Open Letter to The Inner Critic

Dear Inner Critic,

What can I say? Having you by my side since I can remember has been familiar, a pain, but also really comforting. You've helped me do so many things: do well in ballet classes, get straight A's through school, do well at auditions, the ability to always go above and beyond at work, be that person that everyone can rely on, and most of all you've helped me maintain a high, very high standard for myself and others. I do regret my nitpicky ways with friends and family and know that you've had a hand in this. This part of you, doesn't make me happy. I can see the damage you've done to people I care about, perhaps easier than I can see the damage you do to me.

Despite my efforts to believe in myself, think positively, and reduce negative thinking, you find a way to sneak back on my shoulder. Why? I get that at first, you arrived in my life to protect me from fear, from chaos in my family, from the outside world, and new things and experiences. I could survive if I was "perfect" and always in control, but how could I achieve such a thing without a trusty and knowledgable accomplice? There you enter stage left and there you stay on my stage for the last 30+ years. So while I appreciate all you have done for me - star student status, best daughter, best employee, the person who never forgets anything and always knows the right thing to say and do - I don't need your help anymore. I've got this. I now have the inner resources, tools, and support and most of all confidence. The confidence to make my way in the world and I know a lot more than I did when I was a kid  1) People like to know that they are working with a real person and real people make mistakes, they aren't perfect. They are vulnerable 2) Being myself no matter what is the best gift I could give myself and to others 3) I am great just the way I am and I have the confidence that I can learn new ways of being when needed.

There are probably other things too, but I hope you get the idea. I am a smart, confident woman who knows herself well. It really undermines my confidence when you have something to say about everything I say or do. It knocks me down more often than not and you really make me doubt myself. There is no reason to. I know I can do anything I set my mind to. When you show up, I feel fear, which is really strange because you first showed up to protect me from fear. Well now, you just cause it. So... what now?

I know it will be hard, but I'm officially declaring that I'm writing you out of my story. There is no need for your character anymore. You are a villain and unecessary because my story only features a cast of loving and sincere characters that build me up. I truly appreciate all the things you've done for me and all the ways in which you have helped me get to where I'm at today. I know I will probably still see you backstage from time to time, waiting for an opportunity to perform. I assure you, I won't need you. Don't be hurt if I ignore you. I will remember you fondly, but I will never listen to you again.

Inner Critic, goodbye. I am finally secure with myself and feel really good in my own skin. What an accomplishment! I know you are happy for me. I will remember you that way, being happy for me.