Consistency Vs. The Inner Critic
We all have that thing that we want to accomplish. It could be to lose 10 pounds, write a novel, change careers, learn to play the guitar, or master a new language, yet success eludes us.
It zigs to our zags and darts when we dash. We use willpower and deprivation and spend countless amounts of money on methods that never last more than a few weeks. Despite our best intentions, we never give it what it needs the most.
A consistent effort.
Consistency is the real power player. Consistency is what shows up when you’re in the arena getting your butt kicked by life and yet you still persist. You keep staying in the game even when you’ve been cut down, beaten up, left for dead. Maybe the whole world knows you’re in there putting up a brave fight, or maybe no one knows you’re there struggling, but either way, you keep showing up. That’s consistency my friend (with a little bit of grit thrown in for good measure!)
Do you know who else shows up on a consistent basis?
That’s right. Your lousy, ego-motivated, lazy, good for nothing inner critic.
You could literally be there getting mud thrown in your face and it will be telling you I told you this wasn’t going to work out! It’ll be asking why are you still trying so hard? If you don’t stop and save yourself now, it will only get worse. You’re embarrassing yourself, look at you all dirty and bloody from a fight no one cares that you’re fighting. You should stop caring as well. Idiot.
Yes, consistency and your inner critic do not get always get along and play well together.
Well, maybe that’s not 100% true. Constantly blowing off doing the hard work to achieve a goal is when the two have a little tete-a-tete.
I think we should blow off this whole build a healthier body thing and snuggle on the sofa tonight! Oh yeah baby, let’s get it on. In fact, let’s do this every night!
And when they’re not in cahoots snuggling up under the blanket together, it’s a full-on battle of wits!
Consistency says: I need to exercise.
Inner Critic says: Nope. Don’t feel like it.
Consistency: I need to do this, I want to exercise so I can lose this belly that you made me get!
Inner Critic: But you don’t even have your workout clothes on yet. And what, you’re going to get in the car to drive all the way over to the gym? Are you serious? At this hour? It’s too late, you’ve missed your window and now you have to go and finish the laundry first anyway.
Consistency: Maybe I’ll just go for a run outside then.
Inner Critic: No, it’s too cold, I’m not changing.
Consistency: It is cold. I’ll do it tomorrow.
Inner Critic: Not if I have any say in the matter.
We fall in love with the idea of a shiny new goal. We excitedly commit to a new relationship between us and a new aspiration and promise to love it, nurture it and feed it until it grows into our grand vision.
But we forget to realize that lurking underneath it all, a mere nanosecond away, is that inner critic that can suck the wind out of your sails. And if it doesn’t succeed the first time, it comes back. And it keeps coming until it has made its point very clear. If it were a caveman, it would be the one grabbing you by the hair and dragging you back into the cave.
You have to be stealth in order to maneuver around the inner critic to become victorious but lucky for us, sometimes only the barest of mental preparedness is necessary in order to sidestep the relentless banter.
- Ignore the voice.
Remember Dr.Evil and his bag of shhhhh? He’s got a whole bag and he isn’t afraid to use it! When the voice begins it’s song and dance, all you need to say is shhhhh. When it begins again, pull out another shhhhh. And once again, as it persists, you pull out and even bigger shhhh and shush your way to the treadmill/gym/bike/whatever it is you just keep on trucking like no one is talking to you. Talk to the hand sista cause I ain’t got time for this today. Mmmm-hmmm!
- Never let the voice win two days in a row.
I get you. Somedays that voice is going to pin you down and get in your face with its bad breath and mean girl attitude. And maybe one day you’re just going to cave. It’s too heavy and it’s making real sense. Fine. You can give in, but it’s only once. Never, and I mean never let the voice win twice. It will walk all over you at that point, and it and consistency will be rolling around on the sofa looking for milkshakes.
- When you feel the pressure mounting, when you’re starting to feel a little hesitancy, you need to mantra your way through the day. All. Day. Long.
Right up to where you’re actually working on your goal. And then you need to keep going with it. Find your mantra, make it yours. Own it. Live it. Breathe it. It’s an extension of you. I set a reminder four times a day with my mantra. Yes, 4 times. It’s that good and it keeps me in the right mindset. Find yours. Now would be a good time if you don’t already have one. And don’t worry if you don’t think it’s the right one... you’ll know because it will light a fire, shine a light, or make you feel like the Red Sea just parted before your eyes.
The majority of the stuff that stands in your way of you and achieving your goals is the consistent effort you decide to give it each day. Keep showing up, keep putting in the work. It will make a difference, you just have to keep showing up! Please, keep showing up even when the going gets tough because you will have breakthroughs and a-ha moments that you otherwise would have missed out on if you choose to just sit there and do nothing. Be bold, be consistent!
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