Making Peace with Your Inner Critic
“You need to be your own cheer squad not your own worst enemy.” ~ Miya Yamanouch
Have you ever stopped to notice how you speak to yourself?
The way you talk to yourself can either inspire you or tear you down and stop you from reaching your dreams. When your inner dialogue is harsh and unkind, it’s usually because you’re repeating things you heard from your parents or other authority figures when you were growing up.
As children, we are sponges, soaking up everything we see and hear because our internal fitlers aren’t developed enough to discern if what we are hearing is truth. Your self-criticism can discourage you from trying to reach for your goals, making you believe that you are unworthy and incapable of success, and ulitmately robbing you of a joyful and peaceful life.
You can break free from the harsh voice in your head and learn to talk to yourself with love and kindness. I have my coaching clients begin making peace with their inner critic by by getting curious about what it tells them. I invite you to try to make friends with your inner critic by trying the strategies below. Start with the technique that resonates for you!
1. Increase awareness. You may be so used to your inner critic that you hardly think about what it’s saying. Begin to notice what the critic says to you when you make a mistake or want to try something new. Be curious about your discoveries, not critical. You’re just on a mission to gather informaton at this point.
2. Try meditation. Meditation is a great tool for helping you sort through negative self-talk. With a regular practise, you’ll begin to separate the inner critic from your true voice and that’s when the magic begins!
3. Look back. Can you recall your first memory of your inner critic? Does it sound like a particular person from your past? There may be a family relationship that you need to heal before you let your inner critic go.
4. Focus on growth. Maybe your inner voice says you’re bad at math because you failed a test in elementary school. Don’t let your past derail your future! I thought I wasn’t creative because in grade 2 my teacher told me I couldn’t draw. Her words became my belief for decades. I may not draw, but I am artistic and creative in other ways. Adopting a growth mindset will enable you to take control over your inner critic allowing you to become whatever you want.
5. Aim higher. You may find that your inner critic is easier to deal with if you keep a deeper purpose in mind. When you’re working for something bigger than yourself, you can accept your self-doubts without letting them sabatoge you.
There are times when you just need a break from the insults your inner critic throws at you. According to the National Science Foundation, an average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts. If your critical self-talk is making you anxious or depressed, you can find relief.
1. Remember your worth! Being tough on yourself erodes your self-esteem. Remind yourself that you deserve to be happy and successful.
2. Seek distractions. Shift your attention elsewhere. Get out of your head! Take a walk, read a book, or volunteer. Spending time doing things you enjoy or helping other people is a powerful way to shift your attention.
3. Identify triggers. Figure out the situations where your inner critic is likely to be amplified: maybe it’s worse when you receive criticism from your boss or when going on a date. Give yourself advance warning and a pep talk to remind yourself that you can handle anything that comes your way!
4. List your strengths. If you’re tired of hearing about your weaknesses and short comings, remember your strengths. Take out your journal or phone and compile a list of the things you’re good at. This list can include anything from baking bread to helping kids with their homework to renovating your kitchen. Look for evidence that contradicts the inner critic!
5. Correct exaggerations. Your house will not be condemned because you were too busy to vaccum. Keep things in perspective by ensuring that your self-talk is accurate and you aren’t caught up in embellished story-telling in your head.
6. Use affirmations. Repeating positive affirmations can give you a boost when you’re feeling down. Check out my post on using affirmations to rewire your thinking for success.
7. Build support. While you need to value yourself, it helps to also have others in your corner. Surround yourself with family and friends who can be be your cheerleader in tough moments and make you feel good about yourself.
Don’t let the inner critic keep you from realizing your goals and dreams. You are worthy of all your dreams and desires! If you need help gaining control of your inner critic working with a life coach can help. Book a free clarity call with me today here!