CREDOS : For a change — III

When we try to change ourselves, the focus of our worldview becomes narrower. The more self-critical we are, the more self-absorbed we become. Most of us have a part of

our brain that observes our own behaviour.

But the observers lodged in our brains are neither objective nor compassionate. They’re more likely to be judgmental, always reminding us that we are not good enough. And so we criticise ourselves, judge ourselves, work harder, sleep less, or push our loved ones more... all in an effort to somehow be okay.

Most people I know assume that the judge is accurate! They consider it the “ego Ideal”— the voice that tells us how to be the person we think we should be. Others call that critical voice the conscience. Generally that critical voice is seen as one who has power or wisdom.

What I’ve discovered is that the voice in the brain is not the voice of some wise observer. Rather, it’s the voice of our own anxiety and insecurity telling us that if we become different, then we will no longer be insecure. I see that critical voice as a scared child saying, “Do this and do that... and maybe then we will be okay.”

Instead of taking that critical voice seriously, try listening to it as an anxious part of your personality that needs comfort and reassurance rather than obedience. The truth is, if we become comfortable with who we are rather than who we think we should be, then we will be less insecure and happier. — (Concluded)