A notorious frenemy: the inner critic. Some people refer to it as our negative thoughts; the little voice in our head that is often unfriendly. Should we ignore it? Shut it out? Be friends with it? Believe it? We may have a few tips that help answer these questions. Keep reading to understand how you can hack into your inner critic and deal with it when it pops up from time to time:
In order to handle our inner critic, we need to understand it first. Listen carefully to what it sounds like. Does it sound dismissive? Does it minimize your efforts? Maybe even get angry or upset over the simplest of things? Observe with no judgement. We’re only trying to see patterns or anything that stands out so that we can develop a strategy to deal with it.
Check for similarities.
Does your inner critic sound familiar? It probably does. Oftentimes, we internalise some of the things people around us say and that becomes our inner critic. It could be friends, family, teachers, partners and the list goes on. The words that stick the most would probably be something you’ve been told when you were young or ever since then. By putting two and two together, you’ll be able to see why your inner critic says the things it says.
Start a fight.
While we have a negative inner critic, we also have a positive one.Deep down, you know you’re doing good. Let your positive side argue with the negative one. Remind yourself of your achievements, intentions and good qualities. Justify your argument with examples and look back on the moments to prove your inner critic wrong. Harness the power of your nurturing side to leave your inner critic speechless.
Freeze the moments that can help you next time.Whenever people point out your effort, kindness or decency, register it. If you have actual things to look back on, like a written card, text or video, then that’s great. If it was just a fleeting moment in time, document it by journaling about what happened and maybe even include a quotation. This will help you later on when you’re arguing with your inner critic.