Radical Gentleness

a 5-Week Audio Course with Ann Weiser Cornell

Do you beat yourself up or knock yourself down? Does your mind resemble a battleground… or a middle school playground?

Wouldn’t life be amazing if you didn’t have to struggle to get over yourself?

The Radical Gentleness audio course makes it easier for you to move from inner criticism and bullying to self-acceptance.

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inner critic

Self-criticism is a painful struggle. It’s easy to get crushed by the stream of nasty things we say to ourselves. Things we wouldn’t dare say out loud, even to people we don’t like very much. And yet, we beat ourselves up almost without mercy at times.

Did you know that all inner critics have a powerful secret?

They’re really just trying to save your life (I promise!). They mean well. But they are so driven by their anxiety for you that they don’t seem to be on your side. Like a parent who catches up with a toddler that ran into the street and shakes her angrily, the inner critic feels powerless and terrified that it can’t save you.

Inner critics operate just like worried or terrified parents. They’re afraid of what might happen if you ____ … And the only way those voices know how to defend you unfortunately leaves you feeling like you’ve been thrown under a bus. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

It’s the most tragic love story on earth. That there’s something inside you that wants only for you to be safe, and it’s doomed to talk to you in a voice that makes you sure it hates you.

The Radical Gentleness Audio Set can help you transform a tragic love story into a healing one.

About Ann

Ann Weiser Cornell struggled with painful inner critics that contributed to her experience of addiction, social anxiety, and inability to do the things she most wanted to do.

Ann created Inner Relationship Focusing with her long-time colleague, Barbara McGavin, to help people learn to listen compassionately to all the inner voices. Along the way, Ann and Barbara developed a radical new process for relating to the self-blaming voices inside them. It changed their lives, and it became their mission to help others transform as well.

For over 35 years now, Ann’s been teaching this practical, revolutionary process to people all over the world. With her Radical Gentleness audio set, you get the benefit of Ann’s expertise and the chance to practice the simple, yet revolutionary process of Focusing with her gentle, compassionate guidance.

“I don’t like myself very much today.”

I was in the supermarket the other day and spotted a cute toddler running at top speed through the aisles, trailing her jacket, shoelaces dangling. And behind her panted her mother, trying to catch the little escapee, and calling out anxiously, “You’re going to fall!”

I thought: That’s interesting. The mother doesn’t want her daughter to fall. That’s the last thing she wants. Yet she seems to be predicting exactly what she doesn’t want. I started noticing that a lot of the time we say what we don’t want as if it is certain to be true, as when the traffic slows to a halt and you say to your partner, “We’re going to miss the show.”

squawking bird

This odd way of speaking is especially characteristic of the voice inside us that gives us a hard time, sometimes known as “the inner critic.”

It says things like, “You’re going to fail,” and “No one will want what you have to offer.” Could it be possible that this inner criticizing voice is saying what it doesn’t want, what it hopes is not true?

I’ve been interested in this inner criticizing process for a long time. I used to have a vicious inner critic that kept me constantly in doubt about my own self-worth and value. My journals from my early 20s are full of sentences such as, “I don’t like myself very much today.”

One memory is of the time my new friends Danny and Jane invited me to share a home-cooked meal in Danny’s communal apartment. I really wanted them to like me, wanted to belong, wanted to fit in. Not being a shy person, I had a great time chatting and joking with them while they chopped vegetables and cooked rice. When the food was served onto the narrow kitchen table, I happily dug in and began to eat. But instead of eating, my two friends reached out for each other’s hands and mine, in order to say a New Age blessing. I felt a hot wave of shame wash over me. How could I be so stupid and insensitive as to start eating before the blessing? I burst into tears. Kindly, they took time to listen to my feelings, and to assure me what I had done was OK. It was a while before I calmed down enough that we could eat our dinner.

Pair of Goldfinches

It’s clear to me that my friends weren’t critical of me. They were accepting and kind. It was a process inside of me that brought the shame and the tears. Over the years, working with Barbara McGavin, I’ve come to understand that an inner criticizing part is often operating around situations that connect with unhealed trauma. I didn’t just want my friends to like me, that day. I wanted them to treat me differently from how I was treated by the cruel kids at school in my childhood.

The result: a part of me so anxious that I would be rejected that it attacked me with “shame bombs” when I did something “wrong” – something that it thought put me in danger of rejection.

I’ve come to see that the inner critic is trying to save me, trying to help me get what I need, telling me almost literally what it is afraid of and doesn’t want (“You’re going to make people hate you!”) and that it actually wants the best for me.

This is the most tragic love story on earth: That there is something inside you that wants only for you to have what you need, and it is doomed to talk to you in a voice that makes you sure it hates you.

Ann Smile

I have developed a way of working with this inner critic (which may be a body constriction instead of a voice) so that it transforms into a form that is kinder, more compassionate, calmer, gentler. I call it “Radical Gentleness.” Life without an inner critic is indeed radically different from how it used to be! A mistake is simply a mistake. Perfection is not required – either in myself or others. It’s been a really long time since I had the thought that I didn’t like myself. I am comfortable with who I am.

On this Audio Course is an edited version of a course I taught that gives the full method of transforming the inner critic. Do join me! I’d love to be able to show you how to suffer less and enjoy life more.

Ann Weiser Cornell

When your mind is a battleground and you’ve become your own worst bully, it can be hard to find peace…

Are you ready to take it easier on yourself? Make your move from self-blame to inner acceptance with the Radical Gentleness Audio Set!



What’s Covered & Why This Can Help You:

Topics Covered:

  • Part 1: Encountering the Inner Criticizing Process
  • Part 2: Self-in-Presence with the Inner Criticizing Process
  • Part 3: Fear, Worry, and Not-Wanting
  • Part 4Controlling and Reacting Patterns
  • Part 5: Harvesting and Living Forward

What you’ll gain from this audio set:

  • 3 surprising truths about inner critics – so you understand what’s really going on when the inner critic starts whispering nasty things in your ear…again.
  • The 3 typical ways that parts of us react to being criticized (collapsing, rebelling, and escaping) and how to handle it when this happens to you.
  • Specific steps you can take to radically shift your relationship to your inner critic, including one sentence that almost instantly defuses even the harshest self-criticism.

This audio set is for you if:

  • You’ve tried silencing, squashing, or ignoring your inner critics only to find they come back stronger every time
  • You’re stuck and can’t move forward because self-criticism has left you in a state of internal paralysis
  • You can’t get through an interaction without hearing all the internal feedback about everything you’re doing and saying wrong
  • It feels like you hate yourself… and you’d really like to find a way to cultivate some self-kindness or self-compassion
  • You sometimes burst into tears or get really angry over external feedback because you’re already so full inside there’s no room for anything remotely resembling criticism
  • Focusing is familiar and you’re really struggling with harsh inner voices, so you’d like some specific guidance on how to be with these kinds of thoughts and feelings
  • You’re busy and you don’t want to take a live online course

Extra Benefits:

  • Pause it when you need to. Replay it when you want. Learning that’s truly at your own pace.
  • Includes guided exercises to help you drop in when you need extra support.
  • A custom-designed workbook to help you integrate your learning.

Additional Information


Available as MP3s. Includes a supplemental workbook, provided digitally after purchase.

Total Length: 6 hours 36 minutes
File Size: 390.9 MB

Note: Audio files were recorded during an actual phone seminar and have been edited. Sound quality may vary.

About Digital Downloads

When you purchase the digital download product, you’ll receive an email after checkout with a link to download the MP3s, which you can then save to your computer.

*Please Note: Each purchased digital copy is licensed to one individual for personal use only. 

If you have more questions about digital downloads, click here for our digital download FAQs.