Most of us would do well to pay attention to our inner critic or the voice inside of us that holds us back. It impacts our self-esteem and can even cause anxiety and depression. It is that nagging voice that tells us that we are “not enough” or “not good enough.” It tells us that even if we try, we will most likely fail at it.
So, how do we stop or silence that inner critic? It is important to understand where it comes from and then take some steps to overcome it.
1. Identify the source.
What is the source of your inner critic? Is it coming from your past, childhood trauma or negativity from others? Awareness is key. If you understand the source of your inner critic, it will help you move in a different direction and become more compassionate with yourself.
2. Live in the moment
Practicing gratitude helps you learn to be more present and live in the moment. Is there anything good I can think about at this moment? What am I grateful for? Pause and take some deep breaths. Pray. All of this can shift your focus to the present and help calm your mind and silence your inner critic.
3. Challenge your thinking.
Ask yourself, “Is this thought even true and what evidence is there to support it?” Too often, our inner critic is based on false assumptions, beliefs, or emotions we have from previous life experiences.
4. Practice self-care.
Self-compassion and self-care is really treating yourself with kindness and understanding. Why not offer yourself the same compassion you would offer to a friend? Practice self-talk that is positive and remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments.
5. Surround yourself with positivity.
Because the world around us can be very negative, it becomes important to be intentional about bringing positivity into your life. Surround yourself with beauty or things that minister to your heart. Listen to uplifting and inspiring messages, podcasts, talk,s etc. Seek out positive people or friends and family who will encourage and uplift you. Consider monitoring your social media to avoid negative people, self-talk, or comparison traps.
6. Celebrate each success.
No matter how small the success may be, learn to celebrate it. Be your own cheerleader, pat yourself on the back, and give yourself credit for your achievements. You will be amazed at how celebrating each small win will help you gain greater confidence and begin to eventually silence your inner critic.
Silencing your inner critic is a process that takes time. Identity the source. Learn to be more present in the moment and challenge your thinking. Practice self-compassion and self-care. Surround yourself with positivity. Celebrate each small success.
It is worth the time and investment because you are worth it! Eventually you will overcome your inner critic and live a more joyous and fulfilling life.