The inner critic. You know the one. Sometimes it's quiet. Oftentimes it shouts form the rooftops...
"You're never going to be happy!"
"You're not worth it."
"Nobody will ever love you if you look like that."
"You'll never be good enough."
The inner critic, or inner voice, is simply the way in which we speak to ourselves. For some it can be a healthy supportive internal dialogue, for others it can be abusive and even bullying...
Where did this voice come from?
Our inner critic often stems from our childhood.
Sometimes this voice is one of a parent, grandparent, sibling, or family friend. Perhaps when we were children they said these things directly to us or insinuated these types of negative things, and our subconscious internalized them. Perhaps they said these things to or about themselves and part of us took that to mean they thought the same about us.
This doesn't necessarily mean they meant harm, there is no blame here. It is simply looking at how children's minds work.
Many of our beliefs came into being before we were 5 years old. As very young children we are in fact creating our adult realities.
But also frustrating... Because regardless of where it started, you're here now with this negative voice that's beating you down day after day.
What the heck do you do about an inner critic?
Just because your inner critic may have come into being when you were a very young child doesn't mean the voice can't be changed. It can in fact be edited and updated.
You CAN learn how to speak lovingly to yourself!
Let's look at 4 strategies to quiet an inner critic.
1. Get curious!
When this voice speaks up, instead of immediately getting defensive or admitting defeat, simply pause and notice. Get curious. Take a deep breath. Observe it.
Whose voice is it? Is it yours? Does it belong to a family member?
Ask if what it's saying is really true. If it's adamantly saying "you're not good enough.", get curious.
Is that a fact? Can it be proven? Have you failed everything you've ever tried? Have you never measured up? Are you terrible at everything?
Of course not!
By becoming an observer we can start to recognize that this voice is spouting lies. And when we logically understand it's not the truth, the words it says can much more easily be dismissed.
It takes away the critics power.
2. Flood it with love.
One thing that is so useful in so many areas of life is to use love!
Listen to this voice, and recognizing that it likely came into existence when you were a small child, use compassion. Treat it as you would a young child. Use your adult voice, your adult logic, your sensibilities, and send so much love and compassion towards the critic.
Be compassionate and understand that hate and negativity usually comes from a place of pain. Where did that pain come from?
Hateful comments or voices cannot exist in an environment of love.
Drown the critic in love. You might get some push back at first and think that this is a useless approach, but persevere. One day there might be so much love there that the voice can't be heard anymore.
3. Practice Gratitude
When the inner critic is yelling loud, it's hard to be appreciative or grateful for yourself. For your strengths, your goodness, your evolution.
By intentionally focusing on gratitude every single day you can begin to bring in more and more positivity to your life.
A wonderful gratitude practice is to get a journal and every day write down three things you're grateful for. Two of them can be about anything you want, while the third must be about yourself. Your body, your personality, your gifts. This can be challenging, but it can create a massive shift in your subconscious over time.
You get in the habit of focusing on all of your positive aspects. On the goodness that exists every day.
And when that inner critic speaks up, you have a whole list of things to prove it wrong. When you have a bad day, simply get your gratitude journal out and look through your entries.
Suddenly that criticism of "you're not worthy" can be proven wrong... it's like building an arsenal of positivity plus reprogramming the negative voice all in one go!
4. Get Help to Reprogram Your Beliefs.
If none of these approaches work for you, never fear. What works for one person won't always work for another. Or if that inner critic is ingrained so deeply and is so stubborn that it just won't let go, there is more that can be done.
Work with a coach who is trained to reprogram beliefs. While some coaches focus on the strategy and what you are doing every day, working with a coach trained in the transformational coaching method is different.
The focus is shifted to who you are being and how you are showing up. Who you are being and the energy you bring to any given situation is the most powerful indicator of success.
TCM (Transformation Coaching Method) coaches are also trained to understand the core of beliefs and childhood programming so that they can be revised in a safe, supported way.
Coaching is a powerful experience of having a strong support system, an accountability partner, some tough love, a targeted system that works, as well as an intuitive guide who can help you down your journey.
Managing your inner critic can feel overwhelming, but it will change your life in countless positive ways.
Your inner critic does NOT have to rule your life.
You can take back control and create the life you deserve.
Now it's up to you now to take these 4 transformational strategies and put them to work!
Is it time to get rid of that inner critic for good?
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You just have to decide.
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