You know that mean girl (or boy) in your head who always speaks up right at the most inopportune time.
Like when you’re just about to go on a date.
Or take a leap off a diving board.
Or write a book.
It’s that inner critic that has you believing you are stuck in your circumstances, that the world isn’t ready for you, that you need to compare yourself to others to see how you stack up or you need something outside of yourself before you can do whatever it is you want to do.
We all have one.
You can call it the ego, your inner critic, the mean girl or guy in your head.
It doesn’t really matter, because let’s face it, it’s here to stay.
Whether we want it to or not.
The thing is, most of this negative, fear-based self-talk is done without thinking.
We pass ourselves in a mirror and think, “Damn I’m fat today.”
Or see an opportunity we’ve wanted our whole lives and think, “Well, I’m not good enough.” Or “I’m just not what they’re looking for.”
Our biggest critic is screaming all day long and for most of us, we’re not even noticing it.
And when we do notice it, we try to drag it out of our heads kicking and screaming, bury our head in a pile of affirmations, numb it with alcohol or ignore it and let it fester like an old sore.
Alright great so how do you actually stop this monster before it turns into Godzilla and destroys the whole city??
Here are 5 ways to silence your inner critic.
How to Silence Your Inner Critic
1. Awareness is Key
Awareness is one of those things that has the potential to make a big splash in any area of your life.
I mean, you can’t really change something unless you know what you’re looking for. Right?
As I said, most people run on an autopilot mind.
They have millions of thoughts pop in and out of their heads, they react to the world around them, let some more thoughts swirl around, go to bed, begin again.
Your inner critic’s thoughts and words are your knee jerk response.
The said without thinking words.
Choose to become aware of when your inner critic is the most vocal.
Shedding some light on what it’s saying can help you understand why it’s coming up for you and how to ultimately reframe the thoughts.
2. Stop Ignoring Your Inner Critic
Think of your inner critic as a child looking for attention.
Let’s be honest, think of your inner critic as a child throwing the loudest most obnoxious temper tantrum, rolling on the floor screaming, at your favorite coffee shop.
You can ignore that child all you want but as soon as you give it the attention it’s desperately seeking, you’re able to understand what it’s trying to tell you.
And once you do that, you can then make the conscious decision to think a different way.
This is one of the quickest ways to stop your inner critic from speaking up.
Take notice of what it’s saying, chew on the words, decide if they’re something you want to believe or not, then tell it off and think something that serves you better.
3. Ask Yourself The Tough Questions
Your inner critic is in a box of its own making and will make snap judgments, thoughts, and beliefs based on that box.
Asking yourself questions is one of the quickest ways to force your inner dialog out of the box and into a new way of thinking.
Which usually stops your inner critic cold in its self-deprecating tracks.
And this question while one of the hardest to ask, is one of the best to ask yourself when your inner critic won’t seem to give it up.
“Would I say this to my child?”
“Would I say this to my best friend?”
Would I say this to my younger self?
These questions immediately make you go inward and think about what you are saying.
If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, it’s not okay to say it to yourself.
4. Leave your Judgements at the Door
This might be a little “life coachy” for you but your subconscious mind takes everything literally and personally.
Meaning, if you judge others, you are also judging yourself.
Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference and because your subconscious mind controls 95% of your life, it’s pretty important.
Not only that but when you judge others or talk negatively about them, you are just giving yourself more permission to do the same to yourself.
If you want to stop your own inner critic, it starts with the thoughts you think and the words you say when no one is looking.
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5. Love your Awesome Self!
Maybe this is cheesy with an extra side of provolone but it’s one of the best ways to stop your inner critic.
Throw some love at it.
Forgive yourself for feeling what you feel.
Forgive yourself for thinking something negative.
And practice some self-love and self-care.
Trust me, one of the worst things you can do is to feel bad about feeling bad.
Which just makes you feel bad all over again.
How do you silence your inner critic?
We all have that little voice inside our heads that tells us what we can’t do.
But it’s less about removing it for good and more about learning from it, becoming aware of when it speaks up and inevitably, reframing it so that we see the world from a different perspective.