Learning To Silence To Your Inner Critic
While being a little critical of yourself can provide you with the reality check you sometimes need to make important changes in your life, constant self-criticism can lead to stalled progress and the inability to accomplish the necessary goals for your happiness.
Learning how to silence or ignore your inner critic is, therefore, an essential life skill to helping you achieve your dreams and live the life that makes you happy.
Here are some strategies that will help you say no to your inner critic and focus on the positive things in life that matter most to you.
What is an inner critic? Born out of fear, sadness, and low self-worth, it is the voice in our minds that is always criticizing our choices, our actions, and our bodies. It is the thought pattern that tells you, “This is not good enough,” or “If only this were different.” When you are always judging yourself in this way, you are never enjoying happiness.
Naming your critic can help you recognize it when it is rearing its ugly head as well as place it into perspective. Some appropriate names for your inner critic are The Nag, The Perfectionist, The Voice, or The Gremlin. Giving it a less-than-dignified name also keeps its power over you low. When you start to hear it, just remember it’s just The Perfectionist talking, not someone important.
Putting your mistakes into perspective can often help lessen the impact of your inner critic. Instead of assuming the worst from a setback, examine it rationally to determine the effect it is likely to have. With the right perspective, you can quiet that voice quickly.
After a misstep or blunder, be sure to question if anyone else even noticed or cared. As it turns out, we each are not, in fact, the center of the universe, and most people do not even register others’ errors. Before deciding you just embarrassed yourself in front of the whole office, question who was paying attention.
Consider how another person would respond to the way you talk to yourself. What would your spouse or best friend say about your mistake? What would they say about how you are talking about yourself about your mistake? An alternative to this is, if you wouldn’t say it to someone you love, why are you saying it to yourself? Be kinder to yourself, and the inner critic will have no voice soon.
Develop some pat responses to your inner critic and practice them regularly. The minute you hear that voice beginning to criticize, respond with “So what?” or “Who cares?” Another favorite is “Big deal!” Take away the critic’s power to influence how you feel and what you do by minimizing your responses and move on.