Psychologists report over 80% of most people’s inner dialogue is negative. A voice inside you constantly berating you for not being good enough. For feeling like a failure. Often, your inner critic is the reason for worry and over analysis of situations (mostly in the past.) Being productive is virtually impossible when you’re telling yourself horrible things all day, every day.
A mean inner critic is going to cause you to procrastinate, compare yourself to others, and swim in a sea of self-doubt – all of which is crippling.
So, how do we tame our inner voice? First, we must be able to identify it. Self-awareness is the first step. (“Hi, my name is Tricia Tamkin, and my inner critic is an a**hole.”) The best way to increase your self-awareness is through Thinking Time. There are several questions you can ask yourself to help:
- What, exactly, does my inner critic say to me?
- Is it completely true and factual? Rational or irrational?
- What evidence supports and contradicts this assumption?
- Is my inner critic’s messaging helpful? How can I reframe it to be more encouraging?
- Is there a pattern to the messaging? How can I address the underlying beliefs causing this?
Once we can train our internal voice, everything becomes easier. Two techniques have worked the best for me. The first is to imagine it’s your child, best friend, or partner. What advice, direction or reassurance would you provide if that person came to you with similar thoughts or feelings?
By removing ourselves from the situation, and applying it to someone we deeply love, clarity ensues. We’re able to see the situation for what it really is, and not get lost in the irrationality and lies of our inner voice.
The second, extremely effective, technique is an Alchemy of Self. This is a daily ritual where you read your own thoughts and affirmations. I’ve done my Alchemy 5-7 days a week for years, and it’s been the single biggest factor in taming my inner voice. Through consistent repetition, we’re able to retrain our own thought processes. Often, I’ll be in a situation where my inner voice chimes in, but I’ve trained it well enough through consistent daily activity that the voice is rarely negative.
We talk about Umbrella Initiatives often. These are the things which, upon implementation, have a positive effect which impacts all areas of our lives. Things like getting enough sleep, daily movement, a financial foundation, and you guessed it, taming your inner critic. This is hard work, but I promise it’s wildly valuable.
When are you scheduling your next Thinking Time session?
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