The Heart-based Time Management™ System goes beyond conventional time management, offering tools and insights for transforming your relationship with time. This is important because, while your to-do lists and schedules have an impact on your time, so do your thoughts, feelings, and values.

So let’s take a look at one energy-drain that most of us experience – the Inner Critic. As a first step toward time success, there are few things quite as freeing as learning to harness the energy that gets undercut by self-critical messages.

Critical messages sap your confidence and creativity. They demoralize and distract, sabotaging your best work. Then, after the damage is done, your Inner Critic is there to say, “I told you so.”

The good news is that, because the Inner Critic works best in darkness and obscurity, illumination is a great antidote. Shining a light is the first step in freeing yourself from this vicious cycle!
So, are you ready to get started?

1. The key foundational fact to take in is that your Inner Critic’s Voice is YOUR voice. The voice may sound like an echo of other voices you’ve known, but in the present, your Inner Critic is ALL you. This may not sound like good news but it really is. It means that you have all the power.

With that knowledge in hand, your next step is to start recognizing and, ultimately, quieting those critical messages. It is no exaggeration to describe this as a pathway to freedom.

2. So the next step is to listen. In the quiet you’ll notice that there’s a lot of ‘talk’ going on in your head. Gradually, you’ll start to recognize the patterns and cadences of the voices. One will become recognizable as your Inner Critic.

For each of us, the voice will be uniquely our own. Maybe it sounds a little like your mother or father … or perhaps it’s your 5th grade teacher. Pay attention to what he or she says. What are the themes? What is the tone? How does your body feel when you hear it?

It’s very, very helpful when you can catch the voice of the Inner Critic "in the act." But it can be very tricky at first, because these messages are often so deeply embedded. They may feel very normal. They are subtle, pervasive, and form a sort of toxic backdrop to your life. That’s why it is crucial to slow down and learn to recognize this critical voice.

3. Next, you can clearly and calmly NAME your critical voice whenever you hear it. Tell yourself, "This is my Inner Critic talking." It may seem obvious, but naming is a quietly powerful step because, by labeling this voice, you make yourself, by definition, larger and more powerful. You assert that you see and hear what is going on.

The messages of your Inner Critic are powerful only if you believe them, and naming the source means that you know the content is questionable. This helps you separate yourself from your Inner Critic. As you let in more light, the power of this fault-finder dissipates more and more.

When you assert your power by naming this part of you, you begin to see the shape and contours of your Inner Critic even more clearly. You see that this is a mindless voice of negativity. It is not founded in facts or reason. Your Inner Critic begins to look like a balloon whose air is slowly leaking out.

4. Another powerful step you can take is to counter the Inner Critic’s messages with calm, clear, factual statements. Don’t try to argue. If you do, you just step into a power struggle that will lead nowhere. So don’t react. Simply speak directly to your Inner Critic from your place of power. There will be no retort.

5. Be vigilant. As you recognize the critical messages you give yourself, name them clearly, and respond in a calm and grounded way. This destructive voice has been a part of your life for a very long time. It won’t disappear over-night, and it will never go entirely silent. Typically, it quiets for a time and then re-emerges with a slightly different tone.

But the very good news is that as you engage in this process, you are not only recognizing a voice – you are also building trust and self-intimacy. You are your own skillful ally as you deepen and expand into your fullest and freest self.

And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, the Finding Time Success Kit, which includes "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. Discover that 24 hours really are enough!

Author's Bio: 

Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who specializes in mentoring heart-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, from the inside out, to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.

You can learn more about Paula’s unique, Heart-Based Time Management™ System and begin your transformational journey by signing up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Follow your heart-based path to finding time for what matters most.