Feet pounding, heart racing, she ran full speed ahead at the wall. As soon as she was just close enough she used all of her strength to leap forward, right foot outstretched as she went flying forward. Her foot met with the stones and she immediately kicked herself off of the wall, flying backwards and hitting the creature right in its ugly head.
There was a satisfying “smack” as her foot met with its flesh.
The creature was stunned but was relentless. With outstretched arms it came at her again.
She ducked and lunged forward, arms wrapped around the thing’s midsection as her force sent it flying backward.
It landed in the soft earth with a thud and stayed down. She rolled off of it and got up to look at it.
Man, was it ugly.
Sharp, crooked teeth protruded from its mouth. Ugh, its mouth. Its mouth was the worst part. It took up a third of the thing’s face. It had three beady black eyes and a small nose, but that mouth, it was huge.
Without warning, the short figure sprang up again and came at her once more. She kicked, but it not hard enough, as it didn’t seem to faze it.
She threw a punch, but the thing grabbed her hand, squeezing her fist with it’s large dewy hand. Its claws dug into the back of her hand and she struggled not to yell out in pain.
Pulling her hand free, that is when she realized that fighting this thing was not in her best interest. She’d never win this way. This creature, after all, could not be defeated. No matter how much she hated to admit it, it was a part of her and could never truly be killed.
She stood there as the trees surrounded them, and closed her eyes, staying perfectly still. She heard its footsteps as it ran towards her. And then, it just stopped. She took a breath, opened her eyes, and regarded the creature. It stood in front of her, staring at her in curiosity and wonder. Then it smiled its evil smile at her.
She smiled back and said, “I’m not afraid of you.”
The thing continued to look on at her in curiosity.
“I’m done fighting,” she breathed. “You are a part of me. This, I cannot change. But I’ve already begun to defeat you. Once you were a giant, and now you are nothing more than a persistent troll of annoyance. And I refuse to allow you to even be that big.”
The curiosity in the thing’s eyes began to shift from wonder to fear as she opened her mouth to work her magic.
She laughed at the fear written on its face and began to recite powerful words,
“I am strong enough.
And I am good enough.
No, I am more than good enough!
I am perfectly capable.
I am talented and I am skilled.
I am smart.
I am good at what I do.
No, I am GREAT at what I do!
I will be relentless in obtaining my goals.
I love myself and others love me, too.
I will not let you reduce me!
I am bigger and stronger than you!
And I will move forward despite your efforts!”
And as she said these words the creature shrank and shrank and shrank until it was no more than a couple of inches tall. It yelled out nasty lying things to her, but its voice was too small to be heard. And she wasn’t listening anyway.
She smiled at her victory and picked the thing up from the back of its ripped jacket. She put it up to her face so that it was at her eye level and said, “boo”. The thing cowered.
She laughed and put it in a jar, closing the lid tight. She slid the jar into her bag as she knew this was something that she couldn’t simply be rid of. Leaving it in the woods wouldn’t work. She couldn’t ignore it. She’d keep it close so that she could keep it in check. If she so much as heard one lying filthy word from the creature she’d let it know who was in charge right away. If not, it might get big enough to break out of its jar again.
And she would never let that happen again.
Defeating Your Inner Critic: (it's self-reflective work time!)
The heroine in this tale did a couple of things to shut down her own Inner Critic.
One: she kicked it in the head
Two: She yelled back, and she yelled truth
Three: She trapped it in a bottle
So naturally, I’ll have you do the same thing. Well, minus the whole kicking in the head part, of course. Although, if you’d like to visualize that scenario, please, be my guest.
What I would like for you to do now is to recognize the things that your inner critic says to you. I want you to recognize what lies she spins so that you can unravel them, soak them in your truth, and watch them dissipate like bath salts in water.
What lies is your Inner Critic currently telling you?
Once you’ve listed all of the lies, break them down, just like the heroine in the story, and write your truths next to them. Feel free to cross off the lies, or write “LIE” on top.
Now that we’ve cleared up the lies, we need to turn down the volume on your Inner Critic so that you can’t hear her so well anymore. Ready?
Take a moment in a quiet place to find your Inner Critic. What does she look like? What does she smell like? What part of your body did you find her in? (This could indicate needing some work in a chakra, by the way).
Stand in front of her and notice that on her neck, she has a knob. It looks a lot like a volume knob you’d find on a car radio. In fact, it is a volume knob! You reach out, and she doesn’t move, because she knows you’re the boss. You take the knob and turn it gently, down, down, down, until she’s mute. You can now smile at her, thank her for the lessons she’s given you, but tell her that she is not needed and can go along to spend the rest of her days watching television. She won’t, of course. She’ll get bored during a commercial and tell you that you aren’t good enough when you’re thinking about applying for art school. Or submitting a novel to be published. Or have finally worked up the courage to ask out that co-worker you’ve had a crush on for months.
In that case, you know exactly what to do. Counteract her lie with your truth, and then turn the volume down on that mean girl.