Disengaging from Inner Criticism – 15 Paths to Liberation

For more than a decade, I’ve been teaching people how to disengage from inner criticism and develop compassionate understanding for themselves and others. Over the years, I have experienced first-hand how profoundly transformative this work can be, both for myself and for my students. Learning to disengage from inner criticism brings greater inner peace and contentment. It liberates the energy that is bound up in fruitless self-doubt and self-debasement so it instead can be used to pursue one’s goals in life with more playfulness, enthusiasm, and wonder.

In this book, I describe 15 different paths to disengaging from inner criticism. Each path is grounded in a positive inner state, such as clarity, grounding, joy, compassion, appreciation, peace, vitality, etc. Find the path that best suits YOU!

I wanted to create a book, that would not only give the information but rather would take the reader through the same kind of deep and liberating self-exploration that students experienced in my workshops. Therefore, each chapter is organised as a framing for a reflection exercise at the end of the chapter.

To buy your copy, send a mail to info@sensingmind.com

PREFACE
About this book
About the author
INTRODUCTION
1.1. What is inner criticism, and how did it develop? 
1.1.1. Rules for living
1.1.2. Methods of enforcing rules for living
1.2. Why disengage from inner criticism? 
1.2.1. Inner criticism prevents refinement of thinking and acting
1.2.2. Inner criticism is counterproductive
1.2.3. Inner criticism blocks creative imagination
1.2.4. Inner criticism is paralysing
1.3. Why do people not disengage from inner criticism? 
1.3.1. Inner criticism is not your conscience
1.3.2. Inner criticism is not your only source of motivation
1.3.3. Inner criticism is not your source of parental love
1.3.4. Disengaging from inner criticism is not a betrayal of the parents
1.4. How to engage with the exercises in this book 
1.4.1. Pay attention to your inner felt sense
1.4.2. Stay receptive and see what you are looking with
1.4.3. Assume that there are no inner enemies
1.4.4. Look at what came before
1.4.5. Notice and savour the relief
1.5. Chapter summary 

2. DETECTING INNER CRITICISM 
2.1. Why is inner criticism difficult to detect? 
2.1.1. Inner criticism is very familiar
2.1.2. Inner criticism is inconsistent
2.1.3. Inner criticism is constantly evolving
2.1.4. Inner criticism can appear as your own rational opinion
2.1.5. Inner criticism can feel instinctual
2.1.6. Inner criticism creates a sense of urgency that leaves no room for reflection
2.2. The main ways of detecting inner criticism 
2.2.1. Detecting inner criticism by noticing deficiency emotions
2.2.2. Detecting inner criticism by noticing deficiency motivation
2.2.3. Others’ criticism of you
2.2.4. Your own criticism of others
2.2.5. Conspicuously absent thoughts, emotions, and behaviours
2.2.6. Working with inner criticism that is triggered in social situations
2.3. Chapter summary 

3. DESCRIBING INNER CRITICISM AND REACTIONS TO IT 
3.1. Journaling 
3.1.1. The situation
3.1.2. The behaviour, emotion, or thought that is criticised
3.1.3. Negative interpretation: The message of inner criticism
3.1.4. Deficiency-emotions: The emotion inner criticism generates in you
3.1.5. Deficiency-motivated reactions: Your reaction to inner criticism
3.1.6. Themes
3.2. The voices of inner criticism 
3.2.1. The voice of judgment – put-downs, negative labels, and shame
3.2.2. The voice of fear – threats, scary scenarios, and fear
3.2.3. The voice of cynicism – devaluation, reduction, and disappointment
3.2.4. Combinations of the voices
3.2.5. Subtler versions of the voices
3.2.6. The voices and inner parts
3.2.7. Voices of criticism beyond judgement, threat, and cynicism
3.2.8. Inner criticism as conditioned responses and as modelled behaviour
3.2.9. Dealing with anger towards your parents triggered by work on inner criticism
3.3. Reactions to inner criticism 
3.3.1. Complying
3.3.2. Combating
3.3.3. Collapsing
3.3.4. Combinations
3.3.5. Defence mechanisms as reactions to inner criticism
3.4. Criticism as generative force: Reactions as criticism and criticism of reactions 
3.5. Chapter summary 

4. DISENGAGING FROM INNER CRITICISM 
4.1. The role of inner felt sense 
4.2. Methods to disengaging from inner criticism 
4.2.1. Path 1: Disengaging by not engaging
4.2.2. Path 2: Researching and cataloguing inner criticism
4.2.3. Path 3: Comparing the purpose and effect of inner criticism
4.2.4. Path 4: Laughing at the absurdity of inner criticism
4.2.5. Path 5: Owning back the strength and vitality of the inner criticism
4.2.6. Path 6: Taking the jewel from the mouth of the snake
4.2.7. Path 7: Turning awareness to what is beyond inner criticism
4.2.8. Path 8: Embracing the felt sense of loss
4.2.9. Path 9: Embracing the felt sense of pain and vulnerability
4.2.10. Path 10: Embracing the felt sense of parts you dislike in yourself (and in others)
4.2.11. Path 11: Disengaging from positive and negative self-concepts
4.2.12. Path 12: Allowing everything, including inner criticism, to move freely
4.2.13. Path 13: Appreciating the intension of parts that voice inner criticism
4.2.14. Path 14: Appreciating the intension of parts that listen to inner criticism
4.2.15. Path 15: Receiving the honey
4.2.16. Combinations of paths
4.3. Chapter summary 

5. DISENGAGING FROM INNER CRITICISM AS A SPIRITUAL PATH 

6. APPENDIX 1: NEUTRAL SENSORY WORDS 
7. APPENDIX 2: NEGATIVE CHARACTER TRAITS 
8. APPENDIX 3: POSITIVE CHARACTER TRAITS