Updated: Jun 27
The 'Inner Critic' refers to the inner voice that judges, criticizes, or demeans a person whether or not the self-criticism is justified. A highly active inner critic can take a toll on one’s emotional well being and self-esteem.
We all have the inner critic, in fact some of us might feel like we've got a whole team of inner critics inside our head. Every so often she rears her head and the sad fact is that we listen to what she tells us!
At the core of our inner critic is usually an overwhelming feeling of not being good enough. Which, again, leads the inner critic to continuously scan for evidence that supposedly substantiates our worthlessness.
For some, the inner critic is a specific voice from the past—your mother, your father, your aunt, a child, the boss who fired you, the school bully.
Common critical inner voices include:
"There's something wrong with you."
"You're different from other people."
You're not good enough
You're a failure
A voice that says.... “you should,” “why didn’t you?” “what’s wrong with you?,” or “why can’t you get it together?
The role of the inner critic is actually to keep you safe and protect you. But like an overprotective parent, it’s causing more harm than good. The minute you start to change, they go, "Oh my gosh, she is trying to make some changes here and I need to stop her. I need to keep her safe."
Listening to our Inner Critic isn’t the problem … making decisions from this voice is
The problem is fear and self-doubt in our businesses keeps us “stuck” and fearful of putting ourselves out there … so we end up playing small and wondering why we aren’t doing better in our business, career, or life, in general
I’d like to invite you to shed some light on your inner critic
When does she show up?
What does your inner critic say to you?
How do you feel when you listen to her?
What is it that he/she's really worried about?
What is your inner critic afraid of?
What are his/her deeper concerns?
What's the message that he/she is really trying to communicate to you?
If you tend to be overly critical of yourself, you're not alone. Most people experience self-doubt and harsh self-reflections. Fortunately, however, you don’t have to be a victim of your own verbal abuse.
Here are some ideas to help you Tame Your Inner Critic
1. Develop an awareness of your thoughts. Pay attention to what you’re thinking about and recognize that just because you think something, doesn’t mean it’s true. Our thoughts are often exaggerated, biased, and disproportionate
2. Recognize the truth. Your inner critic is just a manifestation of your fear. Its sole
purpose is to actually protect you. However, it’s like a scared child. How it works it that when you tell yourself that you’re not good enough or that you can’t do something, you have an excuse not to expose yourself to failure.
3. Name That Voice. Identifying the voice is a first step in gaining confidence. There are many ways to identify and acknowledge it. It can be as simple as saying, “oh there’s that little voice again”. You can also give it a name. That way whenever “Skanky Silvia” comes to talk to you, you can just say hello and move on. Say this to that voice in your head: “Thank you for protecting me from the disappointment. I am so grateful that you have stopped me from the possibility of getting hurt. I’m a grown up now and I have lived through all of those emotions, good and bad; I have survived them once so I know I can survive them again …and now I’d like you to help and protect me by talking to me in an encouraging, kind voice and helping me to go after the life that I really want. Thank you.”
4. Respond compassionately. You can respond to your inner critic by writing down a more realistic and compassionate evaluation of yourself. Write these responses in the first person (as "I" statements). In response to a thought like, "You're such an idiot," you could write, "I may struggle at times, but I am smart and competent in many ways."
5. Examine the evidence. Learn to recognize when your critical thoughts are exaggeratedly negative. If you think, “I’m never going to be able to quit my job and run my own business,” examine the evidence that supports and refutes this prediction. Sometimes it’s helpful to write it down. Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On one side, list all the evidence that supports your thought. On other side, write down all the evidence to the contrary. Looking at evidence on both sides of the argument can help you look at the situation more rationally and less emotionally.
6. What would you tell a friend? Would you judge a friend as harshly as you judge
yourself? What would you say to them in a similar situation? What would you
say to your child? If a friend expressed feelings of self-doubt, hopefully you wouldn’t say, “You can’t ever do anything right,” or “You’re so stupid. No one likes you.” Yet, we’re often quick to say those things to ourselves. Instead, you’d be more likely to offer a friend compassionate words of encouragement like, “You made a mistake but it’s not the end of the world,” or “It’s unlikely that today’s performance will actually get you fired.” Treat yourself equally as kind as you’d treat a friend and apply those words of encouragement to your life.
7. Stop ruminating. When you make a mistake or you’ve had a bad day, you may be tempted to re-play the events over and over in your head. But, repeatedly reminding yourself of what you said or did will only make you feel worse and it won’t solve the problem.When you find yourself ruminating – distract yourself with an activity – like going for a walk, organizing your desk, or talking about a completely different subject – and stop the critical thoughts before they spiral out of control.
The inner critic in your head limits your life and your opportunities. Remember that
your inner critic isn’t rational. You don’t have to listen. Take control of your inner talk and lift yourself up. Speak to yourself the way you would a good friend or loved one. Turn your inner critic into your most positive supporter and you’ll live a life you enjoy.
If your Inner Critic, Fear and Self Doubt are running your life and business, then Please click below to set up a FREE Clarity call with me, in this 60 minute call we will talk about how your INNER CRITIC, Fear and feeling not good enough has impacted your Career or Business and how coaching can help you to TAME your Inner Critic Click Here