Are your self-critical voices running your life?3 min read

by Dr Olivia Ong

Is your inner voice, your inner critic, driving you to absolute distraction?

The inner critic can be a source of angst, but it doesn’t have to be…

Develop the mindset to stop any negative self-chatter that may be holding you back.

What is our inner voice, our inner critic?

Our inner voice is just us, and all it is trying to do is protect us by chattering away and pointing out things it sees as in need of improvement, or things we could have done better.

It has a great function, but sometimes it can be tiring as it can sound endlessly critical, and that can really get us feeling down about ourselves.

Negative though patterns

Have you ever caught yourself in the following mind patterns?

  • Thinking that if you do well, it’s still not good enough.
  • Being convinced that if something can go wrong it will.
  • If you’re in a beautiful setting, then you probably don’t deserve to be there.
  • Thinking that if you speak up, you’ll sound stupid.
  • Worrying that if you relax, something bad will happen.
  • Being concerned that if you say no, people will hate you.

Most of us try to ignore it or distract ourselves, or override the inner voice with positive affirmations.

What to do to still the inner critic

The inner voice can be like an insistent 5-year-old,

Kids don’t like being ignored and will just try harder to get your attention, and the same goes for our inner voice too,

So if ignoring it or trying to distract ourselves is a tactic that doesn’t work for you, then consider the following mindset, the idea of curiosity.

Whenever your inner critic finishes a sentence then talk back, without judgement, with curiosity, and respectfully (it is you after all, and only trying to help).

Mentally repeat what it says and then reply with an “and…?”

For example:

Inner Critic: You’re going to fail.
You: I understand. I am going to fail, and…?

Inner Critic: And you’ll never recover!
You: OK, and I’ll never recover, and….?

Inner Critic: Because you’re unworthy of success.
You: I get it. I am unworthy of success, and….?

Inner critic: …..

What typically happens after several rounds of this kind of inner dialogue is the inner critics either goes quiet and disappears or begins to offer encouragement or positive remarks.

Stilling the inner voice

By respectfully acknowledging your inner voice you can see that the negative suggestions that it sometimes comes up with really don’t lead anywhere after all….

By having a healthy dialogue you can come to terms with your inner voice, build a relationship over time, and notice how it will fade further into the background, becoming less chatty and less intrusive as it feels appreciated, respected and heard.

Using this approach in just a matter of minutes you can turn your inner critic around, and over time put to rest any overbearing and intrusive negative chatter and noise.

Peace and quiet can be yours 🙂


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If you have any questions or feedback regarding this article and any of the issues it raises, or if you’d like to get in touch to find out more about fulfilling your true potential I would love to hear from you.

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