Expressions Françaises, Gherkin, Idiot, Legume, Silly

Moss Jackson, PhD
Psychologist and Success Coach


The other day I was playing golf with my good friend Derrick. I was hitting the ball pretty well and starting to feel like I could play this game. Around the fifth hole I started to push and swing harder to no avail. I began to lose my “swing” and slip into some bad habits. Before long, I could feel my muscles tighten and my mind slipping into a negative mindset. Thoughts like “What’s wrong with you?”  “This game sucks!”, “I suck!”, “I’ll never learn this stupid game,” and “I’ll never get any better” flooded my consciousness. I temporarily forgot that thoughts are physical energies that impact our emotions, physical heath and emotional well-being. I ceased being mindful. I stopped playing golf and started playing the “I’m an Idiot” Game!


Sound familiar? Have you been playing the Idiot Game where you make some mistakes, get frustrated and then verbally abuse yourself? Most of us do this or some version at different times in our lives. Our Inner Critic feeds on our mistakes and looks for opportunities to gobble up our sense of confidence and competence. As a result, it is easy to lose our sense of Safety, Approval or Control, the three key emotional anchors of resilience and Navigation.


How do we stop and heal? How. Do we regain our footing and rediscover our “authentic swing,” our innate way of being at ease with the world? How do we get back to thriving and navigating life and stop surviving it?  Learn more in my book Navigating for Success and on my website.

Here are some strategies to stop feeling like an idiot:

Do a Re-parenting Process

  • Find a comfortable place and turn off your computer and phone connections for five minutes
  • Take several slow and deep breaths to activate your ‘feeling safe’ response
  • Imagine a young child who has failed at something and is feeling bad about himself
  • Imagine holding this hurt child while looking in his eyes
  • Show warm compassion
  • Speak to the child with acceptance and love
  • Bring that tender feeling into your own body
  • Say out loud five things you are grateful for
  • Remember a time you felt safe and powerful
  • Feel these feelings now
  • Remind yourself when you made a mistake and recovered only to do it better the next time
  • Help someone else who is having a hard time and playing the “Idiot Game.”

These simple exercises can heal your emotional distress. Repeated often enough, you can literally rewire your brain and shut up your Inner Critic. You can build up an Inner Compassion voice to comfort you in times of making a mistake. Remember, the “Idiot Game” is something you are doing to yourself. Making a mistake may be painful but playing the self-abuse game makes you suffer.

Want to learn how to live successfully and abundantly in the 21st Ct? Order my landmark book “Navigating for Success” and learn the formula for navigating a great life.