The inner critic is part of your ego. Your ego is your personality. You could not survive in the world without it.
In the first few months of life, you take on one of nine different personalities. Your personality gives you a way to engage with the world. It helps you to know how you are different from others. It helps you to make choices in your life. It helps you to stay safe.
Your inner critic is a big jerk! The trouble begins when you reach maturity. If you do not become aware of your personality and how it impacts you, you will miss much in life. You will also get yourself into trouble because of uninformed choices. You will lose opportunities in life because you are stuck in old habits and thought patterns that no longer serve you.
Your inner critic is the part of the ego that tries to keep you safe by keeping you stuck in your personality. It wants to be your friend.
The trouble is that the inner critic prefers the familiar rather than uncharted territory. The familiar being the automatic habits that you do without thinking. If you remain imprisoned in your personality, you are going to be miserable.
With practice, you will start to notice when your inner critic is talking to you. The inner critic is that negative voice that is always telling you that you are not good enough, that you are stupid, and that nobody loves you.
Each personality type has particular issues that the inner critic likes to attack.
The inner critic for the One is always complaining that you are not doing it correctly. It is always telling you that you need to improve. You need to do better. It can put a lot of pressure on you by saying to you that something terrible is going to happen if you don’t get it right.
When the inner critic is getting harsh with you, you are more likely going to get tough on others. The One fears that the poor choices of others are going to reflect poorly on you. They are going to interfere with all the excellent work you are doing to make the world a better place.
The inner critic of Two is always trying to tell you that you are not loveable. It wants to prevent you from being hurt by working extra hard to be accepted. It will also tell you that you have to earn love from those around you. It will keep insisting that you need to go out of your way to help others.
It further insists that if t+e people don’t respond in the way you would like them to you need to go and tell them off. The inner critic will encourage you to confront anyone who is not obedient to you. The inner critic wants to make you feel like a Queen or King and that everyone around you should treat you like that.
In the end, the inner critic will lead you to self-hatred telling you off that the person left you or didn’t do what you wanted because you were not good enough. You were not worthy of their love. It can leave you in a sad place.
The inner critic for the three is always evaluating your success. It wants you to notice if people are acknowledging how hard you are working. Have you met your sales goals? Have you done everything possible to be the best at what you do?
Whenever you try to slow down, your inner critic will keep pushing you to work hard. Trying to take an afternoon nap is almost impossible.
Whenever you achieve your goals, your inner critic will push you to do something even grander. Every new task you take on you will need to work harder. You will need to change your behavior to fit whatever business/project you are working on.
The inner critic for the four is always trying to compare yourself with others. It keeps insisting that you will never fit in. It will tell you over and over that nobody will ever understand you. It will emphasize that you need to prove to the world how different you are.
The Four’s inner critic will encourage you to indulge in your favorite emotions. Your moods will reflect back to you what your inner critic is harassing you to think.
It will try to convince you that only through your moods you will know that you are indeed alive.
The inner critic is a big jerk. The inner critic forgets to tell you that your feelings are always changing. It avoids mentioning to you that staying stuck in depressive emotions for long periods of time only leads to misery for yourself and those around you.
The inner critic for the Five is always calling on you to retreat to your inner self. It wants you to stay safe by learning a topic well. It wants you to learn all that is possible to learn and do not talk about it until you feel knowledgeable enough.
The inner critic wants to instill in you a fear of being found out that you don’t know enough. It doesn’t want you to be embarrassed. It doesn’t want you to be humiliated. So to do this, you need to very cautious about what you say and to whom.
The Five inner critic is only concerned with your mind. It will continually dissuade from paying attention to your body and your heart.
The danger for a five is that you can become an island to yourself disconnected from family and friends.
The inner critic for the six is keeping you alert for all the dangers you and your loved ones face. It will try to keep you hypervigilant watching carefully for any threat that might come your way.
The Six inner critic will get you to question your abilities. It will get you to check out any decisions you are about to make with friends, families and so-called experts. You will be compelled to get as many opinions as possible.
Your inner critic will judge you for experiencing anxiety. It will get you to try and fix yourself making the anxiety worse and worse. The inner critic’s judgment will cause you to try and fix others making you feel even worse.
When feeling threatened, your inner critic encourages you to protect yourself from being hurt through cynicism. Your cynicism will turn friends, family, and colleagues away from you.
The inner critic for Seven will do everything in its power to keep you busy, having fun, going on adventures. This is all to keep you from feeling any emotional and/or physical pain.
The seven’s inner critic is desperate to keep you away from any problematic emotions. It causes you to get bored quickly. It lets you off the hook if you are bored with a task. It invites you to abandon the job because there is always something more exciting to do.
The inner critic of the seven lets you off any responsibility for completing any task.
The inner critic makes it clear that any person who tries to force them to slow down or force them to complete a task is no friend. A friend of a seven is someone who joins them on their adventures and does what they want them to do.
The inner critic for the Eight wants to protect their vulnerable feelings, emotions, and heart. The inner critic is only too happy to help you to put up protective walls to prevent you from being emotionally hurt.
The inner critic is also there to ensure that no one will stop you on any of your projects. It is there to help you to force your way ahead even if means hurting others.
The eights inner critic is a force to be reckoned with. The inner critic will blind you to the power you are using. You will have no idea of how others are experiencing you.
The inner critic is a big jerk. Your inner critic will make it difficult for you to slow down. It’s the only language is power and force. It thinks that confrontation is the only way to go. It is nervous at any time for inner reflection. It doesn’t’ want your heart to be hurt ever again.
The inner critic for the nine energy is trying to keep you safe by convincing you that you are unimportant. That no one really cares about you. That the only way for you to survive is to keep everyone calm at any cost to you.
The inner critic will try hard to make you feel insignificant. If you have no importance to others, you are not going to create any conflict.
The inner critic will get angry with you if you are allowing any conflict to happen in any group you are part of. If there is a conflict, there is a danger. If there is a conflict, you had better fix it.
The inner critic will make it difficult for you to speak your mind because it is too risky. It will insist that calm is more important than expressing your needs.
The trouble is that eventually after days and months of not having your needs respected and wants to be taken seriously you explode. You easily become passive-aggressive.
You have an inner critic. The inner critic wants to keep you safe. It tries to keep you safe by insisting you stay in your Enneagram type which it knows best. Fighting your inner-critic will only make it worse.
You can find freedom from your inner critic by learning to notice how it is impacting the decisions you are making in life. The inner critic is a big jerk – until you understand it. The Enneagram can point out to you through your type, how the inner-critic is operating in your life. The more you are aware of it, the more you are free to choose different options.
The inner critic will never disappear, often showing itself in stressful times. But with practice, you can befriend your inner critic by paying attention to it and letting it know that you as an adult are most capable of making right decisions.
The more you stay grounded in your three energy centers the inner critic will have less need to mess around with your life. When your three energy centers heart, body, and mind are working well, there is no place for the inner critic. It knows you are safe and in good hands. It recognizes that the universe will take care of you.
Roland Legge offers life/executive coaching and Enneagram workshops through REL Consultants. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by emailing Roland Legge at firstname.lastname@example.org or book your appointment online Please click on “Discovery Call.”
This Article was first published in the REL Consultants (Roland Legge) Blog