You have an inner critic, and it is never going to go away. The good news is that it does not need to control your life.
You can thank your inner critic for keeping you safe, especially when you were growing up. You can thank your inner critic for its good intentions. However, it is time to let this part of you know that you are capable of taking care of yourself. It is time to quiet this voice and use your energy to build up rather than tear down.
Here are three ways to quiet the inner critic and find your true self:
1. Ground Yourself:
First, you need to notice when your inner critic is speaking. To do this, you need to be grounded.
How do you get grounded? An excellent place to start is to slow down and notice the sensations of your body. You can use meditation, yoga, tai chi, walking, dancing, gardening, and other practices to help you access your inner wisdom.
Intentional slow breathing can ground you quickly in any situation. The deeper you breathe, the more you will feel, sense and listen to the spirit. The more you can inhabit your inner world, the more you will know the direction the universe desires you to go.
Grounding your self for the first time can be uncomfortable because the pain within you is raw. In the end, facing the pain will help you to find physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing.
When you ground your self, you move into presence. When you move into presence, you have access to the wisdom of the universe through your body (sensations), heart (feelings) and head (quiet mind).
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2. Identify the voice of the inner critic:
You will learn to differentiate between the voice of your inner critic and your true self. The sound of the inner critic is often loud, obnoxious, negative, angry, demeaning, critical and unforgiving.
The voice of your true self is often gentle, strong, inviting, vulnerable, loving, compassionate and kind.
When you are used to hearing your inner critic, and blind to your true self, it is going to take some practice to acknowledge this voice for what it is. This part of your ego wants to keep you safe by keeping you to familiar activities.
With practice, you will learn to notice the difference. Be extra alert for this negative voice whenever you are trying something new. The inner critic will do everything it can to keep you to the status quo.
The irony is that whatever the inner critic tries to do to make you safe makes life even more difficult for you.
Replace this voice with the part of you that wants to bring your best self to the world; this is the voice you can trust.
When you notice this voice taking over your mind, remind yourself that this negative voice is a sign that you are starting to make a positive change in your life. Reassure your inner critic that you are in charge and can take good care of yourself.
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3. Stay curious about what is true in the moment:
Your inner critic is deceiving you. It wants you to think it can take care of all your needs and keep you safe. But the truth is your inner critic is hurting you.
When you have negative thoughts about yourself or others, slow down and reflect on what is true in the moment.
For example, your inner critic may be telling you are never going to find your true love. It might say to you that you are not good enough looking. It might say to you that there is nobody worthy of you in the world. It might say don’t even bother to try and date again. So what is true about all these comments?
Maybe the only truth is that up to now, you have not had a long-lasting healthy relationship. It might be true that you will never make the covers of a glamour magazine. But everything else is a lie.
Most religions of the world tell us that we are all beautiful. We all have worth, value and purpose. Remember, you have worth for being you.
The good news is that you are human and not perfect. To have a balanced perspective of yourself, you first need to be able to identify your good qualities.
Every one of us has goodness within us. If you have a hard time naming your good qualities, ask a friend to share what they love about you.
Your job is to show up each day, living your life in the best way you can.
Over time you will learn to hear the difference between the tone of the inner critic’s voice and the sound of your true self. Your inner critic will never completely go away. It will show up whenever you are under stress or trying something new.
Your true self will guide you into living life in the best way you can. Your intuition, feelings and quiet mind will show you the way. Your life will flow with greater ease, and even in the tough times, you will not feel alone.
Keep in mind these three ways to quiet your inner critic. First, you need to be grounded in the moment so you can access the inner wisdom of your body, heart and soul. Secondly, you need to be able to notice the difference between the voice of your inner critic and your true self. Thirdly you need to be able to ask yourself what is true in each moment.
You will find that the negative voice of the inner critic is full of lies. The wisdom of the true self is always right
Your job is to discern the intentions of these inner voices within you. If you are ever in doubt, always ask yourself what is true in the moment. Your true self will never lie.
I am Roland Legge, an Identity Coach here to help you find freedom from your inner critic. You can join my private newsletter list for Free Monthly Advice and access your Free Online Enneagram Test