Updated: Aug 28
Our inner critic is like a radio station we play over and over again in our mind and it’s often riddled with negative messages that play on our fears and doubts. For those of us who struggle with perfectionism, our inner critic can be especially harsh.
There are many ways to challenge our inner critic, so I’ll keep it simple and start with three tips:
Three Tips to Challenge Our Inner Critic:
1. Take Note of the Negative Messages:
First, we have to take note of the negative messages- sometimes we say them so often we don’t even realize how detrimental they are to our emotional well-being. Then we can reframe with more compassion and less judgement. Instead of, I’ll never pass this exam, think about what a friend would say and talk back to your critic in a kind, compassionate way.
We may think it’s silly, but positive self-talk is powerful and it can shift our mindset in a moment.
2. Confront Our Fears:
Second, we can confront our fears. The foundation of worry is fear, and fear will hold us back unless we confront it. We can ask, “What am I afraid of?” What’s the worst that can happen?” I might lose my job, but I’ll get another one. I might need to end my relationship, but I’ll find a healthier one when I’m ready. We take away fear’s power when we call its bluff. Yes, bad things do happen. We lose people we love. We suffer great setbacks. We get lonely sometimes when we lose our tribe. But as humans we are naturally resilient.
We need only to look back at our personal history to be reminded of how strong we are and how much we’ve overcome.
3. Call Our Own Bluff:
Third, we can call our own bluff. If we think we’re a bad mom, partner, spouse, or whatever our inner critic is telling us, we can “buy in” and decide it’s true. If our inner critic is right, and we are a bad mom, partner, spouse, the real question is Now What? What do I need to say, or do; how do I need to act to be a better mom, spouse, or partner?
We shift the focus from our perceived flaws to how we can improve and move forward.
Today, challenge your "Inner Critic." Remember that we don't have to keep playing the same station.
Wishing you the best in health, inside and out~