Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to divorce your inner critic? You know that questioning, nagging little voice inside you that is never at a loss to point out your flaws, highlight your doubts and cross-examine you on your decisions? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the part of you that just asked you “What inner critic is she talking about?”
Most human beings engage in ongoing self-talk, with researchers estimating as much as 45,000-50,000 thoughts per day! The rare exception might be those few enlightened masters who meditate on a mountaintop for 14 hours a day.
For many of us, most of that self-talk is negative – particularly when we’ve experienced some kind of setback, like a business challenge, a rocky relationship or a health scare. Noted clinical psychologist, Dr. Lee Pulos, asserts people put themselves in a “waking hypnosis” with this incessant stream of negative self-talk. We’re literally laying down programming in our consciousness that beats us up and sets us up for failure and dissatisfaction.
The inner critical voice is part of our psychological design that’s intended to keep us safe and have us pause before we act. It actually has great value in revealing some of our limiting beliefs and unconscious programming that holds us back. Use these strategies to partner more effectively with your inner critic.
1. You Don’t Have to Know
Life offers us possibilities much broader than we can possibly “know” if we’re open to seeing them. You don’t know what you don’t know. And that is good news! All you need is a willingness to stay open and view your mistakes as wonderful learning opportunities. Get curious and ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”
2. Tune into Your Inner Dialogue
Awareness is the critical ingredient to building a more empowering mindset. Break the state of “waking hypnosis” and choose new thoughts that support you. If you hear your inner critic getting nasty with you, simply say “Thank you for sharing!” or “Sure, but I deserve to have a great life anyway!” Try walking around with a notebook and jot down some of the dialogue you hear in your head. You may be shocked at how quickly those nagging doubts will clear.
3. Don’t Take it Personally
Everyone has an inner critic. Realize that it’s just trying to protect you. You can even visualize that part of you as a cranky old great-aunt, or as a scared little child, who just needs to talk a lot. Having negative internal dialogue doesn’t mean that you are flawed or incapable. Let your wise, soulful self call the shots.
Moms, take note! These tips work beautifully for our children as well.
Success Strategist, coach and author, Carolyn B. Ellis, is the founder of ThriveAfterDivorce.com and ThrivePrinciples.com. Her mission is to empower others to turn adversity into opportunity so they can improve relationships, increase self-confidence and reach their highest potential. She is the award-winning author of The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce. To receive a special gift, visit ThriveAfterDivorce.com.
Carolyn is also Self Growth's Official Guide to Divorce. Additional Resources covering Divorce can be found at: