Controlling your inner critic

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We all know that our most critical critic is the one living in our own heads. But how do we take control of it? 

Well, this is a good question, especially if you are particularly tough on yourself in your flute playing. 

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • What our inner critic is doing and why It is important
  • How powerful we are, and why we should be more careful of what we say to ourselves
  • Three steps to restrain limiting beliefs

Learn Flute Podcast 092

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Thanks for listening to the Learn Flute Podcast today.  I hope you’ve been inspired to take control of that fierce inner critic, and learn to think positively to about yourself. If you have any questions or comments below here in the comment section.

Podcast Transcript

Do you have a fierce inner critic?

Everyone does. And flute-players are notorious for having especially boisterous ones. In this episode I’ll reveal strategies for becoming aware of, and overcoming the types of harmful messages you could be telling yourself that jeopardize your musical wellness and self-being. Let’s get started!

Welcome back to the Learn Flute Podcast. It’s so much fun to have you here. I always like a good chat where we can work on ourselves. Believe it or not, it’s necessary. People who are actively working on becoming successful must think about certain things in order to stay on the path.

Without doing some inner work, we humans tend to give up way more easily.

So today we’re going to take a dive into something we don’t talk about often.. But it’s there.  It’s called our inner voice. In this context we’re meaning the voice that is aimed at self-analyzation in a negative way.

What is our inner critic really doing? And why can’t we just silence it on cue?

Well, our personalities are made of a set of core beliefs.. Things we just think are true.. Whether they are or not. These core beliefs come from a long set of events and circumstances that have (or may not even have) happened to us over many years of life mixed with our personality traits.

These beliefs are the reason we have a certain vocabulary we use when we talk to ourselves.

These words and phrases are very powerful, and are many times problematic and could be the number one thing slowing progress in our life.

 Okay, it’s story time now, and I have the perfect example to illustrate what I’m talking about here.. And it’s not made up at all. It’s about me. I’m human too and have had many long conversations with my inner self.

This is my earliest recollection of a negative social experience – I remember during grade school I used to play hard at recess. I mean, I was out there running as fast as possible and sliding all over the grass to get the balls before the boys did.. You know, kind of rough and tumble stuff. 

Well, one day I came in from recess and a couple of the girls snickered in the corner and looked my way… I looked down and noticed that I had a small scuff of mud on my pants in a place that kind of looked like I may have had an accident. Well, I instantly got all red and hot and worried so much that I couldn’t even concentrate for the rest of the school day.

After this day, I started to play a lot more ‘safely’ if you know what I mean. I didn’t scramble so hard to get the ball – basically I underperformed on purpose.

I really wasn’t worried about getting mud on my pants.. After-all I grew up in the country on a farm with horses and tractors, and I was used to playing in the ditch, but what I wasn’t used to was getting snickered at.

So, this is my first memory of changing my performance for fear of what someone else might think. Basically, I gave the ball up to the boys because I wanted to appear a bit more dainty and clean to those other girls… who now that I think about it probably weren’t snickering at me at all.

It was just the story I told myself.

Well, I’ve had my ups and downs as far as confidence goes just as most people have, and I vividly remember this one situation where I had a performance coming that I started to feel a bit nervous about.. And the reason is because I was going to be performing my flute in front of a large crowd of a few hundred, but that’s not what was getting me nervous, I had done that many times. 

It was the fact that parents of a couple of my special students, that I had sent off to Grad school to play flute, the parents were going to be there and for some strange reason felt this pressure to look like the world’s best flutist, yet I didn’t feel so confident on one of the little passages I had to play.

I worried about it a bunch and then went to the performance where… Yep,  you guess it, those parents I mentioned came in and sat right on the front row.

For some reason my inner chatter was having a tizzy-fit telling me I was going to mess up on that passage and that I’d be the laughing stock of the world forever more.

Well, for some reason I allowed that chatter box to continue and as you probably know, I did make a pretty good bobble on that passage that I was worried about. It was as if I WILLED it happen. My goodness.  Lesson learned. 

I remember coming home and giving that negative-nelly-chatter-box a piece of my mind. That was not funny to me and I was not going to let that happen again. 

I’ve tried so hard to keep her quiet ever since that day. It just wasn’t fair. I’m a really good player, and an excellent teacher. My mind should have been on the spirit of the performance and what I was giving the audience, not allowing a bright red exclamation mark hang over my head worrying about being judged so harshly. 

And When nerves come into the picture for a flutist, tight muscles are a side-kick who bring blops and drops and especially for example; a failed high “A” is a result. 

So, have you ever said to yourself “I’ll probably fall on my face”… and then did you? 

Well, you’re definitely not the first person in history to have this happen. But, lucky you that you’re here listening today because I’m going to give you three tips to controlling the inner chatter, so you can reclaim your power of your self.

We weren’t born with any limiting beliefs though, which is pretty cool when you think about it. Watch a three or four year old work on getting what they want. They’re persistent and usually quite confident that they can do it.. Whatever it is. It seems that these limiting beliefs and self talk start a little later in age.

So number one on our list of three things today is to put a conscious mind on whenever you find you are talking to yourself. You know, inside your head. Now, talking to yourself about whatever is one thing, but talking to yourself about yourself is another.

When we realize how powerful we are, we can start to be more careful of what we say to ourselves.

I’m not sure who coined the phrase of “As the twig bends, so grows the tree”.. But there it is. The thoughts we hear all day long will bend us like a twig, and after time we will grow in this shape.

Catch yourself.

What are you saying?

Number two, will be that after making a conscious effort to notice that we do, indeed talk to ourself – analyzing everything  we do. If you were outside of yourself and coming from a place of love as a parent does for a child, what would you say to yourself?

Your job is to step to the side and think of how a person of authority and love would react.

And then we can quickly move to step three which is to replace the thought with something that calms and empowers. 

Let’s take a recap here with these three steps.

Number One is to make the habit of paying attention to when we start to talk to ourself about ourself.

Number Two is to step aside and come from a new angle outside of yourself and

Number three is to replace the thought with a statement that empowers, whether you believe it right then or not. 

Okay, I know this sounds way easier than it might be at first, but I promise that our words are the most powerful voice. We can retrain those limiting beliefs out of our system. People who work on success do it all the time.

And just by being here, you are doing what so many want to do.. You’ve stepped across the threshold to the starting line and you are doing it. 

No one else can think your thoughts for you, it’s wise to work on that this year. It’s something I consciously think about sometimes when I find myself being overly critical of myself especially, I have to step aside and change the inner chatter-box. In fact, sometimes I have to put her in time-out in the corner because she can get downright inappropriate.

Let’s keep these three tips in mind this year so we can raise our confidence level and  continue moving forwards towards the success we deserve. You can do it, I fully believe in you. 

Here at Learn Flute Online we aren’t just working on our flute skills. Well, we do a lot of that, but we also work on putting in place the important details that make playing the flute a positive part of our life that in turn affects our life as well as those around us in a very positive way.

I believe music is a force of its own that has power to reach into our souls and give us more depth.

When you fully let it into your life, you’ll never allow it to leave. 

 It’s fun to have you here, my friends.

And speaking of here, .. where is here? Well, I’m Rebecca Fuller and this is Learn Flute Online. We are a thriving community of flutists who are striving daily to make good music and also make a difference in ours and others lives.

Here’s how it works: We have a members area where budding musicians are buzzing through what I call “learning modules” – they’re filled with video tutorials that I made for you, with specific learning goals in mind. Everything is included and aimed at helping you create beautiful music – there’s pdf sheet music, mp3 audios and all of the materials needed as well as being set in sequential learning order. There are thousands of them. 

I’ve spent the past 34 years teaching it and almost the past decade putting my programs online for people just like you, who want to come and learn in a safe, educational, and positive environment.

If you’re not a member, in one of the Levels at Learn Flute Online yet.. What’s stopping you?

Last year students here were involved in several different online collaboration videos that we call “Ensembles”.. Or kind of like a “Virtual Flute choir”.. Literally hundreds of flutists of all levels and ages raised their hands (timidly and bravely both) so help put on some wonderful productions.

Our most recent was the Jingle Bells Ensemble which put a lot of pep and pizzazz into our holiday season. We have reveal classes, as well as super Q&A’s here, as well as all of those modules that I was telling you about. We have mini courses and we study different genres. I’ll have to explain more about these things later, but I thought I’d mention some of these things now in case you thought that this program was a dry, faceless, teacherless program. It is not. It is the opposite. I care about every single one of the members here in my program. 

I invite you to join us. You’ll like it.

I’ll play you out now.

Until next time!

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

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