How to Quiet Your Inner Critic

I’d like to tell you the story of how I started Self-Worthy.

Full disclosure: it has taken me almost a year to go public with this website.

Why? Why did I hold off publishing the site? I knew it will be super helpful, so why did I wait to share this information with everyone I know?

One simple reason–fear of failure.

I was so afraid of the uncertainty surrounding this endeavor that I stopped myself from putting it out there. I made excuses, telling myself things like:

“My writing skills aren’t good enough.”
“I have to work out the kinks in the website design first.”
“But I need to have at least ten articles written before I can publish!”

I let my inner critic get the best of me.

Has this ever happened to you? (I’m pretty sure I can see you nodding your head right now.)

So what’s the deal? What is your inner critic and why do you listen to it? How can you get your inner critic to shut up and leave you alone?

Your Inner Critic

We all have an inner critic. It’s that voice inside that tells you you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not [adjective of choice] enough. Your inner critic expresses disappointment, frustration, or disapproval.

This voice inside you stirs up fear and anxiety when you are working toward your goals. It causes you to doubt your ability and your worth. You believe what it tells you because it’s coming from within you.

But here’s the thing…

You are not your inner critic. I repeat–you are not your inner critic.

Luckily, though, your inner critic is in your control. There are a few steps you can take to quiet your critical inner voice and get out of your own way.

Inner Critic

Recognize When Your Inner Critic is Talking

It’s important to recognize when your inner critic is speaking to you. Typically you have no conscious awareness as this voice chatters at you throughout the day.

When you are feeling doubtful or uneasy, take a moment to listen to the thoughts running through your head.

Ask yourself, “Is this my inner critic speaking? What is it telling me?”

Noticing this voice takes practice. Over time, you will find it easier to tell when it’s in action.

Differentiate Yourself from Your Inner Critic

Once you are able to recognize the thoughts that are the work of your inner critic, analyze the information it’s giving you.

What is the underlying reason for these thoughts? Are they helpful?

Most likely you’ll find that the chatter of this critical voice is just that–chatter. Acknowledge that your real point of view differs from that of your inner critic.

Your critical inner voice is not based in reality. It is cynical and downright demeaning at times.

So what can you do to take a stand against this voice?

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Challenge Your Inner Critic

Rather than accepting the harsh words of your inner critic, challenge the validity of what it has to say. Respond to your critical inner voice from a place of self-compassion.

Imagine you’re giving advice to a friend. Using the words of your inner critic, imagine your friend told you she thought these things about herself. What would you say? How would you respond to her negative outlook about herself?

You would likely give her a rational viewpoint. You can do the exact same thing for yourself.

Consciously decide to ignore the suggestions of your inner critic. When this voice advocates for a specific action, take the opposite action. The more you defy your inner critic, the more power you’ll have against it in the future.

How have you let your inner critic get the best of you?

Share in the comments below!

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