Dethroning Your Inner Critic With Joanna Kleinman – Is The Queen Of Chaos Driving The Bus?

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Do you ever wish that you could just take a vacation from your mind?

Do you wish that you had an “on-off” switch on the side of your head that you could turn off your worry about the future, your regrets of the past, the things you keep telling yourself over and over that you need to work on or change?

Our mind, the Queen of Chaos, can literally drive us crazy.  We live in a culture that fosters an overactive mind, that creates worry, frustration, dissatisfaction, sleeplessness, and a feeling that no matter what life we have, something (or many things!) about our life needs to be different. It is as though our minds create a war inside of us, and we think that the way to peace is through continuing to examine what we need to change, how we need to improve, or we fixate on changing or improving someone else, like our spouse or our kids!

The bottom line is this:  We will never feel the content, joy, love and satisfaction that we want to feel in our lives by remaining at war with ourselves.

So, how then do we stop the war? There is one simple answer: We have to practice not listening to the chronic chaos of the mind.

Peace will never come from losing those 10, 20 or 50 lbs. It will never come by finding the perfect mate. It will never come from finding the perfect career or raising happy kids. Rather, all of these things that we think will be the key to our peace and contentment, are actually all CAUSED by first and foremost, finding the inner peace and love first.

No matter what life looks like now, and it may look chaotic, the first step always needs to start with ending the war within your mind. It is only when you learn how to stop beating yourself up for life not looking the way you want it to, that you can actually find some clarity to change what you want to change.

I have had thousands of clients come to me because they want to fix some aspect of themselves, their relationship, or some other chronic issue in their life, hoping that if they fix this part of their life, they will finally feel the way they want to feel. But, this approach is backwards. It is only when we recognize that it is the internal response to our life circumstances that determines how we feel and think about ourselves and our lives, not the circumstances themselves.

Just like you brush your teeth twice a day, every day to keep your teeth clean, so too must we have practices every day to keep our minds clean from chaos. If you miss brushing your teeth even once, the grime starts to grow. The same goes for the chaos in the mind! Here are some daily practices to keep the chaos at bay:

1.    The Morning Questions: Every day, as soon as you wake up, ask yourself this question: “What do I need to let go of right now to be calm?” In other words, what are the thoughts I am having that are causing chaos in my mind? Ask this question over and over for five minutes (set a timer on your phone), and write down the responses that come to your mind. Then ask yourself the second morning question: “What do I have to be grateful for?” Set the timer for another five minutes and write down the responses. These 10 minutes have the power to change your whole life!

2.    Be Aware of Your Addiction to Thinking by Noticing Your Body Sensations Throughout the Day: Every thought that we have creates some sort of physical response in our nervous system, and emotional feeling in our bodies. Yet, we just allow our mind to go wherever it wants to go, and never take control over the direction that it goes in. The definition of addiction is being enslaved by a habit. So when we are habitually and unconsciously thinking, we are literally addicted to this pattern of thought. Start to pay attention to the emotional and physical responses in your body when your mind goes to that habitually negative place it always goes. Does your neck get tense? Do you have knots in your stomach? Do you feel run down? Cranky? Pay attention to the physical reactions to your addictive thinking.

3.    Notice Your Attachments to Outcomes: When we have a strong attachment to producing a particular outcome in our life, we become fixated on trying to control aspects of our lives that we really don’t have any control over. This causes fear and anxiety, because the more we try to control something that we can’t control, the more out-of-control we feel. Then in order to try to feel more in control, we try even harder to control what we can’t control in the first place! Does this sound insane, or what? Ask yourself who or what you are trying to control, that in truth, you don’t have any control over?

4.    Choose to Let Go: Sometimes we are afraid to let go of the thoughts that our minds fixate on because our fixations actually become a part of our identity. I often hear my clients say, “I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t keep trying to fix or control that part of my life.” We focus on past mistakes because we think that if we keep feeling the shame and regret, it will prevent us from making the same mistake again. We focus on worrying about the future because we think if we spend our energy worrying about it, some how we can control the outcome of our future. A daily practice of letting go of past regret and future worry, and consciously directing your mind to right here, right now, creates an immediate sense of calm and peace within.

The bottom line to managing your internal chaos and creating a peaceful mind is to PAY ATTENTION! Pay attention to where your mind automatically goes, and don’t blindly follow it. Be in the driver’s seat of your mind instead of being a backseat passenger and giving the Queen of Chaos the keys.

BIO: unnamedJoanna Kleinman is a psychotherapist and founder of The Center For Extraordinary Relationships In Cherry Hill, NJ. She has been in private practice for over 20 years, inspiring individuals across the country to live lives they love. The philosophy of her work is that the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships with ourselves and others. Through in person counseling, online virtual counseling with people across the country, and her nationally acclaimed workshop series “Dethroning Your Inner Critic”, Joanna has helped thousands of people to transform the quality of their relationships, the confidence by which they live their lives, and to create a permanent shift in how they experience themselves. These shifts are the result of an innovative and transformational approach in which stress, overwhelm and dissatisfaction can be altered, by learning to separate oneself from what she calls the “Inner Critic”; the voice in the mind that has been speaking to all of us all day, every day, for most of our lives. In understanding how this voice keeps people stuck in old identities, beliefs, patterns and behaviors, she has helped countless individuals, couples, and families let go of the past, redefine the future, and create breakthroughs in the quality of their relationships and their lives. Joanna has been a contributing writer for The Huffington Post, Women’s Health Magazine, Courier Post, South Jersey Mom Magazine, Parent.co, and Parents.com. She has been sought out as an expert motivational speaker for companies including Campowerment, Virtua Hospital’s Annual Women’s Conference, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Joanna also served as a crisis intervention specialist and has worked with major corporations including Cigna Behavioral Health, Kantor Fitzgerald, Commerce Bank, Fleet Securities, and the U.S Navy. Joanna lives in Cherry Hill, NJ with her husband of twenty years, and her 3 children.

Dethroning Your Inner Critic With Joanna Kleinman - The One You Feed

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There is an old Cherokee Indian legend that illustrates the battle between US and our INNER CRITIC beautifully. An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” 

He continued, “The other is good–he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith." 

"The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

In our culture, high self-esteem is something that has received a lot of attention.

  • We want to feel talented, smart, accomplished and successful.
  • We want to feel that we can accomplish anything if we put our mind to it.
  • We want to feel special and important.

Yet insecurity, anxiety and depression are more rampant in our culture than ever before.

The problem lies in our unrealistic expectations about who we are supposed to be and how our lives are supposed to look. 

Unfortunately, most of us don’t recognize that the expectations we place on ourselves are completely unattainable. Most of us feel that there is something inadequate about us or our lives, whether it is:

  • How we look,
  • How successful we are,
  • How we parent,
  • How our children are doing, or
  • How our life goals are developing.

We are constantly comparing ourselves to an ideal version of ourselves, and always falling short.

Not only do we look at our own idealized versions of what our lives should look like, but we also make assumptions that other people’s lives actually DO look like this. We get standards of beauty from media and magazines, standards that the models and actresses themselves can’t measure up to, as they are “digitally enhanced,”or in other words, fake. We see our children trying to be the perfect student or the best athlete, leading to a dramatic rise in anxiety and depression among our them.

When we don’t meet our unrealistic and “perfectionistic” expectations that life should go exactly the way we want it to, we feel insecure and inadequate and as though we are not winning at the game of life. We beat ourselves up and take our frustrations out on the people who are closest to us.

What we fail to recognize as a culture is that being a human being means that, in many ways, we are all only average. We all have faults, flaws and limitations. But when we listen to our Inner Critic’s running commentary all day long about where we are inadequate, and what we need to improve, we automatically fall into the trap of continually judging and criticizing ourselves for our human inadequacies.

The more our Inner Critic makes us feel inadequate, the more different and separate we feel from others. This is a major source of anxiety and depression--the feeling that we are separate and different from others, and that we will be rejected because we are so different. Our inner critic makes us feel these feelings because it only focuses on the undesired aspects of our lives. We feel helpless, hopeless, and frustrated about how to change these aspects of our lives and think that our image of the way life “should” be is the correct perspective.

Transforming your relationship with yourself is about recognizing that we are all listening to the unrealistic messages of our inner critic, telling us that we are inadequate because our lives don’t match our ideal picture. We suffer because we want things to be different than the way they are right now.

If we stop feeding our Inner Critic, the power to make us feel that we need to fix, change or improve ourselves or our lives, we have the ability to feel the peace, joy and gratitude for who we are and the lives we are currently living.

Which wolf are you feeding?

At any given moment, the choice is yours.

Don't forget to subscribe below so you don't miss Joanna's post next week about calming your mind, also known as the Queen of Chaos, and also to get your free copy of THE HAPPY MOMMY MANIFESTO!

BIO: unnamedJoanna Kleinman is a psychotherapist and founder of The Center For Extraordinary Relationships In Cherry Hill, NJ. She has been in private practice for over 20 years, inspiring individuals across the country to live lives they love. The philosophy of her work is that the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships with ourselves and others. Through in person counseling, online virtual counseling with people across the country, and her nationally acclaimed workshop series “Dethroning Your Inner Critic”, Joanna has helped thousands of people to transform the quality of their relationships, the confidence by which they live their lives, and to create a permanent shift in how they experience themselves. These shifts are the result of an innovative and transformational approach in which stress, overwhelm and dissatisfaction can be altered, by learning to separate oneself from what she calls the “Inner Critic”; the voice in the mind that has been speaking to all of us all day, every day, for most of our lives. In understanding how this voice keeps people stuck in old identities, beliefs, patterns and behaviors, she has helped countless individuals, couples, and families let go of the past, redefine the future, and create breakthroughs in the quality of their relationships and their lives. Joanna has been a contributing writer for The Huffington Post, Women’s Health Magazine, Courier Post, South Jersey Mom Magazine, Parent.co, and Parents.com. She has been sought out as an expert motivational speaker for companies including Campowerment, Virtua Hospital’s Annual Women’s Conference, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Joanna also served as a crisis intervention specialist and has worked with major corporations including Cigna Behavioral Health, Kantor Fitzgerald, Commerce Bank, Fleet Securities, and the U.S Navy. Joanna lives in Cherry Hill, NJ with her husband of twenty years, and her 3 children.

Dethroning Your Inner Critic With Joanna Kleinman - Who Are You Really?

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All of us think we have some idea of who we really are. We may be a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. We may be a teacher, a doctor, an office worker, or a stay at home mom. We may have been told that we are fun, funny, a good listener, and kind. We may have been told that we are cold, selfish, controlling, judgmental. It runs the gamut. Where did our sense of self come from? Primarily from our thinking…a collection of thoughts about our selves. Our thoughts about ourselves include who we think we are, and what other people tell us. We have developed an identity from our childhood experiences, our ideas from our parents and siblings, and from our culture.

What we often fail to realize, is that who we think we are, actually begins when we are first figuring out the world around us, and how people in our world relate to us. As a child, we don’t have an understanding of how the world works. The beginnings of our sense of who we are, and who we are not, start to take shape when we are about three or four years old. That’s pretty scary when you think about it! Our three and four year-old selves are starting to form opinions about how important we are, how loved we are, whether we are smart enough, how much we think we matter to others. And not only are these beliefs becoming a solid part of our sense of self, but it is these early beliefs that will play a huge role in almost every aspect of our lives, from our self esteem, to the people we choose to be in relationships with. And it all starts around three years old. Yikes!

Our first sense of who we are is heavily influenced by parents’ attitudes and behavior. When you’re a child, you don’t realize your parents aren’t perfect. You think of your parents as gods—beings with all the authority and omniscience of a deity. And your mom is mad because you spilled the milk—so that must mean that you are bad. You don’t understand that your mom is mad because she has her own issues she is struggling with. Maybe she’s over reacting because she had a fight with dad. You think it’s all about you. By the time you are five or six, you’ve got some beliefs about yourself, and they start to influence how you see yourself. It is these childhood beliefs that are the strongest factors in determining who we think we are.

Something simple, like Susie choosing not to play with you on the playground, becomes proof of what you believe. A voice inside your head says, “I told you there was something wrong with you!” It is the safety instinct that kicks in and tries to protect you from that criticism by becoming highly self-critical, and therefore using harshness to make sure that you never get yourself into a situation whereby you could be hurt. The voice in your mind, that you believe to be you, says “You better figure out a way to make sure you are never criticized ever again!” Although this demand is completely unattainable, you don’t recognize that. Instead, you are convinced that there IS actually a way to achieve this! You try to find a way to keep yourself safe and protected from emotional pain. But sadly, life doesn’t work this way. It is unavoidable that we will have moments of failure, criticism, and rejection.

But who is really responsible for our interpretations? It is not actually YOU who is responsible for forming much of who you think you are, but rather it is your Inner Critic: the voice in your mind that speaks to you all day, every day, and tells you who you need to be, what you need to achieve, where you don’t measure up, what you need to fix, where you are failing, and where you are just not enough. It is our inner critic that ALWAYS has a judgment about something. She is always looking to answer the fundamental questions: “What’s wrong?” or “What’s missing?”

Whenever life doesn’t fit your inner critic’s picture, you are often convinced that the reason why is because of YOU! If you would just figure out how to be better, smarter, prettier, funnier, a better person, you won’t be hurt. Every time you experience pain, this is evidence that YOU really ARE not good enough. By the time you’re an adult, you’ve gathered enough evidence to make you believe that in some way, you are inadequate or not enough. What’s wrong with my body?  What’s wrong with my looks? What’s wrong with the way I am in the world? Am I smart enough? Am I accomplished enough? Am I a good enough wife, mother, daughter, friend?

In case you haven’t noticed, our Inner Critic ALWAYS has a problem with something. If you stop and look, you can recognize that there’s always something that’s bothering you. Today’s judgment may be different from yesterday’s, but once today’s inadequacy is gone, there will always be another inadequacy waiting to take its place. But rather than understanding that this habitual way of thinking is actually our inner critic talking, we think that’s US talking. What we don’t realize is that our inner critic is contaminating who we think we are. The habitual thinking of the inner critic is always looking at a question, What’s wrong here?  What’s wrong with me, or What’s wrong with it? She is always waiting to try to change or fix things, because she thinks that something is always broken or needs perfecting.

In her book “Playing Big”, Tara Mohr describes the Inner Critic by saying, “The inner critic may take inspiration from people in your life who played the role of outer critic. It adapts and expands on their behavior and often exists as a version of their voices inside your head. Listen for echoes of a parent, a sibling, a boss, or the voice of societal institutions or major cultural forces such as your religion, company, or country.”

Who does your Inner Critic sound like? You’ve been listening to a story for your whole life, and you don’t even know it. You have a seven year-old version of the story, a sixteen year-old version, a twenty five year-old version, and you have the version you have now. You don’t need to have experienced difficult experiences or dysfunction in your childhood to develop a harsh inner critic. Her voice sounds a lot like your own. Listen: “You forgot to pick up the dry cleaning again! You’re an idiot,” she scolds as you walk up to your front door without your clean clothes.

It is this Inner Critic that we have put, without realizing it, in the position of governing our thoughts, our feelings, our beliefs, and virtually all of who we think we are. It is this Inner Critic that we have symbolically put on the throne. Dethroning your Inner Critic (the Center hosts a workshop program by the same name) starts with recognizing the that the voice in your mind is not really you. Learn to pay attention to how she speaks to you and exactly what she is saying. Feel what it feels like in your body when she is speaking to you.

When you hear your inner critic talking, ask yourself:

  1. Is she making up worse-case scenarios?
  2. Does she repeat the same story over and over again?
  3. Does she hold you back from making changes in your life?
  4. Does she keep you stuck in fear?
  5. Does listening to this voice make you feel the way you want to feel in your life?
  6. Does it help you reach your goals? And if so, at what cost?

Learning the difference between YOU and your Inner Critic has the potential to change your whole life.

Don't forget to subscribe below so you don't miss Joanna's post next week about how to stop feeding your Inner Critic, and also to get your free copy of THE HAPPY MOMMY MANIFESTO!

BIO: unnamedJoanna Kleinman is a psychotherapist and founder of The Center For Extraordinary Relationships In Cherry Hill, NJ. She has been in private practice for over 20 years, inspiring individuals across the country to live lives they love. The philosophy of her work is that the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships with ourselves and others. Through in person counseling, online virtual counseling with people across the country, and her nationally acclaimed workshop series “Dethroning Your Inner Critic”, Joanna has helped thousands of people to transform the quality of their relationships, the confidence by which they live their lives, and to create a permanent shift in how they experience themselves. These shifts are the result of an innovative and transformational approach in which stress, overwhelm and dissatisfaction can be altered, by learning to separate oneself from what she calls the “Inner Critic”; the voice in the mind that has been speaking to all of us all day, every day, for most of our lives. In understanding how this voice keeps people stuck in old identities, beliefs, patterns and behaviors, she has helped countless individuals, couples, and families let go of the past, redefine the future, and create breakthroughs in the quality of their relationships and their lives. Joanna has been a contributing writer for The Huffington Post, Women’s Health Magazine, Courier Post, South Jersey Mom Magazine, Parent.co, and Parents.com. She has been sought out as an expert motivational speaker for companies including Campowerment, Virtua Hospital’s Annual Women’s Conference, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Joanna also served as a crisis intervention specialist and has worked with major corporations including Cigna Behavioral Health, Kantor Fitzgerald, Commerce Bank, Fleet Securities, and the U.S Navy. Joanna lives in Cherry Hill, NJ with her husband of twenty years, and her 3 children.

Five Steps To Dethrone Your Crazy "Bad Mom" Inner Critic

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I'm calling November Inner Critic Month--because we all have one--and she can be a raging bitch. I don't know about you, but I'd like to punch mine in the face on most days, if I could only just stop listening to her so much. Last month, I was fortunate enough to meet the amazing Joanna Kleinman, psychotherapist and mom of three, who works with women to silence their inner critics once and for all. For the next four Mondays at The Medicated Mommy, Joanna will be sharing her tips for how to silence yours. And she is starting with motherhood! Make sure you subscribe below so you don't miss any of her incredibly valuable advice! FIVE STEPS TO DETHRONE YOUR CRAZY “BAD MOM” INNER CRITIC:

I have been waiting for the premier of Bad Moms all summer long. I have heard fellow moms talking about it for months, rallying packs of moms together to see this movie. So, I was so excited when I finally went to see it last week. I wanted to find out why it is that this movie is resonating with so many women in a way that no movie has done in years.

This movie really hit home for me, as a therapist who has helped thousands of moms struggle with feelings of guilt and inadequacy, and as a mom of three kids. It also hits home with millions of moms out there who struggle with the feeling that they have no idea what they are doing, and they are not doing a good enough job.

Motherhood has become an all encompassing identity.  Moms feel that it is their fundamental role in life to be the “ideal mom”--to do it all, know it all, BE it all, and make sure their kids turn out the way they want them to! This role has certainly been exacerbated by social media, which leads moms to feel even more inadequate about the mother that they are, as it certainly appears that all of their friends have the “perfect” family on Facebook!

It’s no wonder that today’s moms feel overstressed and overworked, and feel trapped in a culture of motherhood in which no matter what they are doing as moms, they are not measuring up. All of this is enough to make moms feel like they are going crazy, and then they beat themselves up for feeling crazy, which makes them feel even crazier!

So, why are we all so friggin’ crazy? Why is it that we can all relate to Kristin Bell’s character, Kiki, who fantasizes about being in a car accident that’s just enough to put her in the hospital so she can sleep and binge watch TV? It is because we are ALL overly identified with the voice of our Inner Critic, who is the voice in our mind that is constantly evaluating, judging, comparing, and telling us where we don’t measure up, what we have to fix, change, or perfect, and how we could do things better. And the more we listen to her, the crazier we feel.

Our Inner critic has us convinced that no matter what we have achieved or accomplished as mothers, no matter how much we have done for our kids, we are still not good enough! As Kiki says in the movie, “In today’s day and age, it’s impossible to be a good mom!”  REALLY??!!

The PTA president, Gwendolyn, is the personification of our Inner Critic. Her character represents everything that we think we should be. She’s doing it “right.” She is the ideal woman. The epitome of perfection. And, if we keep listening to her, our inner critic’s advice about how we need to change, fix or perfect ourselves, we can finally get to the point where we feel like we’re doing it right. Except, no matter what we do and how hard we try as moms, we never, ever reach that arrival point. It’s like we’re all hamsters on the hamster wheel. Running and running and running, and still, we feel the same.

It’s time to STOP THE INSANITY!  Does that mean you just let everything go, drink yourself into oblivion, slack off and throw wild PTA parties like the Bad Moms did? NO! It’s about recognizing that you are listening to a crazy person in your mind, thinking that it’s YOU. It’s about learning the difference between YOU and your crazy, delusional, perfectionistic, Inner Critic, who is the one that is responsible for so much of your suffering in your life, especially when it comes to motherhood.

Your inner critic convinces you that you have to keep doing more, being more, and knowing more, in order to feel like you are a good mom. The minute you meet her expectation of who you are supposed to be, that is quickly yesterday’s news, and she is already on to the next problem you have to solve, the next mountain you have to climb, the next milestone you have to make your child reach.

The truth is that the feelings of inner peace, joy and contentment that all moms crave, come from learning how to separate yourself from your inner critic.  t’s about learning the tools to stop giving energy and attention to her attempts to improve, perfect, fix or change either yourself or your children.

Here are five tools to separate YOU from your “BAD MOM” INNER CRITIC:

1. What is the story your inner critic has been telling you about the mom that you are? Pay attention to the areas where you are struggling or suffering the most in being a mom. What are the beliefs that your inner critic is convincing you are “Truths?” Even though this may feel like the truth, you are identifying with the expectations of your inner critic, who expects you and your life to fit a perfectionistic picture. When life doesn’t fit this picture (which is often the case), your inner critic will convince you that there is something wrong, and it is up to YOU to make it right. Try catching your inner critic in the act of hustling you into believing her story. See her story as just that: A STORY! You will know when she’s trying to hustle you by watching your suffering, and all the feelings that come along with it.

2. See your inner critic’s story as repetitive mind chatter. For example, if you are angry about forgetting about a birthday party your child was invited to, how is your inner critic making you feel about yourself? Can you identify this feeling at different times throughout your life, even before you became a mother? The story of the inner critic is repetitive and unchanging. The inner critic will just keep looking for more evidence to support the story. That is how a mistake that most parents make, can make you feel like the worst mother in the world. The same feelings your inner critic creates today, are the same feelings she created when you were 8, 17, and 30!

3. How is your inner critic trying to control your children? Your inner critic needs your children to fit her perfectionistic idea of who they should be, because if they fall short of her picture, she will convince you it’s YOUR fault!  She will make you feel small, inadequate, and incompetent. So, to make sure that you don’t feel that emotional pain, she will try to control and fix your kids, so that you can feel like you’re doing a good job. When your inner critic tries to fix and control your kids, it is the control and criticism that has your kids behave in ways that are the polar opposite of her expectations. When you can get your inner critic out of your parenting, and let your kids be themselves, they end up being more of the kids that you desire them to be in the first place-- loving, connected, happy kids.

4. Give your Inner Critic a name that fits her personality. (Gwendolyn, perhaps?!) Notice how and when she speaks to you. Notice the body sensations she evokes in you (shoulders tense, knots in your stomach). Notice what mood she puts you in. Notice when you want to eat when you’re not hungry, sleep when you’re not tired, binge watch TV, or worse, is she in the driver’s seat of your life again? Get her out! Stop giving her the power to tell you where you’re not enough or how you should live your life!

5. What unrealistic expectations do I need to let go of so that I can surrender myself from my Inner Critic’s grip? When my 15 year-old son leaves a trail of dirty laundry and wet towels from the bathroom to his room yet again, my inner critic will chime in that he is being lazy, selfish, and disrespectful. If I listened to her, I would blast my son from here to the moon with criticism and anger. If I can let go of my inner critic, I can remember that my son is acting like a typical teenage boy. Of course, I will make him accountable for cleaning up his mess. But instead of asking him through my inner critic’s criticism and anger, I can ask him from my calm and centered self. And I assure you, when I am parenting him instead of my inner critic, my son is a completely different human being!

The bottom line is this: The only thing that makes you feel like a bad mom, and then try to do more and be more to feel like a good mom, is your automatic habit of listening to your Inner Critic, and thinking that it is YOU. The more you practice separating yourself from the grip of your inner critic, the less crazy you will feel, and maybe you can recognize the mother that you REALLY are and why that's good enough! 

BIO: unnamedJoanna Kleinman is a psychotherapist and founder of The Center For Extraordinary Relationships In Cherry Hill, NJ. She has been in private practice for over 20 years, inspiring individuals across the country to live lives they love. The philosophy of her work is that the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships with ourselves and others. Through in person counseling, online virtual counseling with people across the country, and her nationally acclaimed workshop series “Dethroning Your Inner Critic”, Joanna has helped thousands of people to transform the quality of their relationships, the confidence by which they live their lives, and to create a permanent shift in how they experience themselves. These shifts are the result of an innovative and transformational approach in which stress, overwhelm and dissatisfaction can be altered, by learning to separate oneself from what she calls the “Inner Critic”; the voice in the mind that has been speaking to all of us all day, every day, for most of our lives. In understanding how this voice keeps people stuck in old identities, beliefs, patterns and behaviors, she has helped countless individuals, couples, and families let go of the past, redefine the future, and create breakthroughs in the quality of their relationships and their lives. Joanna has been a contributing writer for The Huffington Post, Women’s Health Magazine, Courier Post, South Jersey Mom Magazine, Parent.co, and Parents.com. She has been sought out as an expert motivational speaker for companies including Campowerment, Virtua Hospital’s Annual Women’s Conference, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Joanna also served as a crisis intervention specialist and has worked with major corporations including Cigna Behavioral Health, Kantor Fitzgerald, Commerce Bank, Fleet Securities, and the U.S Navy. Joanna lives in Cherry Hill, NJ with her husband of twenty years, and her 3 children.