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How to Silence Your Biggest Critics – Those Inner Voices That Insist on Self-Improvement


I have often had a spirit of longing. I’m ambitious, I tell myself. But if I’m honest, my “ambition” is often a vicious sniper, promising happiness while spraying me with a self-attack: you should be more advanced, weigh less, have more self-esteem, start a movement, marry money. This kind of “ambition”, a regret party or a siren song of success one day, depresses me.

By Leif-E, CC license

Happiness comes from being in the moment, this moment. Every therapist or guru says the same.

“You’re not doing well, you have to learn to go with the flow,” shouts Zen Girl, my Self Improvement Alter Ego. And trust me, I want to tell you where you can go.

I am in this secret race to be somewhere else. Better yet, be someone else, someone better than me. I have called this ambition. But in reality, it is self-abandonment.

My healing comes from loving myself where I am and how I am. Everything else is a frantic, impoverished way of being in my only holy life.

Peace is here, not there in some fantasy I have. If there wasn’t something here for me, I wouldn’t be here. The magic is here. I may not see it yet, but I know I’ll never see it until I start looking for it where I am. My life reflects intelligent design, and my True Self always has my highest interests encoded in the show.

The media instill it in us: a better life is “there” just around the corner or with a purchase away. But I dare to welcome love into my life right now. I call my life holy and I fully arrive in this moment, just as it is. It is not always pretty, but it is always sacred.

I will not give up on my dreams. I am giving up my criticism. I am assimilating what I already have. This is empowerment.

This is where the journey begins: “I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

I wrote these words for myself, as an enchantment, a recipe for freedom. My ego, the part of me that rushes toward the finish line, even if it means losing or discarding my whole life, recoils when I say these words.

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I don’t want to be anywhere else. They are words of luxury. These are words of mystery. These are quantum healing words. I sit on the blue silk pillow of my own true life. If even just for this moment, I stop searching, demanding, pain and searching.

For a part of me, this feels as uncomfortable as running backwards. But really all I’m doing is not rejecting my own life.

I don’t want to be anywhere else. This is what it means to stop and receive. I am like a hungry bird and the only source of nutrition is my current life. It is not there or below that. It doesn’t come later and it doesn’t get better. I get better. I improve upon discovering the strange instruction of my own life.

I don’t want to be anywhere else. I’m letting go of the fierce effort. It is beautiful to seek a greater expression of joy or devotion. But I want to let go of any self-hatred that propels me forward.

“Cracks are where light enters,” says the word magician Leonard Cohen. I will contemplate the cracks in my life. They are also part of my treasure. They also have nourishment for the soul. That is why they are here. Everything has something to give me. When I see my life with loving eyes, I understand what is here.

I don’t want to be anywhere else. Everything has always waited for me like a white bowl of handpicked blueberries. I just wanted to sit at someone else’s table. I wanted another fruit. I wanted another life. That wish cost me more than I know. I’m not going to pay that price anymore. I’m going to take over the only existence I have. I’m taking over my blueberries, my tiring day, or my confusion, frustration, or elation.

These are the words that came to me in my journal:

This is your Life. It is not broken
He is not loved. And you don’t love it.

This does not mean that it does not go out of the rain to a dry place. It means that I will not look down on the rain. I will not condemn the rain. I will carry on. I will go where they call me and where I belong.

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Yes, I will certainly dream of what I want my life to be, and I will invest and create those dreams. I will get up. But not with irritation or deprivation in my heart. I don’t want to shy away from my own day, my own breath, my own efforts, or even lack of effort. From this moment on, I refuse to sully and intimidate my own existence in the name of “realizing my potential.” I don’t want to be anywhere else. This is my mantra. This is my saber. This is my ticket.

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For me, this is a practice, the practice of my life. I am learning that acceptance is something I want and not a form of resignation. The acceptance is fierce. When I really accept myself where I am, it is a wave of compassion and a jolt of awakening.

Acceptance is the willingness to embrace your life, your only true, beautiful, challenging, disappointing, shocking, devastating, and intriguing life.

It is the decision to stay present and not fall into the destructive hangover of resistance and rejection. Acceptance is a form of self-blessing, the secret catalyst that drives the whole damn journey right now.

Tama KievesA graduate of Harvard Law School with honors, she left her legal practice to write and help others create their most extraordinary lives. She is the best-selling author of 4 books, including A year without fear: 365 days of magnificence and his last Thrive through uncertainty. A sought-after speaker and career / success coach, she has helped thousands of people prosper in their life, their calling, and their businesses. Sign up to receive your FREE digital fortune cookies and a free copy of their popular Dare to Decide webinar www.tamakieves.com/dare.

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