Your Inner Critic is loud, assertive, board-line rude, and relentless. She is always interfering, reminding me of what I can’t achieve or how not enough I am. Showing up at the moment inappropriate times, just when I am about to take that leap of faith.
I have no confidence to be me, to step into doing the things that scare me and I don’t know how to step out of this and get rid of this voice that has become so loud.
I know that many of you recognize this in yourself. Recognize that voice that keeps you small and stops you from being courageous with your life.
This is your inner critic, self-saboteur, negative beliefs, negative self-talk, or your perfectionist. Whatever you may call it, it is that voice that you know all too well.
Working with your inner critic is the name of the game. She is a part of you yet is not. She is the voice that was created to keep you safe when you were facing any trauma. Now she isn’t helping you or keeping you safe, she is keeping you small, holding you back, and not allowing you to take that brave/courageous step.
How do I begin to work with my perfectionist? I always say self-awareness is key to begin taking the steps toward the person you want to become. It’s an awareness of where you are now, what your struggles are, and then looking at what it is you would like to be or how you would like to show up in life.
Here are some steps to work with your inner critic in your daily life:
- MEET YOUR INNER CRITIC IN A VISUALIZATION
I am busy creating an inner critic visualization so look out for that on www.candiceking.co.za. Meeting your inner critic allows you to separate yourself from that negative talk. It gives you space to talk to it like it’s someone else.
- REALITY CHECK YOUR THOUGHTS
Our brains are supercomputers. The brain does not know if what it perceives in the world around it is true or not. So be sure to check in with those thoughts. Find actual proof or reach out to someone who can assist you to do this if you are stuck.
- TFA – THINK, FEEL, ACT
Thoughts and emotions are so intertwined and influence each other and then the way we behave. Understanding this and reflecting on each element can help you understand how to work with your inner critic.
- SPEAK TO YOUR INNER CRITIC LIKE IT WAS ANOTHER PERSON
As I mentioned above you can actually speak out loud to your inner critic like it was another person. Especially if it is loud and in your face.
- WHAT IS MY NEXT COURAGEOUS STEP
Asking yourself what is one small step you can take to be courageous in this area. Do something that scares you or I prefer to say do something each day that stretches you and takes you out of your comfort zone.
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR INNER CRITIC, SOMETIMES SHE JUST WANTS TO BE SEEN
Sometimes our inner critic just wants to be acknowledged. Just like our emotions when we label them, they calm our emotional brain down. When we acknowledge our inner critic, we allow her to settle and perhaps not be so loud in your life.
- PRACTICE SELF-COMPASSION: SELF-KINDNESS, REACHING OUT WHEN NEEDED, AND MINDFULNESS
Self-compassion is such a powerful tool yet so under-practiced in most of my clients I see. A simple thing would be to speak to yourself like you would a friend. Sounds so easy yet we don’t do it. We are our harshest critics. Be kind to yourself and what you are going through. Try not to isolate yourself. Many people are struggling with this same thing and reaching out will make you feel like you are not alone. Think about support groups and how much power they have. Being mindful takes us out of future-based thinking or past-based thinking.
- WRITE DOWN A SET OF RULES OR EVEN A LETTER TO YOUR INNER CRITIC
This may seem a little crazy but write down rules of engagement for your inner critic. This sets up some boundaries with yourself and this negative self-talk. Writing your inner critic, a letter is also very healing.
- PRACTICE BREATHING AND BEING MINDFUL
Breathing is so natural and powerful tool. Breathing calms, the nervous system down calms our emotional brain down and brings us into the present moment. Being in the present moment can help us do any of the steps above to work without inner critic.
- CREATE AFFIRMATION TO HELP REMIND YOU OF YOUR UNIQUENESS AND WHY YOU CAN DO WHAT YOUR HEART WANTS
Flooding our brains with evidence of what we want to believe can help us take the courageous steps we need to step out of negative self-talk and into what we truly want.
I always say I demoted my inner critic from the corner office of my mind, and she now resides in the basement. I will acknowledge her however I will not let her run the show anymore.
This is a daily practice. Remember when we are changing ways of being or habits that we have done our whole lives, giving ourselves some time to change is the most self-compassionate thing we can do.