Wisdom//

How to Befriend Your Inner Critic

A simple visualization exercise can help you better control the voice inside your head.

Westend61/ Getty Images
Westend61/ Getty Images

Everybody has an inner critic — that voice that lives inside your head, putting you under a microscope. Much like the drill sergeant who wants to save his soldiers’ lives, the Critic’s job is to point out your failures so you don’t get your head blown off in combat. 

You can’t get rid of Critic, so don’t even try, but you can develop a relationship with it. Next time Critic blinks in your mind like a neon sign, think of it as a part of you, not all of you. Listening to it as a separate part, instead of as you, gives you distance from it and keeps you from attacking yourself. Once you hear Critic as a part instead of as you, there’s room for Confidence — that nurturing and encouraging voice, cheering you on with goodhearted affirmations like a best friend would. 

Start giving Confidence equal time, letting it acknowledge your accomplishments and positive qualities. You might imagine Confidence sitting across from you in a chair, as you listen to what it has to say. The more you watch Critic from afar — without getting frustrated or trying to get rid of it — the easier it will be for Confidence to show up and give you a friendly hand.

Excerpt from #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life with permission from the author and publisher.

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