What Does Your Inner Critic Sound Like?Dec 14, 2020
As you’ve discovered in our time together, your inner critic can present itself in several ways. Often, it shows up as a negative voice that keeps you from moving toward your goals or trying something new. Sometimes, though, it can be helpful and clue you in that something isn’t quite right. Regardless, your inner critic is usually trying to protect you in some way. What’s most important is acting in a positive and proactive way when you receive these internal messages, whether they’re useful or detrimental. In order to take action that benefits you, you’ll first need to recognize your inner critic when it pipes up. Keep reading to learn how to do just that.
Why You Need to Recognize Your Inner critic
Chances are you’ve been living with your inner critic for as long as you can remember. That means it’s likely that you are so used to hearing it in your head that you probably don’t even notice it. That’s bad news. If you don’t recognize your inner critic, you can’t deal with it. Without recognizing it and addressing it, you’re simply reacting to it - acting on autopilot. Giving in to your reactions or acting in habitual ways can be harmful because you’re not fully in charge when that happens. Instead, your negative emotions are guiding you. You’re not making an informed decision. Therefore, you probably won’t achieve the results you truly desire. In order to take purposeful action and take control of your life, you need to recognize and deal with your inner critic.
How to Recognize Your Inner critic
Your inner critic can be sneaky. It usually comes around when you’re about to do something important, so keep that in mind. When something is good for your growth, but perhaps a bit out of your comfort zone, your inner critic might pipe up to keep you from taking that risk. It also might come around when you’re feeling fearful or unsure. It also likes to rear its head when you really want something.
Pay attention and listen for messages like these in order to recognize your inner critic:
- I don’t deserve good things.
- I’ll mess it up.
- It’s too hard.
- I’m too old.
- I’m not smart enough.
- Good things never happen for me.
- It’s selfish to want that.
- I don’t have what it takes.
- I’m not that talented.
- Someone else is better than me.
- I’m no good at that.
- I’m too fat.
- I’m not pretty enough.
Self-doubt is frequently connected to these types of messages. While it’s normal to wonder if you have what it takes to achieve something new, these types of messages can truly sabotage your success.
Steps to Manage Your Inner critic
There are ways to manage your inner critic. Take note of the types of messages you tell yourself most often. Then watch for what triggers those messages. Recognizing those triggers can help you to take control of the situation instead of giving into the negative self-talk. It’s also helpful to try to figure out where these messages came from. Others may have told you things in the past, and you’ve internalized these beliefs as your own. Knowing how you developed these thoughts will help you to look at them more realistically. Finally, once you have a realistic handle on these words, turn them around into something more positive. Tell yourself a message that is based in reality and that encourages you, rather than discourages you.
Your inner critic has been around for a long time, but it doesn’t have to be in charge of you. It is possible to overcome its negative effects. With practice, you’ll soon be able to recognize your inner critic and manage its messages.
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