Dealing With Your Inner Critic

Your internal conversation can empower you or it can wreak havoc, causing you to spiral, and get off of your productive and positive path. Internalized feelings contribute to the voice of the inner critic, meaning the inner critic is a reflection of how you are practicing self-care and self-love.


Negativity and fear based responses happen as a result of an out of control inner critic, and healing requires facing fears, dealing with insecurity, moving away from what you think you lack and changing your mind.


Heightened anxiety increases tension and stress empowering the inner critic and oftentimes can contributing to internal challenges and grief. Managing stress and anxiety plays a vital role in the quality of your internal dialogue. Not only does the inner critic quiet down with stress management, it is also empowering to practice dealing with stressful situations with practical and empowering solutions.


Creating Healthy Boundaries


Healthy boundaries contribute to finding inner peace. External sources can be a cause of stress and grief, fueling the inner critic. Spending too much time on social media, making poor diet choices, and too much television or news are all culprits in the internal dialogue.


Spending time in front of screens can be replaced with empowering self-work like journaling, exercising, reading, prepping healthy snacks, having a conversation with a someone you trust, or even meditation.


Healing the inner critic requires compassion, attention, and patience. Do not create pressure around cleaning up your habits but instead start small and choose attainable goals and ha it’s to create to support more healthy and empowering internal dialogue.


Inner Critic= Fear in Disguise


Facing fears is vital step in quieting and transforming the inner critic.


While becoming a witness takes consistent practice, becoming a witness teaches that you do not have to get involved with the dialogue of the inner critic. Becoming a witness requires being able to act as if there is a park bench in your mind where you can sit and watch thoughts float by. Again, practice is required, practice makes patience, and you get to decide how involved you become with distractions (meditations will help with this part of the process).


Here a few tools for facing your fears—


  • Positive affirmations like, “II love and appreciate myself just as I am.” “I am safe.” “I am in control.” “I am witnessing my inner critic, but I am not my inner critic.”

  • Remind yourself you are safe. Reflect on what helps you feel safe. Home? Friends? Family? Finances? Physical strength? Take stock of your strong points, and cultivate habits around where you would like to improve.

  • Detach from the narrative (become a witness).

  • Name your experience. Explore what came up. What specific fears were triggered? Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it empowering? And do I have the opportunity to change my mind?


Write a Letter to Your Inner Critic


Naming your inner critic is a great way to find yourself separate from your unconscious biases and poor habits. You can name your inner critic and even write letters to your inner critic, which is great way to continuously work on breaking up with negativity.


The inner critic plays an important role in trying to protect you from external, emotional and psychological threats. The key to long lasting, positive change-- getting intimate with your fear and your inner critic.


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© 2020 by Markesha Miller, Ph.D.