This is a picture representing the fear I had about what my siblings might think about my story

Why Bother Identifying the Bad Commentator?

As a writer, I am grateful for good editors. When constructing my book, my manuscript went through a series of professional editors. At first, the process was a little painful. Each and every one of my words was scrutinized for spelling and correct usage. Then each sentence was examined for clarity as well as how it added or subtracted to the paragraph. Of course, every paragraph was critiqued too, to determine how its content supported the overall theme of the book. 

The wonderful part of this editing process, as difficult as it was sometimes, led to the final  product of a well crafted book. 

Though there are good editors there is also a resident commentator, the one who lives inside our head. This particular editor, also known as the inner critic, does not lead us down a constructive pathway in order to produce a worthy outcome, instead, this commentator is a destructive one. 

The Faultfinder

The inner critic, I’ve noticed, is unkind. It can be ruthless with its negativity. It tells me that I will never succeed, and that I’m too dumb to even try. Its purpose is to harm, not to help. It hampers and never encourages. It speaks with authority, yet it doesn’t tell the truth. It is quick to form its opinion based on feelings, not facts. Since its only purpose is to sabotage our goals, it is important that we don’t dilly dally around listening to its repetitive, familiar and undermining message for too long. The best tactic, I’ve found, is to identify the messenger as soon as possible so that I can fight against the harmful message.  

The inner critic or commentator is unreasonable as well as an exaggerator. When I hear, “You always,” or “You never,” I know my inner critic is speaking. These accusatory words fall on the heels of a mishap, a mistake, or a misunderstanding. Imperfection is intolerable according to this commentator, and yet, nary is a solution offered.  If I continue to stay in their company, things only get worse. “You will never be any good at… You might as well give it up now. Why prolong your hope when you are hopeless?” Ouch! 

When we realize we are under fire from the faultfinder we need to remember that their only job is to find fault, apply discouragement and then leave us feeling defeated. Stepping away from that inner critic before we are robbed of our drive to succeed can be done, but it has to be done by applying a truth. For instance, I often tell myself that I am not finished yet, but I am moving forward. Or that accomplishments are not achieved instantly, rather by one small step at a time. 

Why bother identifying the bad commentator? The sooner I expose the bad commentator, the sooner I can mute it and get on with accomplishing what I’ve set out to achieve. 

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A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens