That annoying inner critic! You know, the nagging voice in our heads that tell us all about why we’re not good enough, worthy enough, likable enough, or attractive enough. That one. Unfortunately, we all have it and hear it pop up time and time again. Part of our inner critic was created through messages that we were once told or absorbed by other people in our childhood. Another part of it is from any cultural expectations and ideas from our environment/society.
In most cases, our inner critic is not helpful! It is that voice in our heads that is getting in our way, recking a bunch of havoc, and making us feel bad about ourselves. And in return, it is making us feel like crap about our lives. So, what do we do about it? How do we stop those negative, unhelpful thoughts? And how do we stop listening to and believing our inner critic/ mean girl? That is why in today’s post, I am talking about how to stop your inner critic in its tracks when it shows up and tries to drag you down.
1. Develop an awareness of your negative thoughts
Now, this may sound counter-intuitive, but the only way you can quiet or stop your inner critic is by facing it and actually becoming aware of it. This is how you take away your inner critic’s/inner mean girl’s power! Stop the negative thoughts and beliefs in your mind as soon as you hear them and tell your inner critic that this does not mean anything to me. The inner critic is not part of realistic thinking. It is just a single voice among many. Yet, it happens to be the loudest one. As mentioned above, the inner voice that tries to shut us down typically stems from negative emotions or messages that we heard and absorbed as a child.
With that, it is so important to take the time to actually listen to your inner critic. When you listen to what you’re telling yourself you’ll most likely realize those loud criticisms that are trying to get in your way, are actually kind of silly and ridiculous. Think to yourself – what if I heard a mother talking to her child in the way that I talk to myself? Using words like hopeless, undeserving, unworthy, ugly, etc. You’d automatically realize just how detrimental these words are and how negative that way of speaking truly is when you hear it out loud and truly think about them. Yet, we don’t realize it when we are talking to ourselves. So, that is why you need to listen to your negative thoughts, that way you can face them and stop your inner critic in her tracks!
2. Think about the advice you’d give to a friend
What would you say to your friend if he/she was putting themselves down in the same way your inner critic tries to bring you down? If your friend was expressing feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt, what what you say? Hopefully, you wouldn’t say things like, “You can’t do anything right,” or “You’re not smart enough.” Yet, we’re so quick to judge ourselves and say those hurtful things to ourselves. And what good is that doing? How is that helping us get further in life and become happier? It’s not!
Instead, you’d most likely be compassionate towards your friend and offer them words of encouragement. Such as, “You’ve made a mistake but you’re not a failure,” or “You’ve put in so much work, you’re going to accomplish your goals.” The next time you are putting yourself down and letting your inner critic get the best of you, remind yourself to be as kind and compassionate as you would towards a friend. And learn to apply those words of encouragement and optimism to yourself!
On a more personal note, would you say these hurtful, negative things to your 5-year-old self? Would you tell your little 5-year-old self that she/he is not smart enough, not pretty enough, and not worthy enough to chase after their dreams? Of course not! So then why is it okay to tell yourself these hurtful, damaging things now? Your self-confidence is fragile at any age. We need to make sure that we are supporting ourselves and empowering ourselves to the best of our ability!
Related Post: “How to Finally Stop Worrying and Overthinking”
3. Pay attention to how you view other people
Any type of negative thoughts or emotions that we put out into the universe is toxic and harmful to our soul. Therefore, if you allow yourself to be judgemental and critical of others (let’s face it, we’ve all been there!) you’re simply setting yourself up with the mentality that it is perfectly okay to judge yourself negatively as well.
The best way to combat these negative thoughts is to hold off on gossip and stop feeding into any outside negativity. Refrain from judging others or even giving your opinion on what other people are doing. Remind yourself that somebody else’s life is none of your business. If your co-worker’s gossip about others in the office, try to stay away from any rash judgments that may seem harmless. Remember, feeding into the negativity will only cause you to feel negative towards yourself and it will come around to bite you in the butt.
4. Talkback to your inner critic with powerful inner dialogue
Remind yourself just how awesome you truly are! Your inner dialogue will either stimulate your success or stop you from reaching your full capability. Therefore, giving yourself a positive pep talk when your inner critic is loud and judgmental can truly do wonders! And although your inner critic can allow you to recognize areas in your life where you want to improve, overly harsh and demeaning self-talk will cause your motivation and performance to suffer. Not to mention, when you keep believing your inner critic, you reduce the chances of ever reaching your goals and seeing your true potential!
Reminding yourself that you’re worthy, beautiful, smart, etc. isn’t about bragging or boosting your ego. It is about being honest with yourself and reminding yourself that you are doing your very best right now, and that is enough! There is no way to prove or disprove your worthiness because you became worthy the moment you were born. Remind yourself that what this inner critic is telling you right now, is simply just a thought. Nothing more. It has no power or any true meaning if you just remind yourself that this is a thought that I’m having, and soon it will pass.
What did you think of these 4 ideas?
What is one way that your inner critic likes to show up and try to tear you down?
Let me know in the comments!