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Steps To Silence Your Inner Critical Voice

There’s no crueler critic than a harsh internal critical voice. Every negative message and comment directed towards us early in our lives end up as part of our internalized. Messages that tell us we’re not good enough, not capable, become part of our internal dialogue. Once there, those messages can be challenging to remove or reframe, but it’s not impossible. 

An inner critical voice is a self-destructive stream of thinking inside our minds that always seeks to undercut our happiness and ruin our success. It’s not our true thoughts, but a dark and depressing reflection of our worst fears.

A harsh—or even abusive—inner critic can be silenced. Our internal dialogue can transform into a positive, comforting companion. It takes some work and doesn’t happen overnight. Always remember your inner critical voice is not telling you facts. 

It’s not congruent with reality at all, and there are many ways to shut that voice down. Consider the following steps on your path to shedding an inner critical voice.

  1. . Most people have a voice running through their thoughts all day, every day. That voice is a negative reflection of our self-image, our self-esteem. When you feel down over something, pay attention to your thoughts. Are they straying into the unrealistically negative?
  2. . Stop beating yourself up over mistakes, failures or embarrassments. There’s just no use in ruminating over things that didn’t go right. Sometimes people think that be replaying whatever went wrong over and over, they can somehow learn not to make that mistake again. In reality, it’s just fodder for our darkest thoughts about ourselves.
  3. . Ask yourself if you’d speak to a friend in the same way your critical voice speaks to you. Would you tell someone you loved “You always mess up,” or “Why bother? Everyone thinks you’re ridiculous.” Of course, we don’t talk that way to people we value, but we lash ourselves with those terrible statements daily. Extend yourself the same kindness you give others.
  4. . The inner critic always exaggerates. For example, an inner voice who tells you that you’re always weak can be countered with your writing or saying to yourself, “No, I have problems sometimes, but here I am. I get through my problems.”
  5. . If your inner voice is screaming that you’re going to blow an important presentation and be fired and never get another job, redirect that scary exaggeration. Consider: even if you got fired, you’d find another job. Make sure to confront your inner voice with reality.
  6.  It will tell you to give up, or quit your job, or out and out die. That voice can be that horribly harsh sometimes. Act with compassion toward yourself and be true to who you are—the best you, the real you. The things you want to achieve, the good outcomes in life you deserve, those are what you need to focus on.

 

Finally, practice self-talk. When your inner critic gets going, tell yourself that the fear isn’t you. Sometimes you’re afraid, because you’re human, and everyone is afraid sooner or later. However, that fear isn’t who you are, and it’s not going to stop you. 

When it comes to your inner critical voice trying to scare you into immobility, remember that it’s ok to be scared. Be scared and still go forward boldly with your life!