How to Overcome Your Inner Critic
09 May 2017
One of the biggest factors in getting your health on track is how you think! Now this may come as a surprise, given that you’re probably thinking healthy eating and exercise would be the most key, but let me show you why these are actually secondary:
One of the most complex and difficult obstacles we are all faced with is dealing with criticism…from ourselves. You know that voice in your head, the one that constantly criticizes you and tells you that you’re not good enough…yep that one! And it never seems to settle down – always nit-picking at everything you do.
Negative self-talk is such a complex reality –something very difficult to face and harder still to overcome. I should know because I battled with it myself for years.
Back in my dancing days, that negative voice tore me apart as I looked in the mirror and wished for perfect waif like ballerina body instead of the one I already had.
That inner voice was forever running me down, telling me that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t pretty enough, the whole world thought I was dull and my entire life was a failure.
And the sad part is, it didn’t really matter what the reality was, because this was my perceived truth which defined the lenses through which I saw myself.
For as long as I allowed my inner critic to influence my thoughts and my life, for as long as I listened to its complaints and its negative judgements, I would always feel this way.
Looking back, I see now that I could never have felt truly happy, confident or fulfilled if I always allowed that negativity to taint my thoughts.
The truth is, you can have the best life in the world in the eyes of someone else, but if your inner critic is at work constantly bringing you down, no matter how great things are around you, you will never see it that way. Your perception will be completely warped, and you will only see the world and your life through the eyes of your critic.
With the help of self-healing books, listening to inspiring talks, exploring new philosophies and working on the art of meditation, my eyes were finally opened, and I managed to conquer my own worst enemy – my inner critic. That’s not to say that it doesn’t rear its ugly head – it certainly does, and daily let me tell you, but the difference is that now I know how to recognise it and quickly shut it down before it gains any power.
And I truly want the same for you.
I want you to experience the liberation that comes with challenging that inner voice. I want you to break off the shackles, open your mind and allow yourself to flourish however the hell you want to.
I know that a lot of this kind of stuff is way easier said than done, and so that’s why I want to help you out a little with these four steps that I personally used and still use today, to overcome negative self-talk:
Have you noticed how negative self-talk always seems to raise its ugly head when you’re least expecting it?
You’ll be feeling super pleased with yourself for how productive you’ve been, or for meeting those deadlines, when all of a sudden, out of the blue comes, that voice appears - reminding you of all the times you didn’t make the grade, when you screwed up, or even a tiny detail that wasn’t quite 100% right…and ten steps backwards you go. It’s the worst!
So beat that voice by removing its element of surprise - say hello to it, and let it know you are aware of it! By simply being aware or conscious that your inner voice is on a mission, will help you regain control of your thoughts.
Separate yourself from your Critic
You probably feel trapped by this negative self-talk and believe that it’s a flawed part of your thinking that you need to fix.
(Side note - did you notice the inner voice creep in there too??)
This negative voice - it isn’t you! Rather, it is a collection of all the negativity you’ve heard in your life- a combination of the voices, attitudes and negative energies that have come across your path over the years.
I gave my inner voice a really stupid name – so whenever it’s at work I can laugh at the thought of this little creature with a funny name. This is a great way to separate yourself from this voice and will help prevent it from having such power over you. You will also feel lighter just my imagining this weird little thing running around in your head trying to cause chaos.
Now comes the exciting bit! I want you to declare war, mobilise your troops and fight back!
The next time you notice that negative inner voice starting up, I want you to tell it to ‘STOP!’ Shout it at the top of your lungs you have to. But make it clear that you know what it’s trying to do, and you mean business! You are NOT willing to listen to this kind of crap. Period! Your inner voice will NOT define you!
Chase and Replace
Next we’re going to replace all that negativity with some soul-shining positivity! Right?
My favourite way to do this is with affirmations.
Try mirror work, gratitude journaling or even create a special mantra of your own and recite it to yourself throughout the day, or whenever that negative voice strikes.
For example “I love myself. I understand that my thoughts have power and so I choose only uplifting, positive and happy thoughts to brighten up my day.”
Yes, all of this sounds so easy when it’s written down on paper but don’t expect results to happen overnight. That negativity took a long time to fight its way through, so you can expect it to take time to fight. But it will all be worth it – and remember you have to be consistent in working through it!
You WILL overcome that negative self-talk and start living the life of your dreams. I know you will! Jut believe in yourself, trust the process and work on it every day! Remember, personal growth, health and happiness are all things we have to work on every day!
Yours in Health Always,