Creeping Charlie or Glechoma hederacea (for those of you who insist on knowing the scientific name) is what is described by the University of Minnesota Extension Office as “a low-growing perennial weed”. I describe it more as a royal pain in the … yard. This obnoxious weed will take over a whole lawn if given any leeway whatsoever and that is exactly what it has done to our yard.
We live on a wooded lot that only had one section of grass that grew on a hill next to our driveway… please note that I said grew… it is all in the past tense now. When we moved in 12 years ago, we had more grass than Creeping Charlie but that is now a distant memory. Charlie multiplied like rabbits and ran amok throughout the lawn until there was not a blade of grass to be found and we were left with a blanket of weeds.
Last year we decided to wage all out war on Charlie and chose to suffocate and then burn him to death by laying black plastic sheeting over the full lawn all Summer and Fall. We were sure that we had killed any living molecule of this pesky plant when we removed the tarp before winter… wrong… Charlie decided to rear his ugly head again this Spring. Now it is time for us to bring out the chemical warfare that has to be specially ordered by the local nursery (with a price that I am sure is specially ordered too…).
As I was ruminating on our lawn (or lack thereof), I found myself thinking many of us have a Creeping Charlie in our midst…, that part of us called The Inner Critic. The voice of the Inner Critic can start out as a small nuisance but if given the opportunity, it will grow and crowd out our positive self-esteem until we are overcome with negative self-talk. We may hear the “I am not good enough” critic, the “I always do it wrong” critic, the “I am not smart enough, or the ” I am not good-looking enough” inner critic comments. Much like Charlie creeps through our lawn, the critic creeps into our thoughts…
So how do we finally rid ourselves of that pesky critic? I don’t know if we ever truly will get rid of that Inner Critic, just like we probably will never totally eradicate every root of the Creeping Charlie, however there are some ways that we can stop the critic from growing by not allowing it to overtake our thoughts and actions:
- Pick an argument with the Inner Critic. Focus on all the positive aspects and strengths that you are capable of using to be successful at whatever you are working towards. Put on your debater’s hat and go to town refuting what the Inner Critic is telling you!
- Name the critic so that you can speak specifically to it when it is getting in your face. Then call that Inner Critic by name and tell it to GO POUND SAND (or whatever best fits with your way of telling it to leave you alone). A great exercise is to write the critic’s name on a piece of paper, rip it up and throw it away – what the critic is telling you is all garbage anyway!
- Talk to someone in your support network and ask them to give you feedback on what the Inner Critic is saying. People who know and love you will not see you in the same light as the Inner Critic, I guarantee it!
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do”
What is your Creeping Charlie? What are some effective ways that you use to silence your inner critic?