Your inner critic can be you the worst enemy or your best friend. It’s important to make friends with your inner critic and even to extend it some unconditional love if you are determined to live a peaceful life.
How do we hear what out inner critic is saying? It’s what many people call out self talk. The way we talk to ourselves depends on a lot of things, it may be related to the way others have talked to us in the past, or it may just be out own attitude. We need to practice compassion with ourselves, just like we would expect to practice it with or loved ones.
Our inner critic can be very useful in our personal growth. It can be a source of correction, with objective criticism to help us get better. Beware though that if the criticism is overly harsh, or it goes past being constructive, it can discourage you from trying to do your best, and suck the joy right out of your life.
Learn to get the best from your inner critic. Here are a few techniques to help you develop a peaceful relationship.
Making Friends with Your Inner Critic
Our inner critic is really just looking out for us. It wants to protect us, and keep us from making dangerous decisions. If you keep that reasoning in mind, it takes on a fresh new perspective. You can train your inner critic and help it learn how to work for you instead of against you with these simple tips.
Listen to understand
You may be so used to listening to all the negative self talk that you hardly think about what your inner critic is really saying. Start changing your relationship by listening carefully to understand what it wants to tell you.
Identify the voice
What’s your first memory of your inner critic? Does it sound like a particular person from your past? There may be family issues or other matters that you need to heal before you can move on. Work on healing and once you have made peace, then listen and learn.
Be ready to work
Do you think you are bad at something because you could never do it as a kid, or in school, or on the job? Maybe your inner voice tells you you can’t, but in reality maybe you just never learned how to do it right. Tell your inner critic that you can learn, and then realize you can become whatever you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work to get there.
Maybe that inner critic is trying to get you off your duff and on to bigger things. Have you settled for something easy when you are capable of doing things that are hard? Are you living up to your purpose?
Learn to enjoy meditation. Many people find that meditation helps them to let go of Judgements and connect with their inner goodness. You can quiet the negative self talk, and quiet the mind at the same time. You may be surprised at some of the things you learn while sitting in meditation.
Silencing Your Inner Critic
On the other hand, there are times when you just need a break. If your self-talk is making you anxious and depressed, you can find relief.
Shift your attention elsewhere. Take a walk or read a book. Spend some time doing anything that you enjoy.
Turn down the volume by imagining that your inner critic is speaking to someone else instead of you. Take any statement and replace the personal pronouns with a funny name.
Give yourself advance warning. Figure out the situations where your inner critic is likely to appear. You may be sensitive about first dates or criticism from your boss.
List your strengths
If you’re tired of hearing about your weaknesses, remember your strengths. Make a list of the things you’re good at from baking bread to writing code.
Your house won’t be condemned because you were too busy to vacuum for a few days. Keep things in perspective by ensuring that your self-talk is accurate.
Repeating positive affirmations can give you a boost when you’re feeling down. Check out the Sunday Serenities posts on this site for new affirmations every week.
Remember your worth
Being tough on yourself tears down your self-esteem. Build it back up by telling yourself that you deserve to be happy and successful.
While you need to value yourself, it helps to have others in your corner too. Surround yourself with family and friends who make you feel positive about yourself and your opportunities.
Take control of your self-talk and your future. Treat yourself with compassion and keep striving to reach your full potential.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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