What is ‘Our Inner Critic’
We all have one, that little voice inside our heads telling us we’re not good enough. It’s called Our Inner Critic, and it just loves sitting in the background waiting for the chance to criticise our actions, judge our work or probe at our decision making. Leave it unchecked and a spiral of negative thinking will take over.
This negative self talk can spiral into debilitating mental and emotional turmoil, creating untold suffering. Our Inner Critic will try declaring that you don’t deserve success, love or happiness.
So How Do We Silence Our Inner Critic???
The simple answer is to begin by recognising the signs our inner critic displays. Once we know how to recognise these signs and the little signals, we can take steps to stop our inner critic from bullying and pushing us around.
So lets learn the SIGNS
- 1: Your Inner Critic excels at being over dramatic. It will try claiming things like, you’re going to get dumped! Or you’r going to loose your job! You’ll never succeed! Or “You’r not good enough! These claims can all seem reasonable at first but when scrutinising negative thoughts with logic they don’t stand up.
Most of the time our inner critic makes fantastical claims of gross exaggeration with little to no merit.
- 2: Notice how your Inner Critic speaks in absolutes. Using words like ALWAYS, NEVER, NOBODY, EVERYONE etc… EVERYONE is going to laugh at you”, “you’ll NEVER be able to do that”
Notice how our inner critic makes these seemingly absolute factual claims about yourself.
- 3: Your Inner Critic is really adept at making you feel GUILTY. It will converse with you by saying things like, If you eat that it will make you fat! or You’ll look to ridicules wearing that!
Our inner critic is just trying to justify itself by pointing out all our mistakes or the bad decisions in the past that led to failure.
So now we’ve seen the signs we now need to know how to deal with it?
Now that we are beginning to see for ourselves the many negative forms our inner critic may take. It is now time to learn the defences we use to silence our inner critic. From now on every time your Inner critic raises it’s ugly head I want you to start by…
- 1: Asking for evidence. If your inner critic is predicting catastrophe, or telling your your ill equipped to handle a situation, whatever absolute truth it might be telling you. Simple ask for evidence to back these claims up! What evidence do you have for me not being able to do it?
Most of the time our inner critic makes fantastical claims of gross exaggeration with little to no merit. However if your inner critic responses with what seems like decent evidence I want you to check over the signs above, notice how absolute it speaks and…
- 2: Come up with rational and logical responses to every overgeneralisation your inner critic makes. If your inner critic tells you you CAN”T do something respond with “well with practice I will get better”
Examine the claim your inner critic speaks, never accepting what it says for face value. And if your still struggling then…
- 3: Why not try taking a step back from yourself. Imagine you’r advising a friend with your responses instead. We can generally be kinder to our friends than ourselves. For example you wouldn’t be harsh to your friend for making a small mistake… But to ourselves we can be rather harsh.
Now a Positive Mind Exercise
Now we have read the information above and that’s called knowledge. That’s all very well and good, but I want you to understand this from a view point of Wisdom. To achieve this we now need to experience what we have just learnt first hand. So this little exercise is designed to do just that.
I would like you to now write down 10 examples of negative self talk you have had this week. They can range from big or small, to mild or very annoying.
Once you have 10 written down…
I want you to notice how each one is trying to convince you of an absolute truth. Notice how negative each one is! Would you speak that way to a child?
Now we have our list of 10, I want you to write a reasonable and logical response in return. Challenge and silence your inner critic with simple questions and logical responses back. With practice and by continually doing this task it really will show you just how bogus and fake your inner critics claims are. It will also re-train your mind to instinctively perceive your inner Critic’s claims with suspicion in the future.
Practice Makes Perfect
Patience and kindness towards yourself go a long way in progressing ourselves out of negative thinking. Noting is ever built in a day. Even though we live in a time of seemingly instant gratification and may think everything should happen NOW. I’m telling you, NOTHING IS EVER BUILT IN A DAY! Take Slow Consistancy is way better than a big effort one day and giving top the next. When it comes to our minds we need to be gently and kind and then we can push ourselves towards the best possible results.
*Dhamma Tāpasā is a trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. Now a Life Changing and inspirational Positive Coach, a certified NLP Practitioner, Mindfulness Trainer, a Motivational Speaker and a Published Author.
Creator of the highly acclaimed “The Four Trees” a story of learning how we can all live a more fulfilled and content lifestyle.
By using his unique approach of storytelling, mixed with some ancient Buddhist Monk Secrets, 3 Simple Life Principles and all combined with 21st century scientifically proven NLP techniques, Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture your imaginations whilst teaching you valuable Life Skills that will change every aspect of your life.