How to Silence Your Inner Critic
You may have heard the saying, “I am my own worst enemy.” For many of us, this is often all too true. We are often our own worst critics. Many times, our dominating thoughts tell us that we are bad, that we are wrong, and that no matter how hard we try, we will never be good enough. Day after day of this incessant mind chatter can lead to depression, anxiety and sometimes even thoughts of suicide. We just want to make it stop.
You can silence your inner critic. You can wake up in the morning and go through your day with a sense of joy and ease. It is possible. I am living proof.
Here are my top three tips on how to silence your inner critic:
- Change your focus
If you wish to silence your inner critic, you have to stop focusing on everything you have decided is wrong about you. You have to change your focus and look from another perspective. A great way to do that is to ask the question, “What’s right about me that I am not getting?” You can also ask, “If I wasn’t wrong, if I wasn’t bad, what would I be?” These questions interrupt the negative mind chatter and invite you to see what is amazing and brilliant about you.
- Don’t take on other people’s stuff
How much of the negativity in your thoughts, feelings and emotions is actually yours? Not much! Ninety-eight percent of the things you think and the emotions you experience are not yours. We are very aware of other people and many times we take on their stuff and think that it is ours. The next time you notice your inner critic raging, ask, “Who does this belong to?” If your world lightens up, those thoughts and feelings were never yours to begin with.
- Greatness, not perfection
One of the lies that keeps the inner critic going is the idea that we should be right, do right, and always get it right. In a word, it’s the lie of perfection. Seeking perfection keeps us in the self-perpetuating cycle of never enough; never right enough, never good enough, never successful enough. No matter how good you are, it’s never enough.
Instead of striving for perfection, let’s strive for greatness. In greatness, you allow yourself to be greater than you were yesterday and you don’t judge you for not being enough. In greatness, you recognize that the “mistakes” you make actually contribute to you being greater today than you were yesterday. In greatness, you see that every choice you have ever made has created the person that you are today.
Perfection is the judgment of you. Greatness is the gift of you that includes all of you and judges none of you. Choose greatness.
You are far greater than you know. You are a gift and a contribution to the planet. When the voice of the inner critic is getting you down, ask questions. What’s right about me that I am not getting? Who does this belong to? And, what if, just for today, I allowed myself to be greater than yesterday? When you ask these questions, you go from judging you to having gratitude for you and when you have gratitude for you, everything gets better.