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Over the past few months, I have talked a lot about Mongers aka Inner Critic. The hardest part about dealing with Mongers is noticing they are even there. Mongers are wily and subtle. They aren’t giant in your face monsters who storm into your life and make you miserable. No, they are much more sneaky. This sneakiness is why we often don’t notice our mongers. They play there in our heads quietly telling us how much we suck, how terrible we are, how we could be better, thinner, cuter, smarter, friendlier, more accommodating, etc. Because they are so subtle, so wily, so creative we listen to them and believe them. So here are some ways your Mongers might be showing up in your life, and you don’t even recognize it.
Your inbox is growing and growing, and you set aside an hour to plow through it but at the end of the hour, you have made minimal progress.
How your Monger hijacked it: One of the first emails you come across is from a co-worker wanting an answer to a pressing problem. The truth is, you don’t have time to research the answer right now, and you need to tell her that your plate is full, and you won’t be able to get to it for a couple of weeks.As you go to write your Mongers says, “Really you are going to tell her your plate is full, who do you think you are? OH, you are SOOO busy, right? Well maybe if you were better organized you wouldn’t have to dump all your work on everyone else.” So you write nothing. And that repeats for a few more emails until finally, unknowingly you give up (who can blame you!?) why would you want to listen to that added stress to your day.
Overly Emotional Response (aka a nine response to a two event)
It is Saturday, and you, and the family arrive home after a busy day of sports and birthday parties. Your husband asks a simple question, “What’s for dinner?”. And your immediate response is anger. You scream “I don’t know…why is it always my job to figure out what’s for dinner!!”
How your Monger hijacked it: In the car on the way home you are thinking about what to have for dinner AND you are also thinking that you don’t want to cook. As you start to say to your husband, “Hey let’s grab something out or help me come up with dinner?” Your Mongers starts playing in your head, “You are such a terrible mom…you can’t even come up with dinner!! Give me a break, how hard is that!! It is your job to make dinner so just do it and quit whining”. You get more and more irritated fighting with they reality that you don’t want to make dinner but also having the inner war that a ‘good mom always makes dinner’ So when you get home, and your husband asks a simple, logical question what’s for dinner you are ready to explode!!
There are countless ways these two scenarios play out.
You decide you want to do some landscaping in your yard, but you give up after only and hour. Because unknowingly your inner critic was hammering you the whole time about how untalented you were.
You are excited to go to happy hour with your new co-workers but at the last minute, you decide not to go. Because your inner critic spent most of the day telling you that you were too old, and your co-workers don’t want to hang out with an old person.
You want to share your new idea at the staff meeting but when it is your turn to speak you pass. Becuase your inner critic spent the first half of the meeting telling you how stupid the idea was and that everyone will make fun of you/
Our Mongers aren’t subtle and sneaky. They sidetrack us, manipulate us and convince us that they know what’s best. They change our behaviors, make us engage in activities we don’t want to and prevent us from fully showing up in our lives. Their power comes from their quiet, determined methods. So they more you start noticing their preferred the easier it is to take away their power.
Pay attention to the sneaky ways your Mongers show up. Notice how often you start a task you want to do, only to end up sidetracked and derailed and ask yourself:
What happened here?
What was my inner dialogue before I quit?
Notice when you have a super emotional response to a minimal crime and ask yourself. What happened here? What was my inner dialogue before I quit?
The more you can catch your Monger in their silly game the quicker you can defeat it.