Curt MickaDuring the presentation that we did at the recent 2014 IEA Conference in Burlingame, CA  – “All Stressed Out and No Where to Go” – we explored how the Inner Critic shows up for each of us and how we might work to change our relationship with it. It’s not about trying to make our Inner Critic go away, but rather to transform it into a partner that takes a back seat to a more essential voice of knowing.

One exercise we did was to have people explore how their IC shows up. What does the voice of your IC sound like? What impact does it have on you emotionally? Somatically? What does your Inner Critic look like? Draw a picture of it. Journal about it.  This isn’t necessarily an easy exploration!

At this point, a delightful person dominant in Type 8 spoke up. “Well I can’t do this exercise”, she said, “because I don’t have an Inner Critic. I just do what I want to do!”

I gulped and after a few deep breaths, I was able thank her for sharing her reality.

The Inner Critic is a voice all Enneagram Types experience as the personality’s strategy to attain a sense of autonomy, security and worthiness. Sometimes our IC can take on a voice that doesn’t sound critical.  Indeed, when the voice sounds confident or affirming it can be even more difficult to discern. And we can become so enmeshed with our Inner Critic that we don’t realize we have one. Our IC voice is just who we are.  It seems to be the truth.  It speaks the truth. It’s the voice that assures us of what we need to do to be safe. But it espouses a path that takes us away from our inner wisdom and knowing—from our real purpose in life.

We’d like to hear about your Inner Critic. If you’re willing, share your dominant Type and give examples of how your IC shows up. What does the voice of your Inner Critic sound like? What does it tell you? How real does it or does it not sound? How does it impacts you? Whose voice is it? Anything you care to share. Diana and I would love to explore with you. To offer your thoughts or a comment, simply click on the “comments” link at the beginning of this article.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Curt Micka & Diana Redmond