What Kind of Inner Critic Is Holding You Back?

5 min read
Photo by 张 嘴
Photo by 张 嘴

After eight long years working long hours at a media agency, Nikki Armytage-Foy reinvented her entire life, seeking the freedom and fulfillment she deserved.

Instead of listening to her inner-critic and its constant demand for perfection and control, she discovered a new way of living–learning how to love herself again, strike a healthy work balance, and seek better relationships.

Nikki Armytage-Foy

Since that transformation, she has spent a decade as an international coach, working one-on-one with leaders, CEOs and entrepreneurs to find that same fulfillment in their own lives. She also founded the Electric Woman coaching company and leads the international ‘Be Electric’ Community.

In an exclusive interview, Nikki told Residence 11 readers about how to identify your own inner-critic—the first step towards personal freedom. There are many ways that people can disconnect from their true selves, and these Miss Guideds take many different forms. Nikki shared a few of those voices, but you can find the whole list at Electric Woman site.

“We all have inner-critic voices – ‘the Miss Guideds’ – that are not aligned with who we really are and the true vision we have for our lives,” she explains. “An Electric Woman learns how to manage her Miss Guided inner voice so that she is leading from her power rather than her fear. Eventually, she makes peace with her fears, shame and negativity, and this new way of being leads to greater wisdom and clarity in her purpose.”

Miss Perfectionist

Ashton Mullins on Unsplash

“With this voice, there’s this very high energy, almost like a franticness of needing to strive and push for something. It’s a perfect ideal of what you’re looking for: your body to be different and to look a certain way or your current situation isn’t good enough, so you need to work much harder and be way better.

“It’s in this way that we make ourselves feel wrong as women. The biggest vision that I hold for all my clients is to move forward into what I call “Your Electric.” That’s a grounded, wise, peaceful, and true state where you are in approval of yourself and make yourself right. Right in this moment.

“Because it’s so powerful when we don’t see ourselves as broken or wrong. When we see ourselves as really right in this moment, that creates a different energy. There’s a feeling of coming back to ourselves and being on our own side and working with ourselves—not against ourselves.”

The Good Girl

Deva Williamson on Unsplash

“This is people-pleasing energy, which is just a general way of feeling that ‘I’m not good enough.’ You think other people know better and that other people know what you should do. You need other people to approve of what you’re doing. And it’s very much looking outside to others for the answers, rather than deep within your intuition.

“A good step to help us come back to our intuition is freewriting, also called soul writing. Where you just put pen to paper and you start writing and you see what wants to come through. Our intuitive voice as women is so strong and I believe it’s our responsibility to lead our lives from this deeper wisdom and truth – our lives start to feel more meaningful and we become more content.”

“Find that voice within. It can be very clouded from the busyness of whatever’s going on. When we take that time to tune into that more still, wise voice within, it’s a beautiful way to come back to ourselves. You can really ground and attach to yourself again.”

Miss Punisher

Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“This punishing voice works well as a tag team to those who maybe perfectionistic or workaholic, it works well with that kind of energy.

“If the workaholic or the perfectionist is a very high, busy, frantic energy, then the Punisher is quite a low, depressed energy. You feel like you’re really failing and everything you’re doing is wrong. You think you’re too fat or stupid or old, unworthy in some way and no one likes you. It’s that really depressive voice that can come out.

“When we’re in that place, it’s extremely painful and believable at times. I had an eating disorder for about 20 years and the punishing voice was very loud. It’s such an obvious way that we can disconnect from ourselves as women, when we just go and look for that relief.

“Deeply nourishing and nurturing practices are the way to come back and connect to our true self when we’re in that punishing energy. It could be a yoga practice, going for a walk to the beach, or simply just putting a big blanket around yourself and have a cup of tea. Just have a break from the pain of that voice and do something really beautiful and simple for yourself.

“It’s a high self-care mode that needs to happen. We can disconnect, but also come back into connection with our true self.”

This article is the first in a series from Nikki Armytage-Foy, an international leadership coach and founder of Electric Woman

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    About Nikki Armytage-Foy www.electricwoman.com

    Nikki Armytage-Foy is an international leadership coach and founder of Electric Woman. She works with women leaders from all over the world helping them fill their lives with passion and purpose. From 1-1 coaching to three-day weekend workshops around claiming your feminine sexual sovereignty, learn more at Electric Woman.

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