When was the last time you heard your inner critic? Your inner critic is your inner voice that has the power to motivate you or to unleash destruction upon your very soul. It is present during your demeaning self-talks, always criticizing, judging and condemning you for your actions.
They are often made out of your own self-critical thoughts. They can also be the product of the many side comments you hear from other people that become, in a way, mixed with your own idealistic views. At all times, the inner critic hinders you from doing what you want, giving you a lot of reasons to doubt yourself.
The inner critic can hurt you in many ways. But more often than not, it keeps telling you that you’re not good enough.
“I’ll never achieve anything in life….”
“I’ll always be mediocre…”
“I’ll never be a good cook/teacher/mom/writer/”
On occasions, the inner critic becomes your advisor. It helps you understand yourself even more, shedding light to your inner motivations and desires.
At worst, your inner critic becomes your enemy. It breeds anxiousness within your heart. It traps you in a cloud of self-doubts, always demotivating and dragging you to your lowest point. It controls you, and if you let it – it can ruin your life.
YOU Vs. Your Inner Critic
In psychology, the inner critic is better known as the “critical inner voice”.
It is part of our subpersonality (a temporary personality that appears whenever we need to cope with a psychosocial situation.) The truth is, our inner critic is ever present. We can never get rid of it. It’s part of our psyche and conscious thinking. You can never silence it or overcome it. The only thing you can do is challenge it, and use it to your advantage.
How can you challenge your inner critic?
1. Make Friends With It
Instead of fighting it, why not try befriending it? Your inner critic, like a critical parent, is only trying to help and protect you from pain. Although sometimes it may attack you with hurtful words, it doesn’t mean that its primary goal is your self destruction.
Most of your inner voice’s criticisms can be taken in a positive light, so you could better yourself. A good way to challenge it is to cooperate and listen to what it’s saying.
2. Keep Moving Forward
When your inner critic becomes a little too harsh, simply ignore it, and keep moving forward. Acknowledge its bold reminders but don’t dwell too much on what it’s telling you. You can shift your focus on other things, rather than spend a great deal of time worrying about the issue it’s trying to present to you.
3. Stay Positive, Stay Hopeful
Your inner critic arises when you are full of negative thoughts. As much as possible, stay positive and light hearted all the time. When things don’t go as planned, think of it in a better way. The important thing here is you don’t let your inner critic rule over your emotions and keep you in the dark.
4. Make Peace With Your Past
One way of overcoming your inner critic is by making peace with your past. Our inner critics are often formed out of our traumatizing experiences; these experiences have inflicted us with emotions strong enough that we have come to internalize it in our present. For example, if you were bullied during your childhood years, you would develop extreme anxiety, depression and a highly demeaning inner critic.
The best way to rid of these negative emotions is to make peace with your past – by forgiveness. Forgive those who have wronged you, and forgive yourself. Find that kind of peace that results in an emotional closure that will help you move on through life.
5. Prove It Wrong
Just like your real life critics – prove it wrong. Show your inner critic that you are not what it thinks you are. You are a brilliant person, dependable, kind and ever conscientiously loving. Your inner critic may force you to be what others want you to be. It may even fail to see your strengths as a person. So prove it otherwise, and show your inner critic what you are capable of.