Deirdre Maigread McEachern discusses how to tame the
inner critic in all of us and find peace with ourselves
and our business relationships. Learn how to be your own
life coach and get past those negative thoughts.
Buddha In Your Back Pocket
The other day I was late for something. Not very late. In fact,
I was actually on time but an angry voice berated me anyway, saying,
"You are late! There will be no seats left. You wouldn't
run late if you were more organized!" It was a terrible feeling,
especially because the voice was partially right.
Who was this voice yelling at me? It was
my nemesis – the Shrew who lives in my head.
We all get annoyed at ourselves from time to time; it is only natural.
But for some of us, it can become an unrelenting bother. There can
be no contentment when the Shrew is on the scene!
Some call it a gremlin, others an inner critic, others
negative self-talk. I call her the Shrew. No matter what
you call yours, you know who I mean. She's fierce, she's
damning and she's quick to pounce on every mistake you make,
turning them into capital offenses. The Shrew exaggerates
our flaws, smashes our self-esteem, ruins our confidence,
distracts us from what we are doing and makes us miserable.
I am choosing not to live with it anymore! I invite you
to do the same. There is a force which can tame the Shrew:
The Buddha in Your Back Pocket*.
Think of a time when you witnessed a stranger being scolded
and felt badly for them. Perhaps it was a worker being accused
by an angry boss of "screwing things up" for something
you knew wasn't their fault. Did you wish you could go up
to that worker and say, "Don't pay any attention to
them. I saw what happened and I know you are a doing a good
This softer side of you is the anti-Shrew. It is empathy
and compassion. The Shrew is afraid of it because she fears
you might offer it to yourself. It is a skill to learn to
apply this loving, tender, supportive side of ourselves
to ourselves. Many of us, me included, are not in the habit
The morning I was late, Ms. Shrew was in full force. But,
before she could ruin my day, I was able to ward her off
by pulling out the Buddha in My Back Pocket. It felt a bit
like Luke Skywalker yielding a light saber against Darth
Vader. "Luke, use the force!"
I let the powerful voice of the Buddha in My Back Pocket
counter the accusations of the Shrew. He asked, "What
were your reasons for making the choices you did this morning?"
and "Would you make these same choices again?"
Then he reminded me of two universal truths: "You are
doing the best you can" and "Growth involves observing
one's actions and then learning from them." Under this
influence of love and a genuine intention to seek understanding,
I was able to temporarily silence the Shrew, objectively
analyze my "lateness" and gain valuable personal
insight. Within a few minutes, I felt relieved, re-engaged
in life and able to peacefully continue with the rest of
Unfortunately, we can't eradicate the Shrew completely.
But we can learn to access this equalizing force: the pursuit
of empathetic understanding – a loving friend that takes
your side and helps you learn about yourself in a safe and
protected way. The Buddha in your Back Pocket is always
with you to calm your mind, forgive your errs, and remind
you of the growth in your life. As you cultivate your relationship
with the Buddha in your Back Pocket, you will experience
more self-love, confidence and peace.
Life is too short to spend time unnecessarily berating
ourselves with critical self-talk! Go forth into your day
and bring the Buddha in Your Back Pocket with you. You never
know when you might need it!
*I do not wish to offend anyone by using the title Buddha.
I have the utmost respect for the Buddhist tradition. In
this article, I refer to Buddha as a representation of an
enlightened teacher offering guidance to those who chose
About the Author
Deirdre's coaching is an accelerant that helps produce results.
Using practical analysis, active listening and brainstorming,
she challenges you to improve your quality of life immediately.
Looking for a topic and speaker for your next meeting?
Call Deirdre today to discuss the details of your event:
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