go back to school because there is something new you want to do.

You might decide to spend your inheritance and go and work with an organization that helps people in the two-thirds world to feed themselves. No matter what you decide to do, your inner coach will be there to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. 

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Connecting to you inner coach will remind you to connect with your three intelligence centers: the body, heart and mind.

The more you inhabit these three critical centers, the better you will be able to name the people who can support you, what you need to let go of, what you need to learn, and the changes you need to make.

The inner critic will still show itself, but less often, and when it does act up, you will be able to quiet it down much quicker than before. With a quiet inner critic, your inner coach will thrive. Life will still have challenges, but you will experience greater life flow. 

You will have all the energy you need to follow the gentle, firm voice within you. You will never need to feel alone again.

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 Roland Legge is a Certified Spiritual Life Coach. He shares his expertise with connecting to your inner self in his newsletters, e-book, and his coaching services.

This article was originally published at REL Consultants. Reprinted with permission from the author.