5 Ways To Shut Down Your Inner Critic
Your inner monologue, the private conversations you have inside your head, are a powerful part of your ability to succeed in life. When the voice inside your head is a constant cheerleader and proponent for you, you feel as though you can achieve anything.
But, when that inner voice is a persistent critic, always telling you that you are going to fail, then you will have a challenging time achieving your dreams.
Shutting down that inner critic, the one that is always second guessing you or reminding you of your flaws, is a dominant player in your personal fulfillment and success. And learning how to shut down that negative voice can help you gain confidence and finally achieve your goals.
How to Shut Down Your Inner Critic
1. Start by Listening to the Voice
The best way to get rid of your inner critic is to start by listening. You may not even be aware of how often your inner critic is chiming in. Pay attention to what you are thinking and saying to yourself throughout your day. Getting a handle on what your voice is saying is the first step to silencing it.
2. Talk to Yourself Like You Would a Friend.
When you hear that inner monologue start to chime in, try changing your words to those you would use with any personal friend having a problem. You wouldn’t start by telling them they are stupid or berating their efforts, would you? No! You’d be compassionate and encouraging, treating them with kindness. How about applying that same treatment to yourself? If they deserve it, why don’t you?
3. Look at the Evidence.
When you start to hear your inner critic tell you what you can’t do, ask yourself, how do you know? What evidence do you have to support that negative assessment? What evidence can you offer to refute those negative claims? Instead of exaggerating your abilities (or lack thereof) to succeed, look to all the ways you have been successful in the past to give you the confidence you need.
4. Don’t Live in the Past.
You need to let go of past mistakes. When you mess up, accept that it happened, then move on. Reminding yourself repeatedly of how and when you screwed up isn’t helping you solve the problem or make better choices moving forward. Focus on active solutions instead of wasting time with “what ifs.”
5. Consider the Worst-Case Scenario.
Your inner critic is probably really good at turning a possible negative outcome into a potential catastrophe. This causes you to feel more anxious than is necessary, leading to doubt and feelings of worthlessness.
Stop and consider, what if that worst-case scenario actually did occur? Would it really be all that bad? In most cases, not really.
And if the worst does happen, how could you prepare ahead of time to address that situation? Being prepared makes you worry less and feel more confident to handle any situation.
That inner critic can often have the loudest voice in the room, but don’t be afraid to keep pressing the mute button on him or her. It’s okay to accept that you are not perfect and still have some work to do in certain areas without thinking the absolute worst about yourself at all times.
You can be kinder and gentler to yourself while still focusing on ways to improve specific aspects of your life that don’t bring you joy. It’s not an either-or scenario. And silencing your inner critic will give you the freedom and space to explore those possibilities.