I have asked people to tell me about their inner critic. You know, the unkind, limiting internal voice or voices we carry. We often assume they came from our parents. Many times it’s true. But a lot more influences in the symphony of childhood impact us. (teachers, friends, grandparents, coaches, etc) These expressions, heard when we are young, make lasting impressions.
All children hear them. They take them in. Then, although no one is saying them any longer, they live on as an inner voice. It presents as a limiting belief with a critical undertone in our adult life.
I’d like to share two of the messages I received as a child.
** My mother was a frequent user of the phrase, “Because, I said so.” I think it was popular back then. Sometimes she’d add, “It’s my way or the highway”. It felt like a pretty strong ‘no’ with the additional caveat I knew to be true. Don’t kid yourself, any negotiation is off the table.
The message I heard: “You don’t have any say about it.” “What you want doesn’t matter.” “You can’t have what you want.”
** My grandfather used to say. “Why don’t you hire a hall?” At first, I didn’t know what he meant. For the longest time, I thought he was saying, “Hire a haul”. I thought he meant a U-Haul to carry it away. But, ‘Hire a hall,’ meant stand up on a stage and tell an audience your woes: a disinterested audience no less.
When I realized what he was saying, I felt curious. What are the chances of hiring a hall? How could I find one? And pay an audience to listen to me? Slim to none.
The message I heard: “Stop complaining. I don’t want to hear it.” “When in distress, be quiet.”
These phrases carry long-term implications.
I’d like to explore this further in my next post.