Raise your hand if your mean ‘inner critic’ rears its head every so often, or even very often, and tells you some pretty horrible things. Well, you’re not alone because, guess what? Even the most confident people have a negative, critical voice inside of them that can often try to sabotage their happiness and positivity.
Your inner critic is the most recognisable source of self-doubt and will often speak the loudest when you are trying to make a potentially difficult decision about your life.
So listen up! The following are five ways that your personal inner critic will try to damage you...
Often when you are thinking about making a change or trying something new, your positive feelings about this thing will be drowned out by your inner critic. This voice inside of you will tell you that you can’t possibly succeed at this new thing, and that perhaps it’s safer not to try at all. It is important to remember that this voice is simply self-doubt making an appearance and you do not have to listen to this criticism.
Discouraging Decision Making
Your inner critic will often present itself as the most reasonable option when it comes to your decision making process. It will often discourage you in seemingly justifiable ways in order to prevent you from moving forwards in life. Even though in these instances it can seem the safest option to listen to the voice of your inner critic, you should remember that the safest option isn’t always the best for you and your future.
Making You Feel Unprepared
Your inner critic will love to criticise your skills and your experience. No matter how great you are, this voice always wants you to think that you are not good enough. Your inner critic will try to damage your confidence in yourself by insisting that you are not ready. This voice will also make you doubt your talents and abilities, even if you really know deep down that you are more than capable.
Body Image Doubts
When it comes to your body image, your inner critic can often be hard to silence. It is certainly not uncommon to dislike aspects of your own appearance and this is something your inner critic will thrive on. Any slight negative thoughts you have about your body, such as your weight or signs of ageing, can quickly become the focus of your inner critic. Once this negative voice within you has started to feed these thoughts they can be even harder to overcome.
One of the most powerful ways that your inner critic will try to damage you is through the irrational persistence of the negativity that it wants to spread. This voice will often rehash the same criticisms over and over again, even if these are criticisms that you feel you have already overcome. There is no telling when old worries might reappear and how they might affect your mood.
Once you recognise that your inner critic isn’t something that you have to pay attention to then it becomes much easier to not be affected by this voice. You may also find that this voice feeds on negativity and criticism from other people in you life. If someone is persistently putting you down or causing you to doubt yourself, then your inner voice is going to adopt these thoughts and perpetuate them. For this reason (and more) it is essential that you try to limit your contact, or disconnect entirely, from negative influences.
Mastering your inner critic can be a long process but it is possible. Once you accomplish this then you will be able to make your decisions with much more confidence and grab all of the amazing opportunities that come your way in life. Stay tuned for next week, when I give my top tips to lock up that inner critic once and for all...
Lead image: Julie wears leggings by Tiny Fish