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Say hello, Rex....

Today, I want to share a personal insight with you (and my first ever article on LinkedIn!) – a journey I'm sure many of you can relate to – the battle with our inner critic.

Allow me to introduce you to "Rex", the nickname lovingly(?) given to me by my two close mates, representing my inner critic's voice.

For years, "Rex" has been a constant companion, constantly whispering doubts and fears in my ear. Whether it's at work, at home, in front of an audience, in front of a mic, or during moments of self-reflection, Rex is there, ready to panic, get anxious and bleat loudly, and criticise every move I make.

Every. Bloody Move.

I'm sure many of you have a Rex of your own – that relentless, self-sabotaging voice that makes us doubt our abilities and worth. A friend and colleague calls it "George".

But here's the twist – through my 'journey' of self-awareness and coaching, I've learned that Rex is not my enemy. In fact, Rex is a part of me, a protective mechanism born out of past experiences and societal pressures. Embracing Rex and understanding its origins has allowed me to embark on a path of self-compassion and growth, and recently walk away from corporate life and launch my business the Mental Health Pack.

Here are three key lessons I've learned along the way:

1️⃣ Self-Awareness: The first step to conquer our inner critic is to become aware of its presence. By giving it a name like "Rex," I've separated it from my core identity, making it easier to recognize when it chimes in. This awareness allows me to take a step back, assess the situation, and challenge those negative thoughts.

2️⃣ Self-Compassion: We often hold ourselves to incredibly high standards, and when we fall short, Rex is there to amplify our self-criticism. Instead of berating ourselves for our perceived failures, let's practice self-compassion. Treat yourself as you would a dear friend – with kindness, understanding, and encouragement. Remember, we all stumble; it's how we learn and grow.

3️⃣ Coaching and Support: Seeking help from a coach or mentor can be transformative. Working with a mentor has been instrumental in understanding the root causes of my inner critic, dismantling limiting beliefs, and setting empowering goals. It's essential to surround ourselves with people who believe in our potential and lift us up when we need it the most.

I recently caught up with men's counsellor, David Contarini of Better Man Counselling who provided me a wonderful insight into this inner critic and how to handle him. Gents, I highly recommend David as one to talk to about this and any other struggles you may have. David will be a special guest facilitator on the Mental Health Pack's Men's Reset Retreats (Wolfpack) starting in November.

So, here's a challenge for all of us: the next time Rex rears its head, let's take a moment to pause, acknowledge its presence, and respond with self-compassion. Let's embrace our inner critic, not as an adversary but as a reminder of our ability to choose which path we take.

Feel free to share your experiences with your inner critic, the nicknames you've given it, and the strategies you use to overcome it. Together, let's support each other in this journey of self-discovery and growth. I am sure we all have a name for it, or choose a name for it after reading this...

As always, reach out if you need to talk, chat, cry, vent, roar like a Tyrannosaurus, or whatever:

You. Are. Not. Alone.

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