Three Tips to Silence Your Inner Critic
One of the most common barriers to personal growth I see in my consulting room is the inner critic.
You see as well as the people we call family that are around us, we also have an inner family, and some of those family members, such as the critic, are really nasty.
Think of your worst enemy; the person who steals your dreams, pours poison on your passions and tells you you will never be any good at the things you most want to do.
It’s the voice in your ear sowing seeds of doubt, fear and confusion as you move out of your comfort zone towards happiness and success.
Silencing the inner critic is a skill. It takes time and patience. It is hard work. The critic is the very demon that can and does drive people mad and on a downward spiral towards more serious mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, self-harm and even suicide.
Here are my top three tips to silencing your inner critic:
1. Better the devil you know
Make friends with your inner critic, get to know him or her, recognise what they sound like, their tone of voice, the things they usually say and when they are most likely to turn up in your life. Just like anyone you meet get a good sense of who this person is and how they are likely to behave. Write it down. Keep a journal or a diary.
2. Your enemy is your greatest teacher.
Creativity and destruction come from the same place. Both are powerful energetic impulses. Make your critic your greatest ally. Instead of listening to the destructive voice that sabotages your personal growth and achievement, harness the power, and use it to create. Turn the words around and make the negatives a positive. Use “No you can’t” as a challenge and say to yourself “Yes I can”.
3. Silence is golden
Use the power of your imagination to turn down the volume of your inner critic. Imagine your head is like an enormous TV screen and you have the remote control in your hand, until you can stop the voice and switch it off practice lowering the sound. Find a mantra, a few simple words to repeat like “I can and I will” to drown out the inner critic, and keep your focus firmly on the road ahead.
Training your mind is no different to training your body. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint.