Our inner critic can make us unravel at any moment

My youngest daughter is taking a modern dance class.

I wasn’t familiar with modern dance before I enrolled her, but to sum it up at a high-level, modern dance focuses on the dancer’s expression of their inner feelings. It’s less structured than other types of dance, yet like all types of athletic movement, the dancer might fall, trip, or land awkwardly.

If this happens, my daughter’s dance teacher told them to say, “Well, that’s interesting.”

She encourages observation and reflection. There is no shame. There is no internal berating.

It’s simple to observe that the situation, in this case, the dance move, did not go as expected or perhaps hoped. I love this lesson for all of us!

We will make mistakes because we are human

We try our best, but some things get missed, or we mess up.

Yes, we want to learn from these mistakes, but we don’t wish our inner critic to shame, criticize, or beat us up. Unfortunately, those internal messages don’t help the situation.

We can learn from mistakes and shift some things, so they don’t happen again. It’s easier to adjust and grow when we aren’t mean to ourselves.

By saying, “that’s interesting,” and observing the mistake, we won’t get as emotionally hooked to it. Instead, we can more easily reflect on what went wrong and what to correct.

The next time you have a mistake at work, if you naturally beat yourself up over being human, take a moment to ignore your inner critic and say instead, “that’s interesting,” and allow yourself to go from there.