We’ve all got one. You know what I’m talking about, that inner voice or inner critic that’s always got something to say. Sometimes way too much to say. I don’t know about you, but sometimes that inner voice can go too far, go overboard, be loud, critical, tearing down rather than lifting up. Growing up, my mother would say, if you can’t say anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Let’s be honest, we have a hard time applying that notion to ourselves, don’t we? When your inner dialogue is harsh, it’s usually because you’re repeating things you’ve heard said about you. When the criticism goes too far, it can discourage you from trying, have you stuck, and will literally zap the joy right out of your life.
So, what can you do to turn your inner critic into an inner advocate? No worries, I got you! Check out these techniques that prove that there’s more than one way to make peace with your inner critic.
Here’s 5 ways to turn your inner critic into an inner advocate:
- Increase awareness. Your inner critic may be on autopilot and what I mean by that is you may be so used to your inner critic that you hardly think about what it’s saying. Start changing your relationship by trying to understand what it wants to tell you.
- Look back to connect the dots. So, what’s your first memory of your inner critic? Who does it sound like? Does it sound like a particular person from your past? Mom, Dad, a teacher, or an Ex? There may be family issues or other matters that you need to heal before you can move on.
- Focus on growth. Maybe your inner voice says you’re bad at math because you failed a test in the third grade. In reality, you’re not stuck in your past. Adopt a growth mindset that enables you to become whatever you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work to get there.
- Aim higher. The sky is the limit; it really is. Your inner critic may be easier to deal with if you keep a deeper purpose in mind. When you’re working for something bigger than yourself, you can acknowledge your self-doubts without being overcome and hindered by them.
- Try meditation. Get out of your heads and into the present. Found that meditation helps you to make their self-talk more comforting and motivating. Let go of judgments and reservations, and connect with your inner Queen.
Now there will come a time you just need a break. So, if your self-talk is making you anxious and depressed, you can find relief.
- Shift your attention elsewhere. Take a walk, read a book, press play on your favorite playlist, and dance. Do you. Spend some time doing anything that you enjoy.
- Distance yourself. Turn down the volume by envisioning that your inner critic is speaking to someone else instead of you. When a statement stands out, switch it up and replace the personal pronouns with a funny name.
- Give yourself advance warning. Figure out the situations where your inner critic is likely to appear. You may be sensitive about first dates or criticism from your boss, so know what triggers your inner critic.
- List your strengths. If you’re tired of hearing your inner critic sounding off about your weaknesses, remember your strengths and counter them. Make a list of the things you’re a boss at, from baking bread to writing code.
- Correct overstatement. All I’m saying is your house won’t be condemned because you didn’t get to vacuum for a few days. Trust me. Keep things in perspective by ensuring that your self-talk is accurate.
- Use affirmations. Positive affirmations can give you a boost when you’re feeling down, so put them on repeat. Don’t know where to start, grab PYC Go to Affirmations, and jump right in.
- Remember your worth. Being tough on yourself erodes your confidence Shore it back up by telling yourself that you deserve to be happy and successful even when you make mistakes.
Build your thrive circle. While you need to value yourself, it helps to have others in your corner. Surround yourself with family and friends who have your back, and make you feel positive about yourself and your opportunities.