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Silence Your Inner Critic in 2 Steps

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them” -Anthony de Mello

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Many professionals would love to step outside of their comfort zone and take up new ventures that will drive their personal brands toward success. But when faced with the choice to assume larger roles and expand their horizons, something inside seems to be holding them back from doing so.

Beneath all those feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, and insecurity lies a brave leader, a brilliant entrepreneur, and an exceptionally creative mind. All you need to do to unearth that potential and bring it to the surface is to clean up and get rid of all the negative debris.

 Your inner critic has been with you for as long as you can remember. While it is impossible to get rid of it seeing as it’s an intrinsic part of who you are, you can learn better ways to silence its toxic voice while you find better ways to leverage its power.

“If you gave your inner genius as much credence as your inner critic, you would be light years ahead of where you now stand” -Alan Cohen

As surprising as that sounds when you make an ally of your inner critic, you can begin to reap the benefits of a promising friendship with what could be considered as a coach, teacher, and mentor. Your inner critic spends all of its time putting a magnifier on every single flaw, misstep, or failure on your part.

Your inner critic has been with you for as long as you can remember. While it is impossible to get rid of it seeing as it’s an intrinsic part of who you are, you can learn better ways to silence its toxic voice while you find better ways to leverage its power.

“If you gave your inner genius as much credence as your inner critic, you would be light years ahead of where you now stand” -Alan Cohen

As surprising as that sounds when you make an ally of your inner critic, you can begin to reap the benefits of a promising friendship with what could be considered as a coach, teacher, and mentor. Your inner critic spends all of its time putting a magnifier on every single flaw, misstep, or failure on your part.

The key here is to learn how to make the difference between the self-talk that pushes you to try harder and the one that is meant to provoke, frighten, and intimidate you so you seemingly have no other choice but to give up.

Learn to distinguish between your inner critic and inner guidance

Your inner critic:

●  Sees everything in black and white

●  Is focused on problems and struggles

●  Is unable to acknowledge and celebrate progress

●  Relies on fear, guilt, and shame for self-motivation

●  Is centered on an overachieving mindset of lack and scarcity

Your inner guidance:

●  Acknowledges the complexity of situations with their many gray areas

●  Is focused on solutions

●  Is able to celebrate progress and victories (no matter how small)

● Is centered on a mindset that promotes growth, learning, compassion, and gratitude

How to silence your inner critic in 2 steps

“Notice what your inner critic is saying, and issue a cease and desist! Regain control. Resist, and refuse to listen” -Susan C. Young

Silencing your inner critic begins with getting to know that entity. The goal here is to become aware of your self-talk, the instances where it’s likely to pop up, its triggers, and what causes it to project negative thoughts into your mind.

Consider identifying and recording those thoughts whether they be catastrophizing, exaggerating, overgeneralizing, black and white thinking, etc. When you determine the nature of these thoughts and which categories they pertain to, you can start to think about how you intend to tackle those thoughts.

Below are two simple steps to implement that will not only help you silence your inner critic but also transform that negativity into positive beliefs and feelings about yourself.

Step 1: Challenge and reframe the messages of your inner critic

Review the list of thoughts you came up with based on what your inner critic is telling you then aim to identify recurring negative themes.

Doing that is half the battle because it allows you to externalize those thoughts and see them as what they are rather than how they make you feel. Now challenge each message your critic has sent you. Is there any evidence to support those claims?

Find which situations your negative self-talk is tied to the most and what messages tend to come to the surface in those moments then reframe those thoughts. For each negative thought that your inner critic produces, create a positive statement that counters it.

Step 2: Embrace and practice self-compassion

The competitive nature of modern life has made it incredibly difficult to practice self-compassion.

Our very economic system is modeled around a culture of scarcity and a mindset that is driven by the concept of ‘what we have is never enough’.

These circumstances tend to trigger our threat system. They also bring out the worst in our primitive minds. This is why self-compassion is vital, it’s what allows us to recognize what it is to be human. Compassion requires discipline and practice, much like physical fitness or any other aspiration.

You have to make the commitment to be more compassionate towards yourself and not give in to the exasperating intrusions of your inner critic.

You need to learn to talk to yourself as you would to a friend. Accept that you deserve to be at peace with yourself and extend yourself some much-needed grace.

In Conclusion

“Some lessons take years to learn, with repeated exposure to the same path sometimes shadowed by the inner conscience of our souls. But eventually, we learn, and our journey continues in another direction” -Matthew Underwood

Each and every one of us is a work in progress. We all have our unique talents, skills, abilities, and characteristics. And sure, we could all use some improvements in certain aspects of our lives, but the important thing is that you’re trying. You’re trying to better yourself every day and that counts!

So instead of giving in to your inner critic’s caprices, learn to be more compassionate towards yourself. Reprogram your mind so that it does not tolerate insulting criticism that leads nowhere. Prove your inner critic wrong with every step you take towards a brighter and more fulfilling future!

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