Letting Go of Your Inner Critic
Sometimes, as much as you want to love yourself, you simply cannot stop the voice in your head telling you that you are not good enough, smart enough, successful enough, beautiful enough…anything enough.
What is the Inner Critic?
Your inner critic is actually the negative self-talk you use to discourage yourself. This can include anything from personal attacks on yourself (like feelings of self-loathing, name calling, and bitter criticism) to complaint and judgment.
Negative self-talk may negatively affect your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Moreover, it may ruin your mental and physical health. For example, you may struggle with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem means that you are not feeling good about yourself; it means seeing yourself as incompetent, worthless, and unlovable. In addition, the negative, self-critical thoughts often affect your life choices and further diminish your self-image.
Different studies have found the link between low self-esteem and mental health disorders such as depression, learning disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse.
How to Calm Your Inner Critic
To focus on improving your self-esteem and enhancing your general well-being, you need to learn to live without judgment and negative self-talk. Here are a few strategies that can help you quiet your inner critic and live boldly and confidentially.
1. Repeat Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are positive statements about ourselves based on a positive self-perception. And to encourage positive thoughts and outcomes, you need to constantly affirm yourself. When creating affirmations, make sure to use only positive language and the present tense.
Furthermore, make the affirmation personal, using phrases such as I can, I am, I have, etc. Positive affirmations should always be about you, not the other people. Focus only on positive experiences and outcomes and use affirmative words.
In addition, when thinking of affirmations, be precise and specific. If you want to reprogram your subconscious mind to attract positive outcomes, you need to give it precise instructions – if your subconscious doesn’t know exactly what you want, it won’t be able to deliver it. We all know that people tend to behave according to their self-image. Therefore, repeating out loud affirmations about yourself will persuade your subconscious mind to accept these positive statements and act correspondingly. This will improve your self-esteem, confidence, and life satisfaction.
2. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Another strategy to quiet your inner critic involves mindfulness meditation. Meditation can help calm your mind and body while focusing on the present. It allows you to become aware of your thoughts the deepest emotions and observe them without judging.
Different studies have proven the therapeutic benefits of journaling. Writing your thoughts down can help recognize and clarify the negative self-thoughts. Labeling our thoughts activates our emotional regulation. Research findings suggest that a specific region in the right prefrontal cortex becomes more active when we deliberately manage our emotions by either suppressing them or interpreting the event differently. Therefore, journaling can help reduce negative emotions and inspire you to search for creative solutions to your problems.
Our inner critic is the ever-present voice that compares, approves, blames, criticizes, and attacks our appearance, intelligence, our health, job performance, our dreams and fantasies, the way we manage our relationships, and everything else that we are or do.
To free yourself from the inner critic, you have to acknowledge your feelings, thoughts, and past experiences. Finally, you have to understand how your inner critic impacts your mood, thoughts, and behavior and to practice to successfully free your subconscious mind from its negative influence.