If you’re like most people, it probably tends to be more critical and judgmental, perhaps even harsh – letting you know that you’re not good enough in some way. You can learn to take control of it though, and turn your inner critic into your inner coach. Here are some thoughts on how to do that:
- Pay Attention
Is your self-talk supportive or critical? Notice what ‘the voice’ in your head is saying most of the time. It’s helpful to make a note of any specifics. If it’s critical, you’ll notice things like “that was stupid, why did you do that, why do you always do the wrong thing, what’s wrong with you?” If it’s supportive your inner voice might be saying things like “that didn’t work out as I intended, what can I do differently next time? What do I need to know to help me achieve this?”
- Identify Any Fears
If you find that your inner voice is constantly critical or trying to talk you out of something or telling you that you will fail, challenge it by asking yourself what you are really afraid of. It usually comes down to a core belief that you’re not good enough in some way. Or you may be suffering from imposter syndrome – where you are unable to recognize your accomplishments and live in fear of being exposed as a fraud.
- Recognize Unrealistic Expectations
People who are particularly hard on themselves and who have a highly critical inner voice often have unrealistic expectations that they can never possibly meet, meaning that they set themselves up for failure and therefore criticism. Are your expectations for yourself realistic? Would you expect the same of someone else? If you are really honest with yourself, you may find that you would benefit from adjusting your expectations.
- Put More Attention on What is Working
It’s human nature to think more about what isn’t working and what’s going wrong than on what is working and what’s going well. If you find that your voice is highly critical and unsupportive, try gradually making a shift to thinking a little more about what is working than what isn’t. You’ll start to find that there’s a lot more to feel good about than you thought.
- Be Gentle With Yourself
You are your own worst critic. We all are. Notice when you’re being hard on yourself and make a commitment to treating yourself in a more supportive and constructive way.
Action Step: Make a commitment to master your inner voice so that it will support you. Pay attention to your self-talk and be your own cheerleader and coach. You deserve it.
Let this Unstoppable Affirmation support you on your journey:
I release the need to criticize or judge myself in any way. I allow my inner voice to support me at all times.