Launch time: Taking Down the Judge

By Patrick Donohue

August 1, 2018

Launch time:  Taking Down the Judge

Each of us has a little voice in our head that talks to us all the time.  Some people call this voice the Judge  or the inner critic.  If you are sensing that this voice is usually not overly positive, you would be correct.  Our Judge tends to skew negative with messages such as:

  • You are not good enough.
  • This will not work out.
  • This is ruined.
  • You will not amount to anything.

The Judge is relentless with the sole goal of keeping us fearful, hopeless and stuck.  The Judge can seem all powerful and at times an unbeatable opponent.  But, the Judge has a little problem.  He/She/It is vulnerable to two things.  These two things will destroy the power of the Judge and give you your life back.  So, what are they already?

Glad you asked!  The Judge cannot stand two things.  First, the Judge does not like to be exposed to light and recognized.  The Judge prefers to work in darkness and be undercover.  When we start to recognize the voice of the Judge, it will lose power. For years, I have been the type of guy who can misplace his keys with the best of them.  My Judge voice would chime in, "Your such an idiot, you lost your keys again.  You cannot do anything right." Well, actually I am not an idiot, I am a college graduate with two masters degrees, so I really just need to find my keys. Contesting the voice of the Judge weakens its power.  The Judge is like an bully, it will pick on those who are perceived to be weak and will not fight back.   When I recognize the voice of my judge, I calmly tell the judge to sit down and be quiet, because I have important things to do, like find my keys.

The second thing the Judge cannot stand is to be named.  When we name the Judge, we are able to separate the judge from ourselves.  I have clients who have named their judge Poisen, Shadow, Regina, Kill-Joy and Robert.  These names reflect the images that come up when the judge voice is heard.  One of the most effective techniques is to talk to your judge like they are a separate person outside of you.  For instance you can say, "Poisen, I know you want me to believe that things are ruined, but I am actually going to keep going and look for solutions."  Or how about this, "Shadow, i am not actually a failure.  This one thing did not go well and I am going to learn from it,but it has nothing to do with what kind of person I am."  It might sound a little weird to name your judge and talk back to it, but trust me it really does work.

In sum, the Judge is a formidable enemy with a large achilles heel.  Expose the Judge to light, call it out and name it and the judge suddenly becomes a harmless puppy dog.

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