The Inner Champion is an aspect of the Self that supports us and helps us to feel better about ourselves. It encourages us to be who we truly are rather than fitting into the box our Inner Critic creates for us. It is a magic bullet for dealing with the negative impacts of your Inner Critic. One way to think about your Inner Champion is to see it as the ideal supportive parent that you always wished you had. It is an aspect of the Self that responds in a helpful way to Inner Critic messages. It helps you to see the positive truth about yourself instead of the negative lies from the Inner Critic.
Seven Flavors of Inner Champions
Since our Inner Champion helps us deal with our Inner Critic, there is a specific version of the Inner Champion for each of the seven types of Critics.
In the face of a Perfectionist Critic, your Inner Champion supports your right to not be perfect. It reminds you that it is only human to make mistakes and that making an error doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. It reminds you that you are totally OK even if you don’t get everything right. It supports your right to have balance in your life—to rest, take care of yourself, and enjoy life. It knows that many jobs just need to be done well enough, not to super-high standards. It has the wisdom to know that sometimes it is important to go with the flow and let things evolve rather than trying to get everything perfect right away. It supports you in being a learner who doesn’t have to know everything to start with. It knows the meaning of “rough draft.”
An Underminer Critic tries to make you feel inadequate so you won’t take risks that it considers dangerous. In response, your Inner Champion can discern when there is real danger and when there isn’t. It understands that you have many more resources, both inner and outer, available to you than when you were a child. It knows that you have inner strength and resilience and that you have people to help and support you. So it realizes that you can handle most difficulties that arise from taking risks or being powerful. Furthermore, it can recognize when you are in a situation that <Ital>isn’t</Ital> dangerous, in which you are unlikely to be attacked for being large and visible. Therefore, it knows that you can venture out and succeed. It holds a vision of you being powerful and innovative and making your mark on the world.
If you have a Taskmaster Critic, your Inner Champion has a two-pronged attitude: it helps you work hard and accomplish things, and it also recognizes that you are just fine the way you are. Although this may sound paradoxical, this kind of self-acceptance actually supports you in developing yourself. Your Champion also recognizes your strengths and special qualities, which helps to build your self-confidence. It encourages you to succeed in a relaxed, easygoing way. It doesn’t expect you to overwork or to be relentless in achieving your goals. Yet it knows that you can achieve what you set out to do.
An Inner Controller Critic judges you harshly to try to stop you from overeating, using drugs, or indulging in other dangerous substances or activities. In response, your Champion tells you that your real needs and desires are OK and that you are fine just as you are. It supports you in being relaxed and trusting your decisions about what you eat or what you do. It also supports you in being centered and in touch with your body, which naturally brings moderation. It supports your capacity for healthy pleasure and sensuality in life, which is satisfying enough that there is no need for overindulgence.
With a Guilt Tripper Critic, your Inner Champion supports you in feeling good about yourself in the face of guilt about your past actions. When you examine your true values, if you feel that what you did wasn’t wrong, like leaving home or marrying someone you love who is of a different race or religion, the Inner Champion supports you in not feeling guilty about it. It tells you that you were acting in integrity and that you are a good person. It tells the Guilt Tripper to back off because its outmoded values came from your family or culture and don’t reflect your truth.
A Conformist Critic tries to get you to be a certain way based on the values of your parents or culture. In response, your Inner Champion helps you to see that the Conformist’s values are not the only good way to live your life. It supports you in determining your own choices of lifestyle and way of being. It tells you that you are a good person even if you choose to live your life in a way that goes against your upbringing and culture. Your Champion supports you in being yourself and living according to your deepest values. It wants you to actualize your true nature and live according to your highest calling, whether or not this calling fits any external idea of what is right.
In the face of a Destroyer Critic, your Inner Champion affirms that you have the right to exist. It confirms that existence is your birthright. Your Inner Champion loves you and cares for you. It has great compassion for your suffering and wants you to feel good and whole. It holds you close and tells you that you are precious. This Champion nurtures you in the most fundamental bodily way, not only because you need it, but also because it loves to be close to you.
Sometimes the Destroyer Critic turns anger or aggression inward; it turns anger toward you that was originally meant for other people in the outside world. Your Inner Champion can redirect that anger toward where it belongs. It affirms that you have the right to be angry with people who have hurt you or neglected you. It also tells you that you have the right to set limits, to protect yourself, or to be powerful—and yes, these may involve ending a job or relationship that isn’t right for you.
These descriptions are intended to inspire you and offer possibilities, not to limit or define your experience. Feel free to allow your Champion to emerge in whatever way is unique to you.