Your Inner Critic Is A Balding Overweight Old Man Called Bob

We all have within us what’s commonly referred to as our Inner Critic. It’s that voice that constantly puts us down, belittles our efforts to do anything meaningful, and constantly tries to sabotage our happiness.

Our inner critic can be devious, destructive, cruel and stab us where it hurts most, because it knows us better than anyone else.

That’s because it is us, it’s an integral part of our make up.

Most of us try to deal with our inner critic by blocking it out, denying it’s there, seeing it as some dark demon of the night that we hope will leave us alone if we stick to what’s safe and don’t try to achieve too much or be too creative, or too happy.

Giving our critics this power, this monstrous manifestation, only amplifies their hold over us, and the fear they stir within us.

What if there was a different approach? Or, put another way, what if your inner critic wasn’t the evil ogre you make it out to be?

What if, like the Wizard of Oz, after all he wasn’t quite what he seemed?

What if, actually, your inner critic was a rather hopeless man called Bob?

Who was balding, and overweight, with bad breath, and the charm and social aptitude of a rotting cabbage?

man in street
image: Ivars Krutainis

As soon as you give your inner critic a persona, an identity – and most crucially one that is very far removed from anything scary or powerful – you completely disarm it.

Suddenly it’s not quite so terrifying after all.

Going further, why not give your inner “Bob” a voice as well. A voice so silly you can’t possibly take anything he says seriously or with any kind of gravity.

Even if you do this exercise just once, it will change the way you see your inner critic, and lessen its impact.

Do it every time your critic chimes in with a new piece of negativity and very soon he’ll virtually give up. He’ll be laughed right out of your mind! Almost.

The danger always with your inner critic is they can return when you least expect it. There’s no way to eliminate it forever, only to vastly reduce its power and influence.

So stay vigilant, and when you start to hear that little voice again, remember to give it some ridiculous persona and a silly voice. You’ll never be so in fear of your inner critic again…

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5 thoughts on “Your Inner Critic Is A Balding Overweight Old Man Called Bob”

  1. I’ve always liked turning things inside out like this but I have to say I wouldn’t have ever thought of my inner critic quite this way. Brilliant! And thanks for the laugh. πŸ™‚


  2. Thanks for the comment Gretchen. Good to hear from you. πŸ™‚

    Of course, your inner critic doesn’t have to be called Bob, it could be called anything you want, anything that helps you disarm its influence.


  3. I believe we are not born with the IC inside. Children don’t have it. It comes from ‘outside’ and seeps in some how. Negativity, mental abuse among other things are thrown at us as we age. Some we deflect, but much of it gets in and stays.
    The IC is quite powerful, but I must have something else inside that fights it becasue I keep trying, moving forward and the IC holds on. I wonder though, without the IC would I be over-confident? Would I be cocky and arrogant? Maybe…maybe.


    1. I think the IC has its uses Larry, maybe without one at all we would create all kinds of work that we felt was brilliant but in fact was far from our best. This is of course a very subjective issue, and maybe it’s not the IC that gauges this for us, but I think there’s a kind of “quality control” check within each of us that helps us know when we’re creating our most authentic, passionate, exciting work. Maybe if we had no IC at all that would be lost, and we wouldn’t be able tell which of our projects were the most important?

      I agree that nearly all negative language and programming comes from outside and seeps on. Unfortunately it’s often the people that we look up to or have the most prominent roles in our lives as we’re growing up that feed us the biggest doubts and lies!


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