Inner Critic

Do you have an inner critic? An inner voice that undermines, criticises and reduces your self-esteem. That voice that when you do something well says, ‘Yeah, but…’ or when you mess up says, ‘I told you it wouldn’t work.”. Most of us do.

We all have moments of doubt and weakness, but if you allow your inner critic too much sway you are limiting, and self-sabotaging, yourself. There is a time for reflection and learning lessons, but this is an unwelcome negative voice that saps energy and motivation. Such negative expressions can be the result of psychological stress, anxiety and even depression.

How does your inner voice make you feel? Positive, energised, encouraged, motivated? If not, you need to reframe and refocus the inner voice. As Joyce Meyer (American Author and Speaker) put it, “Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, fault-finding, and a negative, judgmental attitude”.

It’s worth taking some time to think about your inner chatter. You might be surprised how negative and discouraging it can be. Becoming more aware of this negative self-talk is an important step towards challenging the view of overly critical judgments and to foster more positive patterns of thought. Once you become used to observing and listening to your inner chatter you can work towards changing it.

When you observe these negative voices and patterns you are able to see yourself, specifically in relation to self-esteem and how you evaluate your abilities and characteristics. Once you have done this you can begin to challenge these negative feelings and change how you perceive yourself.

This can be achieved through a greater understanding of your abilities and talents as well as being more patient, optimistic and less critical of yourself. This will start to boost your self-esteem and make you a more robust and positive person. Also, I wrote recently about positive affirmations and how they can help to motivate and remind you of the positives when you need a little confidence boost. I find these very useful myself.

Essentially, it’s about becoming an observer of your inner dialogue and not so much a participate. By noticing if it’s negative and discouraging you can then commit to changing it to be more empowering and positive.

Another way to put it is this. Do you follow an influencers? Typically on social media. They can have a tremendous influence on how you feel about a product, topic or even yourself. But the greatest influencer in your life is your inner voice. Is it feeding you encouragement and positive messages about yourself? Or is it, critical and negative. Retire the inner critic – it’s had a good run. It’s time to have a more supportive and encouraging inner voice. 

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