Joy Rigberg, MEd, MA, CC
Recovery & Life Coach
Certified B.E.S.T. Practitioner

Acknowledging Your Inner Critics

First I’d like to extend a Big welcome to all the new subscribers in the past couple of weeks! I hope you enjoy this post as well as the Daily Inspiration & Affirmations! I really enjoy bringing them to you!

For the past several weeks I’ve been sharing with you quotes & affirmations on themes about inner peace, acceptance, trust, faith, patience & happiness, and it’s been a really empowering experience and process for me!

Expressing some of the inspiring words and affirmations that I so highly regard in my own life encapsulates all of the above qualities and has been heightening my self-awareness as well as my personal spiritual practices. So for that, I’m really grateful and would like to thank you for your support!

I’m so humbled to have a place like the Next Step Recovery Coaching newsletter and blog where I can continue to express myself, grow, transform and face my own fears and challenges; while at the same time work through them and maybe even offer some insights along the way.

So from this place, I would like to share with you the process that I’m using to work through my latest challenge, which is manifesting as negative and limiting thoughts, a.k.a., The Inner Critics.

This will be my first step towards opening the conversation about recognizing the soundtrack that we play in our heads; what we’re telling ourselves, and how to begin to nurture and create new empowering thoughts. I hope it’s both thought provoking and comforting at the same time.

Please chime in and share your thoughts, insights and experience about this topic on the Blog. I’d love to explore and expand this conversation together!

So who are these critical characters anyway?

Recently, as my business has begun to grow and blossom, I’m aware that some old, inner critical, and fearful voices have arisen, and are loudly stating their presence inside of my head. The characters are: The Bully, The Doubter and The Perfectionist. 

These voices aren’t new, and even with ALL of the inspiration and affirmations that I write and read, and ALL of the meditation, breathing, energy and yoga that I practice, I admit that I have once again given these critical characters much more power than they deserve!

So for the purpose of length and time, I intend to focus today’s blog on only one of the above characters, namely, The Bully, and the process will go like this:

1. Recognize and acknowledge the bully.
2. Learn more about her.
3. Accept and affirm her.
4. Assign her a new job.
5. Create a new empowering message.

I’ve done a lot of work in this area on becoming aware of my own inner dialogue. I’ve also come to understand that these inner critics are pure energy and that they are not ME. I’ve learned that each critic or voice has been created by me, probably during my childhood, and all with the intention to protect me.

So keeping that in  mind, some of the messages that I’ve been hearing from them are going something like this…”Who are you kidding, you’re not a business woman.” a.k.a. The Bully; Or this…”You’ll never make it as a coach and be financially independent, you better go back to teaching.” a.k.a. The Doubter; Or this…”You’re not good enough.” a.k.a. The Perfectionist.

Just Ask…and Then Listen 

I’ve experienced that when I take time, usually in meditation, to talk with each of my inner critics separately, question them, find out what they’re needing support with and what they’re afraid of, and then give them the space to express themselves without any censor, that they, just like anyone else, need to be acknowledged, accepted and heard.

Acknowledging The Bully

The following visualization practice, (taught to me by one of my amazing mentors, Hiro Boga) and dialogue is intended to illustrate my process…Here I go. 

First, I did some preparation. I got grounded and centered. Then I visualized calling together a circle of my Inner Selves and Critics. In the center of the circle I had a chair shaped like a big comfy lap, nice and inviting, safe and protected. Then I set the ground rules, telling everyone that this was a safe place to express themselves however they’d like, and that we would all listen to them without judgement, interruption or side talk. Next I asked the circle who would like to speak first, and lo and behold, up came The Bully.

Bully:  You aren’t a business woman! You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re going to fall flat on your face, and I’ll be the first one to say, I told you so. You’ll never be financially independent. You’re so far behind everyone else. No one will read what you write. You have to do more posting, advertising and blogging. You’re not doing nearly enough. You should get a real job, get married, and let your husband support you.

On a side note, throughout this diatribe I’m breathing deeply and consciously and am visualizing a bubble of white light sourounding me and protecting me. 

Bully:  Her tone began to change – I’m afraid that you won’t succeed in business and that you’ll never be as good as those other women. What will I do if you give up? Who will support me when you’re broke? What will I do when you run out of all your funds? Who will love me then? I’ll be all alone. I’m afraid of being all alone. 

Accepting and Offering Support

Wow, at the bottom of all of that bullying was the fear of not being loved and of being alone. 

So here’s what happened next.

Me: I hear you and I thank you for your courage to speak so freely. Is there anything else you’d like to say? No, well then I’d like to thank you again for your honesty and willingness to talk.

Me: I know that your intention has been to keep me protected from failure and from being alone, and I acknowledge you for that and I thank you for your help. However, I’ve got everything under control now and won’t be needing your assistance anymore.

Me: I do happen to know of a place that does need your help right now. The army needs your help in whipping the new recruits into shape. I know you’ll do an amazing job there! The job begins immediately, so you better go. Here, let me escort you out so you can get on your way! 😉

An Empowering New Message

So once the bully was gone, I asked for a consensus from the circle…What’s one thought or affirmation that you’d like to hear in place of the criticism and doubt?


After repeating my new empowering affirmations several times and anchoring them into my heart and my body, I closed the circle, took three deep, conscious breaths and opened my eyes.

Well that’s it. I know this is a long post and I thank you for sticking in there with me! 

It’s an interesting process for sure. I felt pretty funny the first time I did it too, but it really works! Look at is an an experiment, you have everything to gain and nothing to loose, except maybe 10-15 minutes of your time.

So what do you think? Are you willing to take the time to listen to your Inner Critics?

I’d love for you to share your thoughts and experience so we can all learn, grow and transform together.

With love,







One Response to “Acknowledging Your Inner Critics”

  1. […] few days ago I sent out a blog post entitled, Acknowledging Your Inner Critics, in which I exposed some of my own personal inner dialogue and shared one of the processes I […]