When was the last time you heard from your inner critic? You know, that voice in your head that constantly judges you, puts you down and compares you to others. The one that tells you you’re not good enough or smart enough and says things you would never dream of saying to another person.
Now you may think this inner critic, while annoying, is relatively harmless. But this is simply not the case. This inner critical voice limits you and stops you from living the life you truly desire. It hinders your emotional well-being and, if left unchecked, can even lead to depression or anxiety.
Here are some ways you can silence that inner critic and stop beating yourself up.
- Give it Attention
That’s right, in order to gain control over your inner critic you have to know that it exists. Most of our thinking is automatic. In other words, we don’t give our thoughts much thought. We barely notice a critical thought has passed. Give attention to your thoughts, all of them. This will help you recognize the critical voice.
Here are some emotional clues the critic has reared its ugly head: whenever you feel doubt, guilt, shame, and worthlessness. These are almost always signs of the critic at work.
- Separate Yourself from Your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is a part of you, not your core self. You were not born with this part, but developed it along the way to protect you. However, it has gotten overdeveloped over time and now may hurt more than it helps. Your inner critic doesn’t know that it isn’t really you and so acts as if it’s speaking in your voice.
You have to separate yourself from this part. One way to do that is to give your critic a name. Have fun with this naming. You could call your inner critic anything from “Todd” to “Miss Overprotective.” It doesn’t matter what the name is, but try to avoid increasing the negativity in your choice.
What matters most is that you learn to separate it from your authentic self.
- Talk To Your Inner Critic
When you recognize your inner critic is speaking to you, thank it for trying to help, but let it know that you don’t need it’s protection in that way. Tell it you are choosing to be kind and compassionate to yourself from now on. Invite the critical part to take on a new supporting role, as you move forward towards health.
- Create a New Inner Voice
To create this new voice, start noticing the good things about yourself. No matter what that critic said about you, the truth is you have fantastic traits and abilities. Start focusing on those. Yes, it will be hard at first to let yourself see you in a positive light, but the more you do it, the easier it will get.
Life is short. To have the most fulfilling one possible, we have to stop wasting time on beating ourselves up. Take these 4 steps and learn to quiet that inner critic and increase your self compassion.
Some people’s inner critic is stronger than others. Sometimes the greatest ally you can have in your corner is an impartial third-party, a therapist who can see you for who you really are. If you or a loved one could use some help quieting your inner critic and would like to explore therapy, contact me today to schedule a free consultation session.