Your inner critic is not a sign to quit
Last week I shared a post on social media about our inner critic – I’ve got lots of responses from people who said they needed to hear this message / reminder. Because truth is, negative self-talk is something we all deal with on a daily basis. And while we can’t get rid of our inner critic, we all have the inner wisdom and power to manage it better, provided that we have the right tools, aka – what we do with those critical thoughts. How far we take them. How we recover from having them. What we make those critical thoughts mean about us. Your inner critic is that mean voice in your head which manifests in different forms – self doubt, judgment, guilt, caring too much of what others think… It often shows up just when you’re about to do something new / different. Whether it’s a new yoga class you’re trying, a different career path you’re exploring, perhaps you’re planning to reach out to someone for help... YOUR’E GOING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE and guess what? Your mind doesn’t like it. Your mind is designed to help you to survive. It perceives any movement out of the familiar as dangerous. So, with its best intentions it sends a messenger - your inner critic (which is a by-product of fear) - to try and convince you to stay where it feels safe: “you tried something similar and it didn’t work...” “If they couldn’t do it why do you think you can do it...” “You don’t have what it takes...” Here’s the thing — the closer you move toward your truth, the louder your inner critic will get. If you want to grow and evolve you have to move past your inner critic’s barrier. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a victim of your own inner bully. You can proactively address your negative thoughts and develop a more productive dialog with yourself.
Here are five ways to tame your inner critic: 1. PRACTICE AWARENESS. Everything starts with awareness, whenever you notice those critical thoughts label them as your inner critic - "Oh, it's my inner critic". This way you create a separation between you and your mean thoughts. You are not your thoughts, you have thoughts but they do not define you. 2. ACKNOWLEDGE. Acknowledge that it’s totally normal to experience self doubt whenever you’re trying something new. We often exacerbate our critical thoughts by judging ourselves for having them. 3. ADDRESS IT. Shift your inner dialogue to a more productive one by personifying your inner critic + addressing it: “thank your inner critic for trying to save your life but I don’t need you right now, I am safe. In fact, I am growing” 4. REFRAME IT. Instead of seeing your inner critic’s messages as sign to quit, see it as a confirmation from the universe that you’re exactly where you need to be. When you can notice these thoughts without reacting on them you’re reinforcing a choice - to be on the path towards personal growth and fulfilment. 5. JOURNAL IT OUT. 1. Brain dump your negative self talk out on paper 2. Ask yourself: What else might also be true here that will feel more empowering? 3. Identify: What are you making this negative self-talk mean about you? (for example - "if I am not doing X I am a failure") How can you reframe it to a more empowering experience? 4. Ask yourself: If someone I really care about and love shared with me the struggle I have experienced today and the reaction I had to myself, what truth will I offer them? Or - How would I want my daughter to see herself? How would I speak to her or soothe her if she experienced what I’m experiencing now? How loud is your inner critic? How does it usually manifest in your life? share with me if you feel like, I'd love to hear from you! Lots of love, Naama