Do you have an inner cricket?

What is an inner cricket I hear you ask?  Well … this is the description I came up with in a session with my coach earlier this week.  Firstly, let’s rewind a bit …

Each month I invest in coaching to help me sharpen my sword to support me in my journey of being the best version of me I can be.  Inevitably we end up down a few rabbit holes along the way which is always fun, and the sessions also serve the purpose of resourcing me to support my clients and trainees. 

The event that occurred a week earlier was a discussion, and following that discussion, I found myself leaving the building ‘Statler and Waldorfing’ myself.  You know, the two guys on the muppets?  If you haven’t seen them, check them out.  They sat up on the balcony and verbalised their opinion of the act they’d just seen by saying it was fantastic and after a few comments ended up saying it was terrible.  Well, I ‘Statler and Waldorfed’ myself.   By the time I had driven home I was convinced I’d contributed to the discussion terribly and had let myself down.  I ended up feeling flat, deflated, unmotivated and generally bleah. 

The next day I felt numb, sluggish and unenergised. 

The day after the day after, I spoke to one of the participants at the discussion and was told I’d done really well and they were impressed with what I had to say.  What???  I’d convinced myself of the opposite in a very short space of time! 

This wee process became the topic of my coaching session the following week.  We talked about what had happened in my head and I referred to my overactive inner critic & judger.  When I was articulating my problem with my inner critic, the word ‘cricket’ came out of my mouth instead of critic.  In that moment, it dawned on me, like a cricket chirping incessantly in summer, the voice in my head was doing the same.  So, our conversation became focused on ways I could retrain my inner cricket. Now for the record, I do like crickets, they sing beautifully, I just didn't appreciate this particular cricket, with it's ongoing list of improvements and things I could have done better, rather than a crickets' summer song. 

Some of the strategies I’m now using are remembering to affirm, praise, commend and recommend in that ratio, three to one.  I’m celebrating and delighting in the discovery of opportunities to improve and really taking noticing the crickets’ voice and words.  I’m giving myself feedback sandwiches rather than feedback hamburgers.  During my time on this massive rock hurtling around the solar system, I’ve developed a highly proficient skill of nit-picking myself in a way that is totally out of balance with what I want for me right now.  So, rather than rushing in and applying one of the many super-effective NLP processes, I’m savouring the noticing and appreciating this as I learn to nudge it along gently, gradually turning the volume down and changing the script of my inner cricket. 

Do you have an inner cricket?  How do you manage it?