How To Change Your Inner Critic

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How's that inner self-critic working out for you? The negative one. The one who preys on your insecurities. Confirms your self doubts and attacks your confidence.

I struggled with mine this week then kicked her to the curb. Sometimes I'm not so lucky.

I got an email reply that I interpreted as a put down. My first reaction? Oh no! I'm so sorry to impose! I meant no harm! Why would I think this was OK to ask them?

Which is utter crap. My perception of the email was not logical. Did I need to beat myself up about her response? The simple answer is no.

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It took about three seconds to realize I hadn't done anything wrong. Nada. But the critic in my head jumped onboard and tried to have a field day, at my expense. I was more shocked by my reaction than I was by the email.

My inner critic told me I was at fault. It roared that I'd offended this person! I should have known better than to ask. What was I thinking?

As soon as I heard the attacks looping in my thoughts, I got mad. Then I shut her down and examined her tactics.

I thought I'd already fixed my inner-critic. Or at least had her under control. I've been able to alter her daily monologue, for the most part. So rather than streams of criticism, I just have to put up with her swift strikes. But even those need monitoring or she can be a nasty bitch.

Reprogramming your self-critic

Stop replaying the negative stories in your head. As soon as one sets up shop, stop to question it's validity.

  • Is it true?
  • Examine where it came from. Did someone say it to you and you've internalized it? Are you the culprit? You're just being sure you say it about yourself first, so it's no surprise when someone else does?
  • Change the message to a more positive one. Writing it down can help cement the new messages.
  • Is it kind? Ask if you would say that to someone you love. If not, why would you say it to yourself?
  • Only allow your self-critic to focus on your conduct. Not your self and worthiness.

Occasional self-criticism is probably healthy. It helps us see changes we need to make in our behavior. But if it's chronic, it's hurting you.

The writer of that email, read my post on Facebook, and recognized herself. A flurry of emails raced back and forth between us, She, explaining why she wrote what she did, and me assuring her she wasn't responsible for my inner critic.

We're each responsible for the negative messages and nasty dialogue that repeats in our minds. The ones that say we aren't good enough, smart enough, worthy of success or love. The ones that tell us we are fakes and will soon be found out.

We need to spot these nasty messages and recognize they're wrong. We all have the ability to change that wording. It starts by calling her out for the lies she'll telling us. Then changing the internal loop.

Have you done battle with your inner self-critic lately?

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