Have you ever made a mistake or an error and said something along the lines of, "How could I be so stupid?" What about, "When are you going to learn?" We term these voices as your "inner critic." Although this inner critic stems from you, it is NOT you. You've heard that particular phrase/s from someone else and because you've/they’ve repeated it numerous times, it now sounds like your voice. Fascinating huh? Let me help you to explore the difference. YOUR voice is kind, loving, nurturing, complimenting, encouraging, supporting, validating, affirming… You get the picture, right? When you were a child, far before you could recall, you tried to crawl, and eventually walk. As you were attempting to explore the world you probably started with an army crawl, or maybe you crawled backwards. As you gained confidence you began to take a wobbly step, which eventually led to you dashing across the room. As many times as you fell is the same amount of times you got back up. It may not have looked as polished as your siblings/friends but you kept striving because you wanted to explore. Science has confirmed that there was a internal dialogue within those moments. As you fell and fell again, and yet again, what message was delivered to you? It probably sounded like this: "I want to go there and I will get there. I want this or that, and I will get this or that. Now that I know how to get this or that or go here or there, I will do it again next time because I want to. Wow, I am faster and stronger, what can I get into next?" An OUTSIDE voice (mom, dad, sister, brother, friend, teacher, classmate) has become your inner voice and sometimes, it sound like you. You've heard their voice and that voice has become more powerful than your own. Let's work together to fix that. NAME THE VOICE! Give it a name. Call it leech, call it a parasite, call it anything you want, just identify it as separate from you; OUTSIDE of you. Now, here comes the fun part. Ask yourself, what is "this leech" stopping you from doing, taking away from you, keeping you from moving towards, paralyzing your thought process from reaching, or crippling your efforts. Tell that voice to be quiet or maybe shut up and you are done listening to it. Now, you may notice "this leech" talking throughout the day, all day, shut it down EVERY, SINGLE, TIME; no exceptions. Replace that voice with the voice that is already inside of you. Be still and listen, it's probably really soft and you have to lean in to hear it, but it's there. It's always been there, and now you know you can choose to listen to it.