A Date With The Devil – Cultivating New Ways To Deal With Self-Criticism

Self Criticism

A Date With The Devil… What an interesting concept.

Now before you start pulling out your crosses on me, understand that I am not in any way talking about conjuring evil spirits.

This is a different kind of exercise, and the term devil is being used to describe that negative, demeaning, intolerable, sadistic voice on the inside that shuts down anything positive that tries to emerge from within.

The term “devil” is the perfect word used to describe such a thing.

Think about how many times that voice has reared its ugly head – stopping you from moving forward, freezing you in your tracks, buckling your knees anytime you try to make a move. That voice is debilitating, and it hasn’t made its way into your life overnight. That voice has been around for a very long time. Especially if it’s effecting any area of your life.

Every time you tell yourself that you can’t do something, you’re not qualified, you’re not smart enough, you don’t have enough money, or that you are stupid for considering such a thing, all of those trains of thought group together and the effect of that kind of talk is a monstrous beingness that can’t wait to add its input to your life.

I have an exercise for you.

The purpose of this exercise is to see just how bad this devil has gotten.

Pick a subject that you are disappointed with yourself about. It could be financially related, relationship related, or something personal about yourself.

Sit in a quiet room and on a sheet of regular paper, write down the title of the subject that you are going to write about.

Ex. Ruining My Relationship With My Ex-Boyfriend

Make sure the subject is something that has been on your mind recently and something that carries alot of weight in your life – meaning something that really bothers you.

After you add the title, call forth the voice inside that has something negative to say about this subject. Believe me, it won’t take long for the thoughts to start flowing.

Write down everything that you hear. Try not to judge or defend yourself during this process. Try to just write. Writing will allow you to see just how out of control this monster has gotten. Write until you feel you have had enough.

You may feel overwhelming emotions such as anger, sadness, or resentment, but just keep writing until you are at your wits end.

When you are done, read the message back to yourself.

Take an assessment of how you feel during the entire process.

You will feel powerful emotion surrounding this exercise. This whole process is so that you can bring forth the voices that are hindering your progress in that area. We don’t even realize that these voices eat away at us on a daily basis, and then we wonder why it’s so difficult to progress. Look at all the animosity, hatred, and self-criticism we are holding onto.

After you have settled down and taken an assessment on how you feel, sit with your true beingness for a minute. You should notice right away that, that kind of self talk IS NOT HELPFUL. You will feel the negativity down to your bones. That is a good thing. You will recognize that the negative voice inside is absolutely bonkers, and has wayyyyy too much to say.

Then you have to realize that to “this particular persona” you can do no right. This particular persona only sees all the things that you have done wrong. It’s not taking into account your true intentions, your feelings, the heart you have, or anything like that. This persona only sees negative. It has taken into account only your failures and then bases its opinion off of those facts.

It doesn’t have an accurate picture and it’s not taking the “whole you” into consideration.

Realize that you cannot argue with such a fool, but you can lessen its influence in your experience, and once you have made yourself aware of what you are doing, it will be much easier to notice when that negative persona is creeping up on you. The awareness is all you need in order to start moving in a different direction.

After all of that drama, I want you to write again.

This time, you’re going to write yourself an apology letter. You’re going to apologize for the way that you’ve been treating yourself and for the things that you have been telling yourself. You’re going to let yourself know that you didn’t mean to create such a monster, and that you let a negative comment here and there slip through the cracks – it wasn’t your intention to create a devil inside.

Then I want you to remember one thing, and this one thing will stop you dead in your tracks if this voice presents itself again.

You would never talk to a close friend or loved one the way that you talk to yourself sometimes. So give yourself that same respect. {Renee “Soul Writer” Brooks}


When I had my date with my devil, the word that kept coming up in my letter was worthless. I now think back to what would have happened if I listened to that voice, if I stopped writing, if I stopped believing in myself. I would not have been able to develop this inner well of writing and healing resources to share with you all. 

This persona can be very difficult to deal with. It took years to create it, and it will take some time to lessen its influence, but the consequences of not doing it will be a bunch of broken dreams, pain that you can’t figure out where it’s coming from, and a sense of worthlessness inside that cannot be lived with.

It’s worth it to examine some of these thoughts and to put them in their place.

Not by force, but by recognizing what’s happening, and cultivating new ways to see yourself.

Thank you so much for reading!

P.S. If you need help releasing negativity or know someone who does, visit the Soul Guidance Consultations page for a private consultation.

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