3 SIMPLE Steps to SILENCE Your Inner-Critic
What is going on in your mind as you’re going about your normal day? Did you know that on average we have approximately 90,000 thoughts per day.
So, my question is, what is going on in those thoughts?
Are they kind? Uplifting? Nourishing?
Or like many people’s… critical? Berating? Mean and nasty to yourself?
Today I want to talk to you about how to silence your inner critic and why it’s so important speak kindly to yourself instead. Not just because it will help you to feel better but also because it will impact on the things you achieve in life.
You see in order to change things outside of yourself, first you have to change things inside of yourself… and a huge percent of that starts with your thinking.
I remember very vividly the first time I became aware of the way I was speaking to myself, which was many years ago. I was seeing a counsellor at the time because I was so desperately unhappy and she recommended that I start to pay attention to the way I was speaking to myself inside my head.
The memory is crystal clear… and I was horrified by what I discovered!
When I started paying attention I realised how mean I’d been to myself for possibly all of my life. This was the beginning of when my life really started to transform because I decided to take action.
I started to take action on making it different because I realised that I was responsible for making it different. No matter the experiences I’d been through, and I assure you I’ve been to hell and back, I was determined to make my life different. No more blaming, but taking responsibility, which really snowballed into all of the things I do now.
I tell you more about that in another video on my YouTube Channel. You can click here and check that out.
Discovering what is going on in your thoughts requires going inwards and developing a level of self-awareness that you may not be used to.
Our self-talk is constructed partly from the ways we’ve been treated by others and the life experiences we’ve had. If you’ve had particularly challenging life experiences or been treated poorly by others, even if it was many years ago, you’re likely to be playing those old records of nasty things you’ve heard about yourself or negative affirmations about the way you’ve been treated… but as you’re playing them to yourself you may not even be consciously aware of it.
You see self-talk can be so habitual that we don’t even realise what we’re doing to ourselves.
But when we stop and take stock of what is actually going on internally, we often realise that we’re continuing the damage we experienced at the hands of others.
So what is your self-talk saying? What is it talking to you about? If you have been able to pay attention to it, perhaps like mine used to be, yours isn’t saying very nice or kind things to you either, right?
Self-talk is just one of the ways in which we make sense of the world around us. In the field of NLP, it is seen as one of the modalities, like sight, touch, sound, taste and smell, but it’s one that takes place inside our mind.
And in the field of NLP and other Transformation work, there are many other things that you can do to change these sorts of behaviours at the Unconscious level, so you don’t have to effort at making changes, but if you’ve not done that level of work on yourself, there are still things that you can do to make positive changes and I’m going to share one with you now.
Negative self-talk is also a way that the mind adopts and accepts negative messages about how we should behave, how we should feel and who we are. These negative messages normally come from other people or from our interpretation of ourselves based on the way we’ve been treated by others.
If you’ve been treated badly in relationships or in childhood, the likelihood is that your self-talk could be quite negative, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Many people who have had seemingly undamaged lives can also have negative self-talk. I’ve worked with numerous clients who have had pretty “normal” and not traumatic lives with negative self-talk. But the truth is, that what one person experiences as traumatic may not be traumatic to another person and vice-versa.
A great way to monitor and discover what is happening in your self-talk is to pay attention to how you feel. The way you think has a direct and undeniable impact on how you feel.
If you’re feeling bad, I encourage you to go inwards and look at the thoughts you’re having. What kinds of things are you saying to yourself? See if you can catch the thoughts and then see if you can change them.
By changing the way you think, you will change the way you feel. We’ll get onto how you do that in just a moment.
But the great thing is that you can do something about it!
One thing that you can’t ever have too much of is self-awareness. When you learn to turn inwards and discover what is taking place under the surface that no one else will ever know about unless you tell them, you will discover things that will change your life because simply by having an awareness of them means that you now have choices.
You can either remain as you are…
Or you can do something about it.
So here’s what you can do and how you can take action…
3 simple steps to quietening the inner-critic
- Catch it – pay attention to what is going on in your mind. Write down and make a note of the sorts of thoughts you have throughout the day. Keep a little note pad with you to help you become more mindful of your self-talk or you could simple have a notes section for it in your phone. How about that for super simple? Then thank it for bringing to your attention the areas that you need to change – there is obviously an unhealed wound somewhere, I’d say at an unconscious level, that requires your love and attention, so thank the inner-critic for bringing that need into your awareness. Because now, you can do something about it!
- Check it – ask the following questions –
- Are these thoughts the truth? Or what is more likely, old, outdated stories that you keep telling yourself without even realising?
- Is it necessary? Sometimes we need to keep ourselves in check. So is this self-talk necessary? Is it helpful? Or is it destructive?
- Is there a better feeling thought you could choose instead?
Which leads us nicely to step 3 –
3. CHANGE it – replace it with something that feels better, sounds better and is actually more like the truth than the garbage that’s been playing on loop until now!
Now there are 2 ways to do this:
- Lots of positive internal self-talk, for example, “well done darling”. And I mean literally say kind things to yourself, out loud where possible and praise yourself, a LOT and often – every single day! It may feel weird at first, but you’ll thank yourself for it later if you do it consistently, I promise. You see, where criticism diminishes yourself-esteem, praise boosts it. So be your own best friend – what would you say to your best friend? Or what would your best friend say to you? Say those things to yourself.
- Fall in love with yourself – Write notes to yourself, leave messages on your mirrors to remind yourself to be kinder, such as…
“I am loveable, I am kind, I am clever, I am special, I am a good person. People are interested in what I have to say. It is important that I am heard.”
You have a choice. You can either take no action and allow the inner critic to continue saying horrid things to you…
Or you can take action and choose a new behaviour.
Will you have to make an effort to do it?
Will you have to make new conscious decisions to say the kind stuff to yourself?
Will it be worth it?
You can bet your bottom dollar that it will.
I know which one I’d choose and have chosen, and will continue to choose every. single. time.
Negative self-talk has been linked to a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Positive self-talk will help you feel better, look better, better health, be happier, make positive changes in your life, give you more headspace for thinking and doing the things that you want to do in life.
So make the right choice!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Practice, Practice, Practice!
It is crucial to practice this technique!
The more often you Catch, Thank, Check and Change your thinking, the more habitual this new positive way of thinking will become. By doing this, you’re actually re-wiring your brain and changing the patterns it has been so used to running. It might feel less easy at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets and eventually it will just be the way your brain operates.
Thank you for reading today’s post and I hope you take action and use this information. I hope it has helped you and if it has, I’d love it if you would share it with at least 3 people you can think of who need to read this too.
Ciao for now!