Most of us are good at putting ourselves down, pushing away positive comments from others and accentuating the negative. That inner critic just seems to jump in uninvited.
What is your inner voice?
Let’s imagine you are at a dinner with family members or friends. Everyone is sitting around the table, enjoying a lovely dinner, when someone starts to talk about their success at work. This person had been working its way to the top and is now promoted chief executive. Somehow, someone in your head is going to tell you that you should be jealous because you’re not good enough to have the same success than this person, that you don’t have what it takes to reach the top. The someone in your head is your inner critic voice.
Let’s take another example: Yesterday, you decided you will go to the gym the next morning. The next day, when you wake up, you feel lazy and decide to stay in bed. The someone in your head is telling you that you can go to the gym another day, you are too tired and that your body can wait. You could take over that “someone”, get out of bed and head to the gym instead.
We all have an inner voice and it has an impact on how we behave or think or trust ourselves. Sometimes this inner voice tends to be negative and it has a direct impact on how we trust ourselves or how we are reacting to certain situations or control our motivation. For some people this inner voice comes every other day, and for others it’s a constant presence that takes power over our true self. Your inner voice is the little person in your head that is constantly telling you that you are wrong, not pretty enough, that you shouldn’t do something, say something, that you are not enough, she is the one that takes control of your thoughts.
If you allow your inner critic to have control, you’re giving it strength and power, and you don’t want that. You want harmony with yourself. By giving less space to your inner critic, it will start to weaken and go away.
“Beautify your inner dialogue. Beautify your inner world with love light and compassion. Life will be beautiful.” Amit Ray
Where does it come from?
In his book Transforming Negative Self-Talk, Steve Andreas describes the inner voice as “an internal voice that may remind us of past failures, sorrows, or disappointments, torture us with criticism or verbal abuse, describe frightening or unpleasant futures, or disturb us in other ways”.
Our inner critic is born out of our childhood and is designed to protect us in a certain way. The inner critic is influenced by our past, what has been told to us, but also our fears… It always remind us of something that has happened in the past, something we didn’t do perfectly, something we blame ourselves on, someone that told us you were not good enough or that you are not capable of. The inner critic will play the tune over and over and over again… unless you decide to take control. You need to let your survival inner critic, the ones that is linked to your instinct and made to protect you from danger, to survive but, you cannot let it thrive if it impacts on your self-esteem, confidence and happiness.
Why do you need to take control of your inner voice?
Would you accept a friend, a colleague or a family member to talk to you the same way your inner voice talks to you? If you don’t show yourself some respect, how do you want people to show you respect? By doing so, how do you want to accept, believe and love yourself?
Do not listen to the voice in your head if that voice tends to be filled with negative thoughts. We cannot control the first thoughts we have in mind, but we can learn to analyse them and change them for better and positive ones.
How can you take over this inner voice?
Even though I will give you all the tips and tricks I gathered in my researches, you need to find your own way that works for you.
Listen to your inner critic:
Listen to your inner critic and try to find out when it’s talking to you: write down a brief description of the moment it happened and what has been said by your inner critic. This will allow you to reflect later on on the subject and the thoughts you had about yourself. Sometimes, writing down thoughts helps realising how tough we are towards ourselves. Being aware and taking consideration of our thoughts is already making a step forward to acceptation.
Give a name to your inner critic:
Some people find it easier to give a name to their inner voice so they can make a difference between their actual thoughts and visions and the ones that belong to the inner critic. If you don’t feel comfortable in giving it a name, just name it Inner Critic. By giving a name to your inner voice, it’s a first step in accepting the inner us and acknowledging its presence. Some will describe it as making a new friend by accepting it.
Question your inner critic:
Every time you write down a thought from your inner voice, analyse it and ask yourself why did it say that? Do you agree to what’s being said, and why ? Do not look for confrontation as your inner critic is mainly based on your fears and won’t fight with you. Try to understand why your inner critic is telling you what’s being said and use your realistic voice to analyse it and understand.
As previously said, the inner critic is linked to something that happened in the past, a situation that created a fear, a confrontation with someone, a project that didn’t succeed… If you want to heal and live with your inner critic in harmony, you need to work on the event that triggered this type of reaction. By identifying the event, you will be able to work on your past, review it, grow from it, and move on.
Meditation is one of the best way to reprogram the way you see yourself, the way you talk to yourself, how you perceive yourself. If your inner voice is based on something that someone did to you in the past, I would recommend a meditation about Forgiveness, if you need to heal your inner child and meet with your self, I invite you to try our meditation focusing on your higher self, Finally, if you think your inner voice is due to a lack of confidence, try our meditations and affirmations about Boosting your confidence.
And as always, Be Kind To One Another, Including Yourself.