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Ep. 20 – How Does My Inner Critic Affect Me As a Dad?

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This is the All Pro Dad Podcast, where in each episode, dads of all ages dive into just one question. Today, we ask, “How does my inner critic affect me as a dad?”

We all tend to be critical of ourselves from time to time. Introspection is a good thing, but getting too down on yourself can cause issues for you as a dad. Ted Lowe, Jason Hood, Buck Buchanan, and BJ Foster teach dads how to fight back against their inner critic by showing men how to “name your Fred.”

Pick a name for the voice inside your head. You know the voice—the one that tells you you’re not good enough. The one that says you’re a failure. The voice can be loud and aggressive, but you can overcome it. Dads have to talk back to that critical voice of negativity. Thinking better about yourself helps you be a better dad. Ted named his Fred, and they don’t always get along. If you want to master your inner critic, follow these four steps:

Step 1: Name your Fred.

Bundle your negative thoughts about yourself and give him or her a name. This is one of the most powerful things you can do to battle your inner critic. It simultaneously makes him more and less important. Naming him helps acknowledge the importance of your thoughts while also separating those thoughts from who you really are.

Step 2: Write Fred’s messages to you. 

If we are going to put “Fred” in his proper place, we need to know exactly what kind of thoughts we are listening for.

Step 3: Categorize Fred’s messages to you.

Your inner critic can tell the truth, but more often than not, he’s lying. Analyze and categorize that message. More details about how to do this are here.

Step 4: Talk back to yourself.

But keeping Fred in his place is an ongoing process. I’m not sure Fred ever completely goes away. He has created these negative neural pathways, and we must create new ones. While this exercise may seem too simple to help, I promise it is not. It doesn’t take long and is a powerful tool to keep Fred from sabotaging your marriage.

Today’s Pro Move: Name your Fred. By giving him a name, it separates him from you so you can see things more clearly.

Other Resources

4 Steps to Keep Your Inner Critic From Sabotaging Your Marriage

How To Deal With Criticism

3 Lies Men Believe

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