If someone was able to record how they talk to themselves and then play it back through speakers, they could find that they are typically not very kind to themselves. By having externalised what is going on for them internally, it will have been easier for them to see what is going on.

Although this is a hypothetical scenario, what it illustrates is that when something is normal, it can fade into the background. Consequently, it won’t be possible for something to be done about what is going on.

The Norm

To take one step back, assuming that they haven’t become aware of how they talk to themselves, they are going to suffer. But, as talking to themselves in this way is normal, there will be no reason for them to look into what they can do to change their inner experience.

Additionally, the people in their life might not be aware of how they talk to themselves either. What this means is that their friends and perhaps family won’t be able to give them the support and encouragement that they need.

An Invisible Prison

Thanks to how critical their inner voice is, they might live a very restrictive life. So, they might rarely try new things or allow themselves to move forward when it comes to their career.

Without even needing to think about it, they won’t allow themselves to go in a direction where they would end up being even harder on themselves. The trouble, of course, is that while this will allow them to be more at peace, it will hold them back.

Another Part

Also, as they are hard on themselves, they are also likely to expect other people to be the same way. Thus, not only will staying small be a way for them to protect themselves from their own criticism, but it will also be a way for them to protect themselves from other people’s criticism.

Now, even though there are people ‘out there’ that are critical, what is going on inside them will play a part in why they come into contact with people who are like this. What this comes down to is that their external world will mirror back what is taking place inside them.


In other words, they are not merely an observer of their reality. Now, when they do make a mistake, a voice could soon end up laying into them and criticise them for a number of things.

They could then feel like a failure and see themselves as useless, with this being a time when they are filled with shame. Based on this, it will be clear that, to this part of them, it is not acceptable for them to make mistakes.

No Middle Ground

There are only going to be two options, either they do something perfectly and they are able to treat themselves well, or they don’t do something perfectly and they are essentially worthless and unworthy of life itself. And, even if they do something well, this voice could still criticise them.

Due to this, it is not going to be a surprise if they spend a fair amount of time feeling very low. It is also unlikely to matter if they seldom try anything new or different as this voice could still find reasons to lay into them.

Stepping Back

Sooner or later, something could take place that will allow them to see how hard they are on themselves. They could become aware of how they are their own worst enemy as opposed to their own best friend.

After this, they could see that they have been this way for as long as they can remember. Furthermore, as they were so caught up with this critical voice, they might have believed that it was their conscience.

Going Deeper

If they were to think about their early years, they may find that they had at least one parent that was extremely critical. Irrespective of what they did or how well they did it, this parent might have criticised them.

Therefore, they wouldn’t have been in a warzone, but they would have felt as though they were a walking target; a target that was often hit by piercing words. As a result of this, they would have often felt rejected, worthless, unwanted, unlovable, useless and not good enough.


As they were egocentric, they would have come to believe that there was something inherently wrong with them and not been able to see that how they were treated was not a reflection of their worth and lovability. To try to be loved, they might have done their best to get everything right, or they might have withdrawn and more or less given up.

Then again, they might have alternated between these two extremes. Yet, regardless of how they behaved, over time, this parent’s voice would have been internalised and become part of their inner voice.

A Different Experience

This is why it won’t matter if they don’t spend much time around this parent or even if this parent is no longer alive. If, on the other hand, this parent had generally been kind and understanding, they are likely to have a kind and understanding inner voice.

The outcome of this is that it would be a lot easier for them to try different things and make progress. Even if something did go wrong or they made a mistake, they would be able to be compassionate and supportive towards themselves and expect this from others; they would know that their value and lovability are not based on them being perfect and getting everything right.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

To find out more go to - http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/

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