The inner critic voice constantly puts you down and takes away your self-confidence. This is the one that most affects me. I'm constantly plagued by feelings of "I can't do this" or "I'm just not good enough." I have a tendency to compare my lives to other people's lives and focus on the good things in their lives and their natural talents, but when I look at my own life and my abilities, I tend to ignore them and focus on my weaknesses. The time that this voice affects me most is not, believe it or not, school. When it affects me most is interacting with the opposite sex. It sounds rather pathetic, but whenever I see or meet a girl I'd like to go out with, the inner critic voice begins to sound in my brain. I begin to feel like a complete loser that she'd never be interested in. It affects my behavior to the point where I won't approach her or try and talk to her, because in my head, I've already been rejected. I was socially slow to develop in high school and was rather awkward for my first few years. Fast forward to now, my social life and my social skills have improved substantially, but as far as interacting with women goes, I still feel the same way I did in high school. I need to learn to ignore the inner critic voice and apply some of my newly learned confidence to this area of my life. I have to ignore the way things have been in the past for me, and focus on how I am now and, most importantly, how I want to be.
The inner defender voice blames other people and things for your own failures. I've never been one to blame people and things for my failures, unless they clearly were the reason why. I'm aware of the difference between something that may make it harder for me or something that could have contributed to my failure, versus something that was actually someone else's fault, over which I had no control. But one instance where I was guilty of this was my failing Math 1080 last semester. When I think about it, the first things that come into my head are: "It's the toughest class at Clemson" (which, statistically, it actually is), or "We switched teachers mid semester, and the second one was much tougher" or "Math just isn't my thing". I look at every factor that could have contributed to my failure but me. Even now, it's hard to admit that if I'd have worked harder in that class, I could have passed. Like I said, I don't experience this voice a lot, but when I do, I need to stop and look at the big picture. Unless what happened was completely out of my control, then I could have done something about it, and I need to remember that.
The "inner guide" voice gently encourages you, and helps you find a way to do whatever it is you're doing. This is something I've actually been becoming familiar with. I'd never heard of the term "inner guide" before, but I've become good at thinking this way. An example of this is, in fact, this assignment. As I wrote my experiences with the inner critic voice, I began to look at the situation in a whole new way. I realized that the only thing standing between me and a potential relationship is me. I'm the only thing in my way. From this perspective, I can see that the only reason I've never had a relationship is my own negative thinking. I've actually gained a lot of self confidence in other areas of my life, so if I can learn to apply it here, there's no telling what may happen.
In my life, I believe the inner critic voice is my "default" voice. When I am faced with a challenge, I sometimes begin to feel uncomfortable. Negative, doubting thoughts make their way into my head. I'm reminded of all the times in the past I've failed, or that things didn't work out. It's like there's a little voice in my head that tells me "You're a loser. You can't really do anything right, so why don't you just give up. Don't even try. This is beyond you. You can't do it!" This voice really cuts through to me, as I've had self esteem issues all throughout my childhood. Sometimes, it's enough to suck me down into a pool of negativity, no self-esteem, and worthlessness. Now, I realize that this has held me back from so much. I try to let the inner guide take over, as now I realize how much this has held me back from. If I'd only believed in myself and learned to be confident, my life may have been very different. But the past is the past, so I look at it with an "inner guide" perspective, to learn from it and improve going forward. I realize how destructive this "inner critic" thinking can be, so my goal is to go forward remembering that and trying not to let it happen any longer.