How often does your inner critic push its way into your life and spread fear?
Now is the time to befriend your inner critic!
What you say to yourself matters
You may well say cruel things to yourself. Give yourself a hard time. Believe the negative spin that returns to your mind constantly. This is your inner critic.
It can talk you out of things that could have been brilliant.
Do you recognise this inner negative voice? It speaks to you silently. It might turn up again and again.
Your inner critic appears to be powerful and strong. And the worse thing about this inner critic is that you believe it.
95% of who we’ve become by 35 years is a memorised set of behaviours, memories, emotional reactions, unconscious habits, hardwired beliefs, attitudes and perceptions
Dr Joe Dispenza
As Dr Joe Dispenza says, this inner critic within you, is a memorised voice that has been hanging around for many years. Now is the time to begin to un-memorise it with awareness and new thinking.
You are good enough!
Your inner critic voice sounds familiar to you and can be very insidious.
Be mindful of this next time you miss an opportunity. You said no to a challenge because your inner critic thought you were not quite up to it.
Someone else will step up – and guess what?
They aren’t superior to you. They’ve just got a different inner voice in that moment. One that has got their back and is telling them to go for it. Supporting them and believing they can do it. That they’re good enough!
And there you are, believing your inner critic. You listen to those words of self-doubt or fear, and let it influence your behaviour.
In that moment, you believe what you say to yourself. It’s happened before but this time you can change this script.
How do you befriend your inner critic?
Imagine a good friend feels doubtful about themselves. You would want to support and encourage them.
In the same way, with mindfulness, you can sit and be a good friend to yourself.
Make time to meditate. Notice your inner critical voice as it arises. Welcome it with humour and tenderness. Acknowledge what your inner voice is saying:
‘I’m not good enough’
‘I feel guilty’
‘I’m not as good/clever/attractive/successful as that person’
Be compassionate and say to yourself,
‘This is my negative voice which I recognise but don’t have to listen to or believe’
‘I think loving thoughts’
‘I remember my values and how I wish to shine as my unique self in this world’
Meditate to befriend yourself
Know that you can choose which thoughts are going to support you.
Sit with your focus on your breath and your meditation posture.
Bring a gesture of self-compassion to yourself – a hand placed gently on your heart centre or your solar-plexus.
Watch how your critical voice eventually dissipates. You don’t have to believe it.
Your initial knee-jerk, negative thought can be replaced with a sense of calm and love.
Remind yourself that what you bring to the planet is your unique self. Don’t let your inner critic be your boss!
With mindfulness you learn to be kind and self-compassionate. Next time your inner critic wants to take over, remember who is boss!
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Coach
Learn how to befriend your inner critic with Place of Serenity
This blog post has been updated since it first came out in November 2014