Tool for HeartConnexion® Living Tool:
Don’t Expect Your Critics to Applaud Your Growth

Our personal growth does not destroy our internal critic (or, whatever name you give it). That is the critical voice, sometimes whispering and often yelling, “OK, so you made it through BreakThrough, but you will fail out here!” “I’m still here, you didn’t do it right.” “See, you have so much more work to do. You just wasted your time.” “You can’t do anything right.” “No one else is struggling.” “Who are you kidding – – change your life?” Do any of these sound familiar?

While our internal critic has no basis in reality, the voice is so familiar and convincing. It is the voice that keeps away from discovering the fundamental lie we accepted out of out pain and past that we believe is the ultimate truth. When we realize that these are not messages from God, or anyone even remotely important, then we can begin counteract them with personal affirmations. While this may seem simplistic, taking this action reinforces our self-respect and the internal critic loses the power to control our lives.

Our internal critic may set us up for self-sabotage by using an external critic – those poisonous playmates we all seem to have. So often, we feel that the real test of the validity of our growth is the applause of our most negative critic. We share our heart with this critical person and then we are surprised when they criticize our changes and minimize our growth.

Negative people have a pay-off for being stuck – no accountability! Your changes threaten their avoidance and defense systems. They will call you selfish and wrong for changing from the person you “should” be for them. Your growth can trigger their feelings of being abandoned (just like we may have been at other times) and spin them into angry rejection.

Stuck people will challenge you to remember your responsibility to them rather than encourage you to be responsible to yourself. They are often “fixer-upper” relationships and high maintenance people who choose to stay in self-pity. Expecting them to applaud your personal growth is unrealistic and self- defeating.

Use discretion about when and to whom you share your heart. Some friends may hear you and support you. Others will want to see your changes in action before they are ready to hear what you say. Sadly, some may never acknowledge your growth. The immediate reactions of others may be a poor test to determine the value of your growth. Do what you need to do in order to keep the affirmation of your worth, and then sharing your heart with others will result in enhanced self-respect and a value for others – even the ones who cannot acknowledge it yet.

Small Group Sharing:

  • What have you heard your internal critic say to you this week?
  • What affirmation did you give yourself? Or could you have given yourself?
  • Do you have “fixer-uppers” or high maintenance relationships in your life?
  • Have you felt worthy, respected or valued by someone in your life this week? How?
  • How would your life be different if you started using this tool for HeartConnexion living?


Dr. Paul D. Fitzgerald, ©2004 HeartConnexion Ministries