That notorious Inner Critic — in health coaching partnerships with people carving a path to their healing, I observe this voice to be a shared entity. Like a weird uncle, we all seem to have one and it is important to be self-aware of such.
This ‘internal cattle prod’ has gotten plenty of attention. By now, no one is terribly embarrassed to confess to theirs, because we can be reasonably sure of a sympathetic audience. We know the feeling of squirming under its scrutinizing gaze and recognize its sharp disdaining tone as a common experience.
That gaze. If we get a tiny bit curious, or brave, can’t we follow it back through an internal lens to a quality of attention to our inner workings; a function among the myriad operations in there, whose apparent job description is constant and thorough scrutiny for flaws (which may have a coincidental correspondence to the way we see things outside our skin…).
What if we could change the filter on the lens? What if the Inner Critic were kicked back a little on the inner Org Chart and the Chief Customer Service officer got a promotion?
Think of those times when you have to make a call to Tech Support for your phone, or Customer Service for your health insurance company, or the cable company billing department. The call itself is normally prompted by a stress experience, and often the frame of mind you make it in is grumpy. Have you noticed how satisfying and de-stressing it is to get someone really good at customer service on the other end of the call? They listen, they ask how they can help (with interest), they apologize for the inconvenience, they point you in the right direction. You know it’s not personal — they’ve been trained to do the same with everyone — but it’s so helpful, right?
What if you could run your own natural self-attention through the lens of customer service, and listen with that respect and regard that businesses seem to know are essential for keeping customers? Polite, non-intrusive, non-critical, understanding… simply there to help.
How might that change your day?