How the Inner Critic can actually help you !
We’ve all heard of it, the Inner Critic or the nagging voice in our head, you know the one, the one that tells you that you can’t do something, or that you don’t know enough, or that no one will want to learn from you.
It talks you down, it makes you feel worthless and totally incapable of the task in hand. So your targets don’t get met, or if they do it is with alot of stress and not joy, it brings frustration and alot of huffing and puffing (or was that just me?!). Everything just seems so darn hard.
What if I told you that not everyone has this inner critic. You actually learned to have it.
Stay with me.
The negativity isn’t yours.
It can impact every aspect of your life including self confidence and self esteem, relationships and our accomplishments at work.
It usually comes from early life experiences that are internalised and taken in as ways we think about ourselves. Often from parents, primary carers, teachers and also from interactions with peers and siblings.
Meet your inner critic
Gets you to do things perfectly with its high standards and prevents you from creating anything for fear it won’t be good enough.
It controls your behaviour in case it may be dangerous, it wants to keep you safe.
It gets you to work hard, to become a workaholic and avoid being mediocre.
It undermines your self confidence and esteem so you won’t tke risks so you won’t try and might fail, or so you won’t get too big and visible. It makes you feel worthless.
It shames you by attacking your fundamental self worth.
It attacks you for something you have or have not done. It makes you feel guilty and never forgives you.
It gets you to fit a certain mould, It makes you feel inadequate.
So what can you do about it?
Begin to control your thoughts, okay not all 60,000 of them per day but learn to stop your thoughts when you are aware of the inner critic. Stop the thoughts right when you notice them.
Then identify your negative thoughts. Attempt to class them into one (or more) of the inner critic types above.
Become aware of the diaolgue and write it down, or talk about it to someone who would understand what you are aiming to clear out. By externalising it you are not giving it the energy it needs to get any stronger.
Find the lie. Here are some examples;
‘You’re not good enough’, is it true? Do you have hard evidence that you are not good enough? Or are you stuck in a repeat story cycle that you have always told yourself this?
‘You don’t know what you’re doing’. Again, is it true? Take a look backwards right now, where you are, if you told yourself ‘you don’t know what you are doing’, would that have got you to here?
By recognising the truth, you will notice that it is just a story that you have been telling yourself. What feels lighter? The truth or the story the inner critic tells you? Take a moment to become aware of it.
Now my friend, you can make the inner critic work for you, because it will make you become so much more aware of your internal being. Harnessing that inner knowledge will quieten down the negativity, because you want to succeed and feel great and be the best version of you. What else is possible?!