We all have one, that voice inside us that tells us we're not good enough or smart enough or strong enough or successful enough. Educated, rich, thin, tall, enough. It says we're not worthy, and it tries to convince us to treat ourselves terribly by holding onto toxic relationship patterns, thoughts or destructive habits. And sometimes it even convinces us that we just don't deserve happiness at all! But here's the good news: no matter how loud your inner critic gets, you are bigger than it is—and stronger than it thinks you are too! The trick is finding ways to quiet it down so that its nagging voice doesn't drown out your own intuition and ability to trust yourself.
You are not your inner critic
The inner critic is not a friend. It's not a part of you, and it's certainly not a reflection of who you are or who you are capable of becoming. In fact, it's just the opposite: the more you listen to your inner critic, the more self-conscious and afraid of failure we become. What happens when we're afraid to try new things or take risks? We limit ourselves from achieving our full potential.
You are not your thoughts. You are just the thinker of them.
So what do we do about this little unhelpful voice? First we realize that we all have one, and then it's about learning how to distinguish between what our own thoughts are telling us versus what someone else’s may be saying or has said about us—and then letting go of any negative feedback or criticism that isn’t coming from within ourselves! How do you know? If it's mean in nature, disempowering, rude or fearful, it's not your soul or higher self speaking.
The inner critic can take many forms. It might sound like a mean girl in your head, it may also take on the voice of a teacher, partner, child. Pay attention next time you hear them. Over time you will be able to see, and remember exactly where the seed was planted.
The inner critic is just a storyteller.
Your inner critic is not real. It's just a storyteller. It's the part of you that wants to be perfect, but isn't - because no one is. It's also a natural part of the mind's defense mechanism, so thank it for trying to keep you safe, but talk back to it. Tell it you got this!
Get curious about what's underneath your storyteller.
Since we've been listening to our inner critic for so long that it's easy to forget that this is what it is: a story.
So here are some questions you can ask yourself when your inner critic starts talking:
Who told me this story about myself?
Why did they tell me this?
How does their experience differ from mine (or how does mine differ from theirs)?
- What is my inner critic trying to tell me?
Start asking questions about where your self worth is actually coming from and you can start freeing yourself from that voice.
As mentioned, your inner critic is a storyteller. It tells you stories about who you are and what your life is like, what you're capable of, it makes up scenarios and creates problems for you to solve. It does this because it wants to keep you safe so that it can keep its job as your main authority figure in your mind, but the truth is that the inner critic isn't real.
Know that it's okay to be imperfect
The journey to silencing your inner critic is just that, a journey. There will be days when you think they're gone, and then there will be days when the volume is so turned up you can't hear your own thoughts. This is when you start telling yourself something different. You don’t need to be perfect. No one is. You don’t need to get everything right, mistakes are how we learn. We are all works in progress.
It's okay to make mistakes, because everyone does! And if you're making mistakes and learning from them, then that's even better! It means that you're taking action and growing as a person—and this is what matters most of all.
The best way I've found for this is by being gentle with myself when things get difficult or painful. Sometimes I'll take a few minutes just being still, breathing deeply, and sending love out into my body--to every cell in it, because all 138 trillion of them are listening to the things you say to yourself about yourself. Disease manifests in the mind long before it enters the body.
Be gentle and know you're not alone. We all struggle with our inner critics at some point in our lives, no matter how successful we become. New level, new devil, or louder one anyways.
Just learn to turn the volume down on the thoughts that don't make you feel good and up on the ones that do.
Sending you so much love,
Amanda - Chief Worthiness Officer Worthy Wands