As a young girl, I did not have many friends, so I would spend most my summer days in a construction zone near my home catching lizards and afterward placing them in a jar.
I often thought, are they sad to be lonely too?
As I spent my days chasing lizards, my little, inexperienced and impressionable mind was busy forming beliefs about who I was…It kept telling me:
- I am not fun enough
- Pretty enough
- Rich enough
- I am not like the others
- I am not outgoing
- I am not worthy
- I am not good enough
- I AM NOT….
And for years I believed them to be true.
I am pretty sure you are all familiar with that voice too.
The inner critic. That nagging voice inside your head that wants to prove to you that you are not good enough; that voice that mocks you, intimidates you, judges you, teases you and is determined to hold you back.
That voice that seems to appear from nowhere, creating doubt in you, trying really hard to convince you, you are not pretty enough, competent enough, smart enough, thin enough, tall enough, rich enough, young enough, worthy of…
Yes, that voice! That critical voice is robbing you of your truth, from your creativity, values, worthiness, curiosity, and your greatness.
Almost all of us at some point have had that inner critic voice come out. Some are louder, some are more critical, some are more destructive and limiting us to move forward.
We often don’t dare to speak to others, the way we allow our inner critic to speaks to us. Sometimes we become our own number one enemy; sabotaging our success, judging our abilities, feeling unworthy of love, and not living life to our fullest potential.
Now the question is, are they still keeping us protected as an adult? Or are they standing in the way of our achievements?
How do we become in charge of our thoughts and negative beliefs?
Our mind is designed to support us not to work against us…
William James says:
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
How to quite the inner critic?
Now the tricky part of recognizing, understanding, and quieting the critical inner voice is that when it was molded in our psyche, the “INTENTION” behind it was actually positive!
These habitual behaviors are psychological strategies that were internalized at a very young age at the subconscious level to protect us from getting hurt. It is the meaning we gave to certain anxiety-provoking events and un-pleasant circumstance, negative early life experiences, and how we chose to respond to them.
These 4 steps helped me to be able to quiet the inner critic, implement them, and let me know in the comments how it goes.
1- Hear it, but don’t listen to it– Acknowledge the voice; talk to it; seriously! Talkback to the inner voice, almost like a rebuttal. Tell the voice it does not have power over you anymore. Tell it, I know you want to protect me from getting hurt, but I got this. I am Strong, capable, competent, and I have what it takes. Watch me soar.
2- Recognize the voice as the agent of self-sabotage– Separate your identity from what the voice is telling you. You are MUCH MORE than the voice.
3. Reframe– Reverse the negative into positive- The best way to quite the critic is to reframe and switch the negative talk into a positive statement. Example: “You are a loser; no one wants to be with you.” Reframe: “I might be different, but I have a lot of great qualities that people will find it charming.
4. Find out the root cause of your limiting beliefs– This may not be so easy as a DIY process. So I encourage you to seek professional support in releasing your limiting beliefs.
Our relationship with ourselves can be as complicated as a relationship with another. It can go up and down; it may seem easy and effortless one day and nearly impossible the next day. However, if we learn how to accept without judgment, live by our core values, live life with purpose and passion; and be able to get past our “failures” and see them only as feedback and life lessons; then loving ourselves, talking compassionately with self and respecting who we are will become an effortless task.
You are one of a kind! There is no one like you, appreciate your uniqueness, your strengths, and your weaknesses. They are what make you who you are. Talk lovingly to yourself, acknowledge yourself and give gratitude to your BEING.’