Identifying Three Different Inner Voices
Where it all starts: with us!
Inner Critic: “I’m going to fail anyways, so why even try?”
• Definition: The Inner Critic is the little devil sitting on your shoulder. Its intention is to make one try to justify failure, but the actual result is self-defeat.
• Identify: I find myself using this mindset every time I take a test or quiz that I am not 100% confident about. If I have any sense of doubt in my mind I talk myself out of doing as well as I should. I will be sitting at my desk just staring at my test/quiz, reading through the questions and racking through my brain trying to find the answers. I go through and try to answer the ones that I know and go back and work on the ones I don’t, but at this point I’m basically starting to give up, I play the blame game as to why I didn’t prepare for this exam, to the point I’m ready to just circle something just to have an answer. “Why didn’t you study this?” “Come on you’ve read this before…” “This is pointless you only know like 5 questions” “We don’t take tests in real life tests are so pointless.” These are the questions that run through my brain while I’m taking my tests/quizzes.
• Revise: In order to change the way I use my Inner Critic voice I need to be less pessimistic. I need to tell myself I can do it and try to look at situations with a positive attitude. I also need to back up what I say and make myself feel more confident by reviewing my material and feeling prepared to take the test.
Inner Defender: “ I would’ve passed the test if my professor actually taught and wasn’t so lazy.”
• Definition: The Inner Defender sets blame on others and do not take responsibility for our actions. It is a very negative connotation, as once the blame is placed on someone other than the source it results in complaining about the other person and the actions they took to help you. The positive intention is fed off of negativity and criticism.
• Identify: This behavior I find myself using more than I’d like to admit. In todays society this is the go to “default” setting for most people, because it takes the blame off of us and places it on someone else, usually of more authority than ourselves. I use this particularly when I get my grades back, “If only they would’ve actually taught this!” or “We never learned anything like this in class, it has nothing to do with the test!” These are all common things I say or think when I get my grades back or even sometimes during my tests/quizzes.
• Revise: In order to direct this negativity toward my inner guide, I need to be responsible for my actions. I should’ve gone to tutoring, I should’ve met with my professors more, I should’ve is the basis for all the answers to taking responsibility. Just being able to recognize that the grades I receive are my responsibility and no one else’s.
Inner Guide: “I made the choice to not study, now I have to fix it for next test.”
• Definition: The Inner Guide does just like its name; it guides the person to see the absolute truth, not a false truth but the real reason for the bad grade or the missed effort. It does not seek to be negative it just seeks to inform of the correct information instead of beating ones self up over a test or placing blame on another.
• Identify: I find myself using my Inner Guide shockingly every test, it will always run through my head, how can I get it right? Could I have done something different that could have resulted with me getting a better grade?
Reflection:My default setting is my inner defender. I feel as though this is my inner “default” setting because it makes it easier to try to justify the actions that I made. I might have not felt prepared or just got nervous with just the word “exam” so my automatic setting is you’re going to fail. It has such a negative connotation that it makes me embarrassed to say that this is my “default” setting but it is truthful. I would love to be able to just accept my actions without blame to make it easier to accept MY wrongdoings, but it’s easier to just blame the professor. I need to realize that if only I would have gone to tutoring, if I ‘d asked questions, or if I were to actually acknowledge my struggling in the class, it would make it easier on me to accept my failure.
I feel like I will be able to change my “default” setting by taking responsibility for my actions and doing everything I possibly can to feel as prepared as possible for the exam. I can see myself implementing this mindset in the future with success on my exams and actually cutting back at work and using all the tools that are at my disposal for my success. By feeling successful and prepared for exams I feel as though my thought process will change and I wont feel the need to blame, or try to justify, the choices I made and the preparation I used for the exams will be my decisions. I feel as though the difference between this semester and last semester is my mindset as well as my motivation for success.
Procrastination: The one characteristic everyone possesses to some degree.