Day 2: Tips for Recognizing Your Inner Critic
In today’s post, we’ll expand upon the concept that was introduced yesterday, which is how to recognize your inner critic. After all, if you don’t know when this mean internal voice is sabotaging you, how can you fight it? While everyone’s critic is different, there are some commonalities you can observe to give you the heads up that you may be telling yourself some things that aren’t true. Be aware of these patterns in order to recognize your inner critic.
Your inner critic definitely isn’t nice. That’s obvious. However, this voice tends to go beyond just being unkind. It can be downright mean. When you notice yourself having thoughts that are particularly harsh, take note. It’s probably your inner critic. It’s okay to give yourself some constructive criticism and to strive to do better sometimes, but this type of critical message usually isn’t the productive and encouraging kind. It’s meant to bring you down and hold you back. Don’t listen to it.
Your inner critic is also fantastic at comparing your abilities, possessions, and life to those of other people. These comparisons are never fair or just. Rather, they always tell you that someone else is better than you or that you’ll never measure up. Again, these messages don’t do anything to serve you and should be ignored. Your only competition is yourself.
As noted in yesterday’s post, that mean inner voice tends to say the same thing again and again. When you find yourself ruminating on a less-than-desirable trait or agonizing over past events again and again, find a way to interrupt those thoughts. Tell yourself to stop. Take a break and try to look at things more realistically. Your inner critic repeats these harmful messages as a way of sabotaging you. The more you tell yourself these words, the more likely you are to believe them. This is definitely a case for reframing a negative message to a more realistic and positive one.
Not in Your Best Interests
Finally, it’s important to emphasize once more that your inner critic is not speaking up for your best interests. It’s not a tool that works to help you do better. The word “critic” is in the name. You wouldn’t be critical of a friend if you wanted to encourage or lift them up, so please try to be more gentle with yourself. Shutting up your inner critic is an act of self-love and empowerment. There are far better ways to push yourself to achieve.
Keep these things in mind when it comes to identifying the mean voice that lives inside your head. These tips for recognizing your inner critic will serve you well as you pursue this journey of becoming stronger and more in charge of your thoughts.